Title: Cow Breeding Project in LaJovange, Haiti
Topic: Community Projects
Haiti is the poorest country in the Americas and one of the poorest in the world. Not only is the country lacking in resources, but in the past five years they have suffered a major earthquake which claimed 300,000 lives, endured a cholera outbreak which infected over 700,000 people, and experienced instability in their government. However, in spite of these adversities the Haitian people are resilient. They have overcome these obstacles and hope for a brighter tomorrow.
This is very evident in the rural community of LaJovange, Haiti. Rice fields line the entrance to the village and the homes are set back in a slightly wooded area. There is no road in the village so residents walk along a small, dirt footpath. A short time ago, The Salvation Army officers and soldiers in LaJovange gathered residents and formed a Community Action Team who began to dream about how they could improve their community. They recognized that while the small stream in the middle of their village provided an important source of water, many children would fall into the stream while walking home from school. A coconut branch was laid across the stream, but children were still falling into the water from time to time. The Community Action Team decided that building a foot bridge over the stream would be a great improvement to their community, and over the course of three months they raised funds and provided the workforce to construct the bridge.
The Community Action Team had proven that they were making positive changes in their community, so they now qualified for a Salvation Army cow breeding project grant. In preparation for the project, 100 community members were taught to care for cows. The grant provided 8 cows and the community contributed funds for one bull, to allow for breeding. Each cow is cared for by a specific, trained member of the community. As calves are born, 50 percent of the calves are kept by the community member who cares for the mother cow, and 50 percent go back to the community as a whole and are assigned to other community members. In the coming years, the cow breeding project will provide income, food and hope for the community of LaJovange. The Community Action Team members are very excited for the future and continue to have many dreams for their community including establishing a medical clinic and central electricity.
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