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Vincentian Family Matching Grant

by | May 2, 2014 | Vincentian Family Haiti Initiative

350-logo-pdf-2Dear VFHI supporter,

I write you on the Haitian National Holiday of Labor and Agriculture to ask for your help to bring the skills necessary for economic activity to Savanne Perdue, La Hoye, Central Plateau. I write this letter having just returned from the Vincentian Family Haiti Initiative (VFHI) Commission meeting, where we reviewed many points of progress in the Strategic Plan. Almost 18 months ago, we embarked on an exciting new adventure to grow our strategic mission to include launching a social business. In the spirit of National Labor and Agriculture Day coinciding with the month of May for Mother’s Day, we have a special request for you to support mothers and their families.

In the summer of 2013, we were providentially introduced to an area called “Savanne Perdue,” which means the “lost Savannah” in French. This area, although close to an international marketplace with a bounty of fertile land, is extremely under-developed. This underdevelopment combined with notable potential is exactly what attracted the VFHI. VFHI started building a fish farm there last October.

This fish farm is the first seed of what we dream will be a multi-livestock farm. We hope to engage the community as active participants in the economic generating activities of the farm as resellers. The resellers will have the opportunity to acquire fish below market-value at credit.

We quickly realized through community outreach surveys, that many of the families have suffered in what is called “ultra-poverty” for so long that they do not have the skills necessary to be effective resellers. We ask your help to raise funds for a program aptly called “Chemen Lavi Miyò,” (CLM) or the “pathway to a better life.”  Two years ago, we successfully raised funds to sponsor 440 women and their families out of ultra-poverty. In the winter of 2014, the first two cohorts of 300 women graduated with a 97% graduation rate. VFHI knows that the women in this area need this program to become effective partners. Over an 18-month period, CLM trains mother heads of households to become business women who provide for their families. CLM also offers the families latrines and a water treatment system. In a survey of 389 families in the Savanne Perdue area, VFHI found 96 that utilized untreated lake water as their primary drinking source, and 226 without access to a latrine.

We hope to raise $225,000 to sponsor 150 families by summer 2014. The program costs $1,500 per family. CLM is directed by Fonkoze, our partner and reputable micro-finance institution with 20 years of experience in rural Haiti. Ten families can be sponsored for $15,000. Through CLM, Fonkoze has transformed the lives of 3,000 families living in desperate conditions in the Central Plateau.

To continue this positive progress, FAMVIN will match donations up to $25,000. To support this effort, please send a check payable to “Congregation of the Mission” addressed to me at

​ 500 E. Chelten, Philadelphia, PA 19144​ with the memo “CLM.” Or if you prefer, you may ​

 donate through our online campaign at www.zafen.org or the VFHI website at www.vfhi.org/donateWe truly appreciate your consideration and support. 

In the Vincentian spirit of justice and systemic change,


​Rev. Joseph V. Agostino, CM

International Coordinator, Vincentian Family Haiti Initiative

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