Soon after the traumatic earthquake in Haiti, our inboxes filled and phones rang here at 1% with member inquiries about how one might use their 1% donation to assist the shaken country. We reached out to our nonprofits, and wrote a blog post about how 1% members may support the relief efforts in Haiti. Since then, we’ve had the pleasure of seeing many member donations directed towards sustainable relief and re-development in Haiti, as well as personal thank you notes from our partner organizations. Now, in light of six months of hard work on the ground, we offer a follow up from our friends, Plant With Purpose. Bob Morikawa, Plant With Purposes’s Technical Director, who spent six weeks in Haiti over a period of four months, shares the story of Nelta Fils-Aime:
Nelta Fils-Aime was one of the hundreds of thousands of Haitians forced to flee Port-au-Prince and relocate in the countryside. This influx of people into the countryside put an immense burden on already poor rural families, boosting family sizes from 6 or 7 members to 10 or 12. Meals per day dropped to just one or less. But, with fierce hope and hard work, Nelta joined Plant With Purpose’s “Cash for Work” program, which compensates those helping to restore the steep slopes that farmers are forced to farm to sustain themselves. Through this soil conservation work, Nelta has been able to contribute to her father’s household, making money for her family, while simultaneously prepping the soils, which will soon provide the community with garden crops. Nelta is one of the many courageous Haitians working to provide sustenance for her family and her neighbors, every day bettering the dire situation in Haiti bit by bit.
As Bob Morikawa recounts, ‘The work is far from over. Haiti was one of the poorest countries in the world even before January 12th and I had always thought that people were living on the edge. It turns out that now that ‘edge’ has been moved to a place I simply would never have imagined. It is surely a testament to the resilience of the people of Haiti, and as a locally popular song inspired by these events says “Haiti is on its knees, but not down yet.”‘ If you would like to read the full article please click here.