Since 2009, our geographic focus has been in the rural mountain villages of Haiti. After the major 7.0 earthquake of 2010, we were drawn to help in some way. After visiting and listening to the communities, our focus started with providing access to clean water and fruit tree planting both for food and erosion control of the steep mountain terrain. Through this initial effort, Women Who Plant, or in Haitian creole Fanm Kap Plante, was born.
Haiti has endured heavy deforestation resulting in soil erosion due to years of forestry practices that striped the land of her trees followed by agricultural exploitation of the soils that could no longer hold up against heavy tropical rains. Haiti is one of the most deforested countries in the world with less than 1% of its original forest left standing. As a mountainous island country, the effects of deforestation have been dramatic with mineral rich soils washing out to sea with each new rain.
Our goal is to reduce erosion and increase food security by planting the landscape with food trees and plants. This is not done in isolation but rather through grassroots efforts of teaching workshops and gatherings where knowledge is exchanged, and with-it empowerment of the women can flourish to retake their hillsides through perennial food production. Our hope for the long-term is an increase in food availability that can be consumed, traded, or sold, and as a result stabilized hillsides that can withstand the heavy rains.
It is our hope that we can help in some small way through community-led educational exchanges, community tree plantings and rainwater retention and drinking water projects to help make Haiti sustain her people once again.
"It all starts with one seed. The roots will hold the soil together, the soil will unite the people. If not protected, the rain will carry our soil down the mountain and out to sea, and along with it our children, our future...They will set out down into the city, looking for work and searching for a better way of life. When no opportunity is left here they will turn their back on Haïti and leave to the sea forever..."
Earth Givers is a team of environmentalists and advocates working to mitigate environmental crisis locally and globally through community-led projects. You can support this project by making a donation.