Collaboration is in the Air: A fish story from Haiti
Over the last two years, the VFHI has embarked on a very interesting path of collaboration with Centre de Formation Fritz Lafontant (CFFL). It was late spring 2012 on another ordinary work day when serendipitously VFHI connectedto CFFL through FATEM (another partner organization). VFHI was doing research for a new strategic plan would focus efforts on a social business and was considering three different departments in Haiti to house the
project. VFHI quickly became sold on the Central department after interaction with CFFL agronomist Reginald Cean.
At this first meeting, VFHI was greeted by a young agronomist in a cowboy hat, who would soon prove to be a great ally as a natural networker and believer in a future for Haiti. After only several minutes of conversation about pathways out of poverty, the synergies between the CFFL philosophy and Vincentian were palpable. CFFL is a professional training school connected with Partners in Health through their Partner in Agriculture program (Zanmi Agrikol (ZA) in Kreyòl). CFFL aims to provide students long-term employment opportunities and avoid the trap of generational poverty. Similar to the Vincentian trait of inspiring leadership, CFFL and Zanmi Agrikol train the next generation of young Haitians to lead their communities out of poverty through innovative systemic change techniques. CFFL not only teaches technical skills but encourages ethical entrepreneurship, solid business management, and community development.
During a conversation with President of Zanmi Agrikol, Gillaine Warne and VFHI International Coordinator, Rev. Joseph Agostino, CM the enthusiasm spread and new paths of collaboration for the VFHI and the CFFL were forged. Since, the collaboration with CFFL has grown exponentially.
As a result of these conversations, the VFHI hired students in the CFFL construction program to analyze and build the new site of the aquaculture farm. The students gain on-the-ground experience, school credit, and scholarship money. Additionally, two agronomy students work side-by-side with agronomist consultant Dr. Abe Valentine to water basins that will grow fish.
“The collaboration between CFFL, ZA, and VFHI is a clear indication of the amazing things that can happen when like-minded organizations put their heads together, we look forward to our continued work with CFFL,” said VFHINational Coordinator, Regine Theodat.
Meanwhile, the Vincentian Family is raising $225,000 to sponsor 150 families through the Pathway to a Better Life program in Savanne Perdue to get the women ready to take on jobs as resellers of the harvest from the aquaculture farm. If you would like to participate, a single family can be sponsored for $1,500 in the 18- month program, directed by Fonkoze, our partner with 20 years of experience in rural Haiti. Click here for details: http://vfhi.org/donate/.
Thank you for your generosity and prayers for great success on this project designed to foster systemic change in Haiti.