The Pigs Have Arrived
Imagine the cacophony of grunts and squeals, not to mention manly groans, that must have accompanied the loading of several dozen pigs from the local market into the back of a truck in the tropical June sun. That’s what occurred two weeks ago, when the final component of the animal husbandry project in Charlotte came into play…the pigs!
Conceived by Brendon Anthony of Harvest Craft, the animal husbandry project is the first sustainability initiative that will actually create revenue for the Glory Glory Center. (Previous initiatives had been aimed at reducing costs rather than generating income.) Though it will only generate a fraction of what is needed to sustain the center, it’s an exciting first step that comes with a host of other benefits to the community at large, including jobs, husbandry education and training, micro-finance opportunities, and the dignity and hope that come with being able to work and earn an income.
The following blog post, written by Susan Watkins and posted to www.WatkinsInHaiti.com on January 3, 2016, describes the project in detail, as well as the partnership that made it happen and the impact it will have within the community. (Note, the original plan called for chickens and pigs on two separate parcels of land. A few weeks into the project, the decision was made to hold off on the chickens temporarily.)
Yesterday, I had the privilege of being a fly-on-the-wall during the “official” kick-off meeting for a very exciting joint-effort in community development … an animal husbandry program in the nearby town of Charlotte.
In short, the plan is to build two yards where pigs and chickens will be raised. First things first, each piece of property will be fenced in with metal sheets and an iron gate for security. The chicken yard will then be divided into two sections, one for broilers and one for hens (egg-layers), with covered houses for both and plenty of open space to roam. In the pig yard, the pigs will enjoy three different types of terrain, including slimy (“for the pigs to play in”), verdant, and gravelly, in addition to a covered shelter. Human shelters and latrines will also be built in each location for the employees who will be stationed there around the clock. And finally, a butcher shop will be built in or adjacent to each yard, from which local residents can purchase fresh, professionally butchered meat.
The immediate benefit to the community is, first, the construction jobs that will be created, and second, the six long-term, on-site jobs that will be created. Each location will be staffed by three people who are crossed-trained in animal husbandry and security. Every four days or so, they will rotate positions, with two working days and one working nights to ensure that the animals will be protected 24/7/365. Once the animals reach maturity (within a 1-2 months for the chickens and 3-4 months for the pigs) more jobs will be created as the animals will be ready for market.
Here’s the cool part. The town of Charlotte, through the church, supports a very successful micro-finance program. Over the past two years, more than 95 participants have completed a series of classes, received a $100 US cash loan with which to start (or enhance) a business, and repaid their loans in full (100%). The program, in fact, has been so successful, that there are currently 120 people on the wait list! Once the animals have reached maturity, those on the waitlist will have the opportunity to attend the classes and then receive a chicken, pig, meat, or eggs to resell in the market. A woman who receives a pig, for example, may choose to sell the pig as is, or she may choose to butcher the pig herself and sell the parts. Once she has repaid the initial value of the pig, she can choose to keep the cash profit or keep a similar value of meat with which to feed her own family.
And the benefits don’t stop there. To the partnership, Pastor Samuel donated the two plots of land in Charlotte where the animals will be raised. In exchange, the Glory Glory Center will receive a large portion of the net profits, which will be used to support the monthly expenses of the 52 kids and staff who live there. Bellance, the guy who runs the micro-finance program in Charlotte, will likewise receive a portion of the net profits in exchange for overseeing the employees (hired from local residents) and the micro-finance component. Daniel, who is employed by Harvest Craft (the organization that brought the idea to the table in the first place), brings the husbandry experience and will manage the education of the staff and the budget. In exchange he will receive a portion of the net profits as well. Mariners Church (represented by Dave) donated the original capital with which to fund the project. The project’s success will prove the value of such sustainability projects in Haiti, and will hopefully result in future funds for program expansion into other nearby towns. And for Brendon Anthony, co-founder of Harvest Craft, the project will become a shining example of a successful, multi-national partnership and a testament to what he and his team can envision and implement.
It’s a win-win all-around, so please, join us in praying for God’s blessing over this project.
To everyone who contributed financially to this project, thank you.