After the first few days of meetings with local staff as well as current beneficiary families I was able to quickly get up to speed on the project; the development, the issues, the disputes, and of course the success stories.
From a very initial assessment I consider the biggest accomplishment the success that the project is experiencing so far. I know a lot of work was put in by all members and interns of ISCA in the first year, and Chalice was of great help both financially and on the field. Not a single member has failed or dropped the program, and although lots of bumps were encountered, families and staff have shown resilience and kept moving forward. In addition, our local coordinator for the project, Kency, has met and surpassed all expectation. Kency is a young graduate in Agriculture that was hired last year to coordinate and monitor all the families to make sure they take their job seriously. He also helps with the ordering of new chicks and feed from Port Au Prince and even implements ideas in line with the co-operative model: he collects money from everyone so they can pool their resources to get other materials useful to the husbandry of their chicken. In addition, he bought a backpack pressure washer and goes around the coops to wash them, the families simply have to buy the soap.
According to every single family member, he has done an amazing job of both helping families when needed, and this is obvious when you see the way he does his weekly reports from the past few months as well as his perfect record with his own coop. Despite his shy personality, it seems obvious that Kency has had a huge impact on this project’s success.
That being said, we still have work to do; the 10 new families we selected need to have their coop built, trained on husbandry, bookkeeping and marketing. We would also like to open an agro shop within a month with the help of our feed and chick distributor HiPro Haiti. Later we would also love to have our very own hen barn, operated and owned by the cooperative members, allowing them to buy the chicks at a lower price, and to pay various expenses through the profits made from it.
Blog entry written by Jean-Christophe – Stay tuned for more great updates on the exciting project activities in Terrier-Rouge