Stories of Change

Top: Jean Robert Laurent, Middle: Modelene Benoit, Bottom: Nordé Cenelus

Animals Bring Hope and Wellbeing in Haiti

In Haiti, instability exists not only in politics and society but in the environment too. Climate change is becoming more severe and as droughts become longer, harvest is harder to grow. That’s why for families like Jean Robert Laurent, livestock is more critical now than ever before.

Communities like the one Jean Robert Laurent and his family live in, are still recovering from the 2016 Hurricane Matthew and the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that struck in August 2021. In the immediate emergency response, CWS supported these communities with shelter, housing, and psychosocial and medical support. Now, as part of the long-term effort to continue supporting those affected, CWS has provided communities with livestock which means hope for families like Jean Robert Laurent’s.

A couple of years ago, Jean Robert Laurent didn’t know much about taking care of animals. Now he has a vast amount of knowledge on animal care. He told us, “I collect food for the goats during this time of drought. I’ve become more competent. I know the importance of a shelter because it protects animals against attacks from other animals and ensures they don’t get wet when it rains, and the sun does not bother them too much during the day.”

Jean Robert Laurent is just one of the 664 families that received livestock. His fellow program participant, Nordé Cenelus, shared, “Thanks to the two goats I received, which have already provided offspring, my hope has increased–since goats are worth a lot of money, and they will help me move forward.” Modelene Benoit, another program participant, is 13 years old and received two goats. She is excited for the goats to have offspring so that she can share them with the other youth in her community. She is hopeful that the income she receives through the goats will help her pay for her education.

In the midst of extreme difficulties, these animals are giving families and individuals the freedom to dream of a better tomorrow.

We are thankful for the generosity of  Latter-day Saints Charities and the six community-based organizations and nine schools in the Northwest and Grand Anse departments for their support and leadership in this initiative.