Keystoners Go to Haiti
At the end of February, Gretchen, Taylor and I, along with seven other Sumner County women, took a trip to Haiti with the KORE Foundation. KORE Foundation has been a Keystone client for several years, and we took this opportunity to take the short trip down to Haiti to see their work in action.
About KORE Foundation
KORE works in Haiti to break the cycle of extreme poverty. They do this by working to encourage and provide hope for today, tomorrow and eternity.
Hope for Today
For $6.25 a month, KORE can add animal protein to the diet of a malnourished, Haitian child. This is important because children that are fed diets containing animal protein show improved physical growth and cognitive function. The poultry is purchased from KORE small holder farmers (see below). This focused approach helps sustain poultry production while meeting the need of malnutrition.
What we Saw and Did…
We visited three orphanages that receive chicken from the 6.25 program. All the children we met were ready to tell us their names, learn our names, give hugs, and do art projects. A game of Duck Duck Goose defeated the language barrier and provided laughs on both sides as the kids chased us around the circle. During our visits, we also conducted medical evaluations and sang Jesus Loves Me over and over again.
Hope for Tomorrow
KORE provides a small business loan to a family or individual to start a chicken coop business. On average, this increases their annual income 4-6 times in the first year. As the loans are repaid, the money is reinvested giving another Haitian living in extreme poverty the opportunity to start a business.
What We Saw and Did…
We met two KORE chicken farmers, Nalia and Joseph. As they talked about their chicken coops, the pride in their work and the hope for their futures shined through their eyes. Not only are the farmers increasing their income, but they are also raising the chicken that will feed the kids in KORE’s 6.25 program. It truly is a full circle approach to helping Haiti, and we were honored to see it.
Hope for Eternity
KORE has designed outreach opportunities to share the Gospel through discipleship training for small holder families and programs for the 6.25 Feeding Program recipients.
What We Saw and Did…
Before we left, we asked our friends and family to donate fun items that you can’t get in Haiti. Think beauty samples, fun pens and paper, and candy … you know the $1 section at Target. With these donations, we made gift bags for some of the women missionaries serving in Haiti. We also had the wonderful opportunity to meet two of those missionaries, Sue Witt and Jan Stevens. They told us about their journey in Haiti, and we prayed for them and their continuing work for the people of Haiti. We also prayed over the farmers and with the kids at the orphanages.
A Few Fun Memories from Haiti
- We loved the colorful tap-taps of Haiti. These vehicles are like buses carrying Haitians where they want to go. When someone wants to get off, they just “tap tap” the vehicle.
- We attended a Haitian church on Sunday morning. While it was 95% in Creole, it was beautiful to pray and worship with our Haitian friends. The two boys in front of me even fought over the crackers and water in their mother’s purse, reminding me that our joys and struggles of motherhood are very similar despite our cultural differences.
- Taylor wanted to take a baby goat home with her, but well .. something about customs.
- Gretchen added a little bit of humor to every conversation. The last day of our trip was her birthday, and American Airlines wished her birthday wishes (after our group of 10 ladies sang to her once we landed).
- KORE has a guest house called “The Coop.” Staying at this welcoming and quaint house is like going to grown-up camp. Gretchen and I both took bottom bunks, but we forced young Taylor up to the top bunk.
- I will never forget this adventure with Taylor, Gretchen and all the ladies that went with us. We are forever changed after spending time in this beautiful country with some of the most hopeful, joyful people we've ever met.
If you would like to see the beauty of Haiti as well as the sustainable solutions KORE Foundation is working to provide, we encourage you to plan a trip. Learn more on KORE’s website at www.korefoundation.org.
Go and Do!