Lambi Fund: 2008 in Review
Lambi Fund is a respected NGO that supports Haitian community groups that are non violent, non partisan, and community based. At the 2009 Haitian Diaspora Unity Congress, Leonie Hermantin, Deputy Director of Lambi Fund, was given the 2009 Community Service award. Lambi Fund is involved in a number of different sectors, but it is really their work in sustainable agriculture and reforestation that won her this honor. Past recipient of the award include Jacqueline Charles of the Miami Herald and Wyclef Jean of the Yele Foundation. If you would like to learn more about Lambi Fund, attached is their 2008 annual report. The environmental and agricultural sections are copied below.
In 2008, Lambi Fund partnered on 20 new and continuing peasant-led projects in the rural areas of Haiti including potable water, reforestation, grain mill, pig and goat breeding, organic farms, and micro lending projects. Of these projects, perhaps the most interesting is the Million Tree Campaign through which Lambi Fund is attempting to build a grassroots reforestation movement. The campaign focuses on raising awareness of the root causes of deforestation, educating communities about ways to address the problem, and mobilizing and supporting local communities to plan and implement reforestation programs.
As part of this program, the Platform for Environmental Defense and for the Defense of the Socio-Economic Interest of Gwomon (PEDISEG) is a federation of 56 grassroots organizations with over 4,200 members near Gwomon. They are planting 180,000 fruit and forest trees to reforest the badly eroded area. Lambi Fund purchased the seeds and the materials to construct the tree nurseries, and provided reforestation and organizational development training. The members constructed the tree nurseries, planted the seedlings, and educated the residents about the needs for reforestation.
In addition, the Center for Plantain Propagation has become a training space for community organizations who want to learn more about plantain cultivation using the cutting edge PIF method. The Center is a source where healthy plantain trees can be purchased by local community groups. Lambi Fund supplied the plantains, seed germinator, tree nursery, training and meeting space.
The 125 active members of the Small Farmers Association of Desdunes significantly increased their production of rice with the use of motorized tillers, resulting in increased sustainability. Lambi Fund purchased two motorized tillers and provided training on tiller operation and maintenance, project man- agement and organizational development. The members also planted 20,000 trees to aid in reforestation efforts.
The 76 members of the God is All Powerful Organization of Gilgo (ODTPG) increased their sustainability with a community-run rice mill. Lambi Fund purchased the materials needed to build the mill and provided training on mill operation and business management. Members provided the labor to build the mill. The members planted 20,000 trees to aid in reforestation efforts.
The 500 members of the Association of Young Peasants from Belfonten (AJPB) improved pea, corn, millet, and peanut crop output and food security with the establishment of a seed bank. This provides farmers access to inexpensive seeds of high quality around the planting season. Lambi Fund provided the seeds, tools and training. AJPB sells these seeds at an affordable cost to all of Belfonten’s farmers. The members also planted 20,000 trees to aid in reforestation efforts.
The 36 members of the Federation of Organizations of Young Technicians of Taivant (ROJETAT) raise corn, peas, millet, peppers, and spinach. They worked to implement an ox plowing service to cultivate the land more efficiently and to generate income by renting out the services to other members of the community. Lambi Fund purchased three plows, six oxen, tools and provided veterinary care. Lambi Fund also provided training on project management techniques, ox plow use and maintenance, and sustainable agriculture. Non-members rent the service at full price and ROJETAT members are able to rent the service at a 20% discount. The members also planted 20,000 trees to aid in reforestation efforts.
The 75 members of the Ti Komite Legliz, Oscar Romero (TKL/Oscar Romero) farming organization previously had to raise beans, corn, cabbage and tomatoes on plots of land cultivated exclusively by hand plows. Members established an ox plow service which has greatly improved crop productivity. Lambi Fund purchased six oxen and plows, trained the operators and trained the members on project management and organizational development. The members also planted 20,000 trees to aid in reforestation efforts.
There are so few organizations that are supporting environmental protection and agricultural promotion programs in communities throughout Haiti. Lambi Fund is one of them. Regardless of sector, the Lambi Fund emphasizes leadership development, especially for women. Doing so builds the capacity of communities so they can take a greater role in addressing development challenges.
Take a look at the Lambi Fund website. Here you can use Google Earth to view where Lambi Fund supported projects are located, read the Spring 2009 Update, and follow their blog. From time to time, Lambi Fund takes delegations of interested indviduals to Haiti in order to learn more about the country and community development. There is also a section on getting involved that explains ways you can support Lambi Fund, either with your time or donations.