The best way to help MIJABA’s Bainet Village Projects?
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In order for Bainet villagers to enjoy long, healthy and happy lives, there are a few substantial challenges that our community needs to overcome:
For some villages in Bainet’s 5th district, the river is far away and can only be accessed on foot. This means that many Bainet women and children spend their days walking between the village and the river to fetch water for their families and the other villagers. As a result, many women and children do not pursue education, and spend their days walking up steep mountains in harsh conditions – all while carrying heavy basins of water. Furthermore, the river water that they drink and clean with isn’t purified. Contaminated water puts many people at risk of contracting harmful diseases from bacteria, viruses and parasitic cysts.
By investing in water filtration technology, MIJABA will help protect the community from waterborne illness, and allow more women and children to spend less time traveling to gather water, and more time learning, growing food, making goods, and building the local economy.
Two core barriers stand between Bainet villagers and the local school: geographical proximity, and money. For some smaller villages in district five, the closest school is two hours away on foot. This means young students have to wake up at 4 a.m. to walk for hours through the mountains in extreme conditions, spend the day at school, and then walk all the way back home. The beautiful, yet unforgiving, Bainet river flows between the villages and the closest school, which puts students at risk of drowning when the water is high.
Even despite the challenging commute, Bainet youth highly value the opportunity to go to school and are eager to learn. Unfortunately, sending a child to school can be a costly investment that is simply out of reach for many families. It costs US$6 per month to send a child to school. This pays for the child’s uniform, the teachers and staff, lunch and teaching supplies.
By building a local school in Bainet’s main village, children will have a shorter commute to school, allowing them to spend more time helping the community and playing outside and less time hiking.
Although Bainet offers lush forests with lots of mangoes and avocados, the mountainside villages struggle to develop sustainable agricultural practices to cultivate a wider variety of nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables. This is how Ministere Jardin (Garden Ministry) began: building organic gardens despite challenging mountaintop conditions where villagers can cultivate beans, legumes, fruit, leafy vegetables, root vegetables and potatoes.
MIJABA continues to build gardens and greenhouses throughout Bainet, and educate villagers about caring for their plants. MIJABA also invests in livestock, such as cows, chickens, rabbits and goats. Youth in the villages are taught how to take responsibility for the animals and care for them, which further develops them as leaders and empowers them to give back to the community.
Doctors are unfortunately hard to come by in Haiti. Many Haitians who complete medical school decide to leave the country in order to make more money elsewhere. As a result, many rural Haitian villages are susceptible to diseases that could have been prevented. Led by Dr. Jeff, who passed up the opportunity to work abroad, and instead works in the village where he was raised, MIJABA trains midwives and EMTs to help keep the community healthy. Dr. Jeff and the youth educate villagers about the importance of proper cleanliness and hand washing to prevent infection and disease – especially when handling newborn babies.
Teaching Bainet villagers how to prevent the spread of disease, while training medical professionals, helps to keep the community safe and healthy.
Bainet villagers are eager to grow their local economy and find ways to help surrounding communities by providing food, water, medicine and other everyday resources. They also want to share their artwork and unique skill sets, such as embroidery, with the world through international trade.
Teaching local Bainet villagers how to work together, lead, and become entrepreneurs will help the community sustain future growth for years to come.
Some Haitian villagers cut down trees and sell them to nearby cities, which process the wood into charcoal. This is a common source of income for many rural Haitians, however, it is quickly depleting the nation’s naturally lush forests.