Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Rebuilding Lives in Haiti

When the devastating earthquake hit Haiti in January, Madame Aliette Belizaire was among the millions whose lives were changed forever. In the aftermath of this horrific disaster, Madame Belizaire discovered that her daughter had been killed in the quake and her that husband was missing, leaving her with two grandchildren and eight remaining children of her own to look after. As days passed and the crisis continued, Madame Belizaire and her family made the heart-wrenching decision to leave Port-Au-Prince.

After traveling to the southwest city of Jeremie, Madame Belizaire and her family were provided a small home by the Haitian Health Foundation, where they began rebuilding their lives, growing corn and other crops to support their family. In May, Compatible Technology International (CTI) sent a food grinder to the Belizaire family. Within days of receiving this simple device, the whole family was processing crops into enough food to eat as well as to sell in the local market. The family began using the grinder to make Akasan, a corn-based porridge meal, and peanut butter, which is important for relieving malnourishment in the children of the area who have kwashiorkor - a severe protein deficiency. The family will use the grinder to feed themselves and to prepare peanut butter which they will continue to sell at the market. All of the children will be able to attend school with the money generated from these sales.

Although it's been seven months since the earthquake hit Port-Au-Prince, the extreme poverty that dictates the lives of 80% of the country continues, and the truth is, without addressing Haiti's chronic hunger and malnutrition, Haitians will continue to be vulnerable to the next earthquake, flood, or famine.

CTI is partnering with organizations in Haiti to identify communities and families that can use simple, post harvest technologies to produce more nutritious food and generate incomes. CTI needs help from supporters like you who are willing to step in when relief falls short. Donate now to contribute to CTI's efforts toward sustainable development in Haiti and around the world.