Re-Birth in The Cherry Tree Project
In the years following the devastating effects of the earthquake that struck Haiti eight years ago, Hope for Haiti has invested in people and projects with a sustainable vision to catalyze positive social impact in the Greater South of Haiti. As we recognize Haiti’s Agriculture and Labor day, we celebrate the work being done to ensure Haiti’s land and her people are cared for – for generations to come. With just one idea, and dedication, sustainable change can be born.
In 2016, Hope for Haiti hosted a business accelerator in southern Haiti, where we were introduced to an entrepreneur, Will Roche. An agronomist by trade, Will’s vision was to provide farmers in Cavaillon with cherry seedlings, aligning with three of our core programs: Nutrition, Economic Development, and Healthcare. The cherries will add much-needed vitamin C to the diets of the population (one cherry has a higher potency of vitamin c then a lime or lemon), and the flowers on the trees will attract bees to the surrounding areas, helping to replenish the bee population. In the months since he was awarded a grant of over $16,000, he has distributed over 4,000 cherry seedlings to over 400 recipients in rural communities in southern Haiti. Will also held trainings for all recipients on care and techniques, and all of the seedlings have been planted.
One recipient of seedlings, Lorincia Maccellon, is the leader of a women’s group in the town of Berret, where she was born and raised. Besides running the women’s group with over 75 members, she spends her days gardening and taking care of her two children. After receiving five cherry tree seedlings from The Cherry Tree Project, Lorincia was able to replace her cherry tree that was destroyed during Hurricane Matthew in 2016. Thanks to these seedlings, Lorincia is taking critical steps to recover from Hurricane Matthew, improving nutrition for her family, and finding ways to increase her own economic development.
May 2019 Update: After the successful launch of the Cherry Tree Project last year, Will Roche launched the Papaya Project in which he distributed 11,422 Papaya seedlings to farmers. As of May 2019, the papayas are ready for harvest and have begun to be sold in markets, bringing further economic opportunities and financial stability to the communities of Cavaillon, Morency and les Cayes. The Cherry Tree seedlings continue to mature and within the next two years the fruit will be ready for the markets.