On the Ground with: Lambi Fund of Haiti

Sowing the seeds of independence.

Rural Haitians are caught in a vicious cycle of poverty. Nearly 80% of Haiti's population lives on less than $2 a day, barely enough to survive and certainly not enough for small farmers to launch successful income-generating businesses. Many Haitian peasants are forced into unfair sharecropping agreements with wealthy landowners because they lack the capital and resources to start out on their own.

Seeding grassroots change

Lambi Fund of Haiti, a long-time AJWS grantee, is truly providing the seeds for independence. It is donating high-quality seeds to two women's peasant organizations to help them build seed banks for their farming communities. This is a gift that keeps on giving: after the initial input by Lambi Fund, from which the first harvest will be planted, the farmers will replenish the banks each year with home-grown seeds. The annual crops will dramatically improve farmers' ability to feed their families directly, and the surplus will be sold at the marketplace, generating capital to increase the community's self-sufficiency.

Empowering rural communities, overcoming discrimination

Paired with this project, Lambi Fund will hold a series of regional trainings to further empower rural communities to overcome discrimination, to fight for their rights and use their skills to change discriminatory government policies.

Hunger fast facts:

  • In the past five years, Lambi Fund has supported 100 peasant-led projects that trained over 12,500 people in sustainable agriculture, animal husbandry, reforestation and leadership skills.
  • Lambi Fund's activities have impacted over 150,000 community members, many during the hurricanes in fall 2008. 

Voices of Change:

While I am a bit nervous about the country's current economic condition, I am extremely thankful that, unlike my counterparts in neighboring villages, I no longer feel hopeless and dependent on others. Life is still hard for me, but I am hopeful… I have my own business and my children will not starve.

—Fifine Jean Louis, recipient of a Lambi Fund micro-loan

This project has taught us how to protect our fields and the surrounding mountains so that we have more crops, cleaner water and less erosion. Through Lambi, we have the power to make better lives for ourselves.

—Farmer

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