Stories of Change

Ruthelaine Destin. Photo courtesy AGEHPMDNG

Small Investments Lead to Big Joy

Throughout 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic took a catastrophic toll. Haiti’s Northwest department was no exception. Unemployment soared, and people lost their livelihoods. This meant that many people spent what little savings they had.

When planting season arrived in November, farmers had fields that they had prepared to plant. But many couldn’t afford to buy the seeds that would go in those fields. CWS and our partners knew that a small boost now would lead to a huge impact for families when harvest season rolled around. So we provided seeds to 100 farmers. These seeds were short-cycle, which means that they would be able to harvest sooner. Of the 100 farmers, 70 were women. The seeds they received to plant included corn, peanuts, black beans, white beans and lima beans. 

Now, five months later, farmers are reimbursing us with part of their harvests. These repayments will ensure that seeds are available for future planting seasons if farmers need the boost again. Each farmer pays back 1.5 times the number of cans of seeds they received. 

Gedeon Sidernier received peanuts and corn to plant.  When he came to reimburse corn, Gideon said: “With one can of corn received, I was able to harvest a yield of 80 cans.” 

Ruthelaine Destin is a single mother of three. When she came to our partner AGEHPMDNG to reimburse her seeds, she said:

“In November I received corn, black and white beans, and lima beans. It was a good moment for me to receive this, because my land was prepared, but I had no money to buy seeds. [AGEHPMDNG and CWS] gave us seeds to plant. I had nice crops, good crops. I have already harvested black and white beans and lima beans. Even though the harvest of black and white beans could have been better, it was still good.

They gave me one can of beans, with which I made a yield of 6 cans, without counting what I have eaten and donated to others. As for lima beans, I made 14 cans out of 1 can. I shared with others, I sold a part, I paid for school for my children, and I used part for our own consumption. On top of that, I have 14 cans saved.

They gave me one can and now I have come to reimburse 1.5 can, while the rest is mine to keep, so that I can take care of my family and our daily needs. That makes me really happy, because this season, even though I had finished preparing my land, it looked like I was not going to be able to plant.

With these seeds, I am doing well. Right now, I am harvesting the corn. If you go to my house now, you will see the bags of corn. Once I am done harvesting the corn, I will reimburse three cans, because they gave me two cans. This is my joy and this will help me advance, because I am progressing thanks to this group that gave us these seeds. My lima beans are already giving a second harvest. If you look at them, it seems they are beans that have just been planted, giving such a good yield, while I already harvested them once.”

With a small investment, a huge harvest of joy is underway right now. Thank you, CWS family, for making these stories possible!