… work is an act of worship. When people seek to fulfill their callings by glorifying God in their work, praising Him for their gifts and abilities, and seeing both their efforts and its products as an offering to Him, then work is an act of worship to God… (Fikkert and Corbett, When Helping Hurts)
We have exciting news for our supporters–the egg production cooperative in Asifa has officially begun and literacy training is underway in Jolimet (Asifa & Jolimet are two communities where we work and minister). We sincerely thank you for your investment in these projects and hope that you will enjoy this update on what your support is doing in our community here in Gonaives. Please feel free to share this update with others. As the project continues to develop successfully we have many new and continued financial needs–Luke Brouwer, Field Director
The progress in the egg cooperative has been rapid. This is a really motivated group of people and it shows! We are all the way through the cooperative development process and the group has chosen a name and held its first annual general assembly. KOPEDAG ( translates to “Production Cooperative Hope for Tomorrow of Asifa Gonaives) is now waiting for FIDA/pCH and HOPE to finish preparations with the budget and business plan in order to go back to them for discussion–so that as they put it, “they can get to work!”
One of the exciting things about our involvement in this process is getting to be a part of developing something that the people own and are actively involved in the process of decision making. The cooperative model creates a system in which there are checks and balances. If the system is learned and respected then there is tremendous opportunity for people to pool their resources, investing both their time and money to create a business.
The group you see here is part of the unique story that is developing as part of our cooperative project. This group represents the administration of KOPEDAG ,as well as, the surveillance committee, who holds the administration accountable. This group includes 5 pastors from our community including Pastor Charlestin Violent (furthest to the right of the photo) who was voted in as president of KOPEDAG. Through our cooperative project God has seen fit to provide us with an opportunity to partner with Christians in our community and to help pastors develop personal income as most Haitian churches are unable to support their pastors. This also means that the administration of the cooperative are people with some education and experience.
Please enjoy the following letter written to you from the newly formed administration of KOPEDAG:
Ladies and gentlemen,
The administrative council of the” KOPERATIV PWODIKTÈ ESPWA POU DEME ASIFA GONAYIV(KOPEDAG)” is happy to thank you for the technical and financial support you have made available to us to help us become what we are today.
As you know, the fight against poverty and underdevelopment will be won only by the solidarity and common sharing of values and skills for the creation of wealth.
This is exactly what we are doing here in the community of Asifa. We must thank you for the technical support allowing us to establish our own cooperative to serve as a legal structure for the development of our business.
Continuing to count on your partnership, the administrative council of “KOPEDAG.”
Ladies and gentlemen please accept our thanks and most respectful greetings.
You may remember that Jolimet is the other community we are working in, which lies directly behind our home. This community is deeply broken by poverty and lacks any real leadership. In many ways it represents one of the saddest situations in Haiti, as many of those who live there have left unsuccessful farms for the city and have essentially become squatters with little hope. One of the first steps to take toward development in a community like this is literacy training. Literacy provides a way to begin to investing in the lives of the people, encouraging them to grow, and to experience their dignity as image-bearers in a new way. It has also proved to be an effective way to develop leaders–people the community can respect and look up too.
The pictures you see here really say it all. There are three learnings centers with about 20 members in each, with ages ranging from young people in their 20’s to a surprisingly large group of older folks, some well over 70. I have been out to visit the centers multiple times and it is hard to describe what its like to watch elderly Haitians–most of whom have suffered loss in their lives in ways we can only imagine–learning to sound words out and print the letters of their names. Finally, let’s not forget that for many of these folks the first book they will start trying to read is the Creole Bible!
We are committed to orphan prevention, or stated positively, family preservation. We are committed to this because of our own experience running an orphanage in Haiti, our belief that God has ordained the family, and finally because there is evidence that both in Haiti and across the world, orphanages and other forms of residential or institutional care are harmful to the healthy development of children and are often an inappropriate solution to an economic problem. We believe that institutional care should be a last resort!
Material poverty, lack of access to services, and a desire to educate their children drive parents to place their children in orphanages in Haiti.
Our approach includes education scholarships, medical care for the families, economic development, and gospel proclamation. Cooperatives (economic development) are a vital part of the solution for families to be able to stay together and be on a path towards self sustainability.
You can help us continue to keep children out of orphanages and with their families by making a tax-deductible gift. Use the red button on this page or visit donateforhope.org.