Haiti & Dominican Republic

haiti & dominican republic

The house of Fedeline Fleurestal, a participant in a CWS and SSID community development program. Through the program, Fedeline received this new home and expanded her vegetable garden.

Our Latin America and the Caribbean team’s largest programs are in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. In Haiti, CWS continues to work with families who settled in spontaneous camps after the 2010 earthquake to rebuild their homes. A total of 279 house have been rebuilt through the program, including 57 this year. Agronomists on staff with our implementing partner Servicio Social de Iglesias Dominicanas provide technical assistance to farmers, who also receive seeds and animals including goats, cows and sheep to increase their agricultural production.

In Haiti’s Northwest department – which is the nation’s most food insecure district – CWS and implementing partner Sant Kretyen pou Devlopman Entegre support community cooperatives and associations. Members have access to microcredit and gain knowledge through training sessions about financial management and bookkeeping, elaboration of cooperative development plans and children’s rights.

In October 2016, Hurricane Matthew caused extensive losses of buildings, infrastructure, crops, animals and human lives. The CWS response included repairing and reconstructing houses in the Northwest. In conjunction with implementing partners ICEDNO, SKDE, AGEHMPDNG and GRADAID, our team repaired or rebuilt 42 houses. CWS engineers train technical teams and community members to build houses, respecting building codes in order to ensure that the houses will be more resilient in the face of future storms. Another component of our response was to distribute seeds to hundreds of farmers so they could plant again and provide for their families. This was implemented with partners SKDE, ADRUH, AGEHMPDNG and OBRED.

CWS also supports advocacy efforts to end child domestic servitude while providing direct support to a school offering accelerated education for children in domestic servitude.

In April 2017, the three-year program titled Food Security in 20 Bateyes in Eastern and Southern Dominican Republic, implemented by partner Servicio Social de Iglesias Dominicanas, ended. The program provided technical assistance to 800 Haitian-Dominican and Dominican families in the areas of crop diversification, soil management, vegetable production, marketing of surpluses, establishment and operation of seed banks and adult literacy. The program also supported five communal banks. This assistance came at a critical time: after a previous cycle of drought due to El Niño effect, a cycle of excess rains (La Niña effect) caused substantial damage to crops in 2016 and 2017.

In each participating location, community-based organizations accessed Know Your Rights training, leadership formation opportunities and support to conduct community-led advocacy on prioritized topics like education, road maintenance, rural electricity and water.

In May 2017, the CWS Board of Directors decided to honor SSID with the 2017 CWS Ecumenical Award. This award recognizes exemplary leadership in working toward the eradication of hunger and poverty and the promotion of peace and justice, including the commitment to work ecumenically in partnership and collaboration with CWS and to encourage participation in this mission.

Between Hurricane Matthew response and ongoing community development programs, CWS repaired or rebuilt
99 houses
in Haiti this year.