OfC’s home in Haiti is a beautiful village of about 250 residents who have accepted us as honorary citizens. Every time we return we are welcomed as friends. The children especially love to be with our younger students. We employ a young man from the village as our property manager. It is our priority to establish and invest in a sustained relationship with this community so they see us as dependable partners and for our students to be welcomed. We have also helped to facilitate stronger relationships between the villagers and the new rice mill.
In January 2010, the Bellabe Development Committee of the Village Council welcomed the OfC faculty/students/participants to Bellabe and in Feburary the Surprise de Bellabe soccer team was formed.
In June the first Micro-credit/loan program was established – all loans have been repaid.
o Project Omega: Basket-weaver
o Kafé Roseline: Coffee roaster
OfC provided a microloan to Roseline to start a coffee-roasting business. Haitians love coffee, traditionally prepared over a charcoal or wood-fire and in the final stages mixed with a small amount of sugar to enhance the flavor. Roseline needed money to invest in tools (pots, scale, grinder, bags), obtain the raw beans and fuel, and pay for transportation to/from the markets where she buys raw beans and sells the finished coffee.
o Bellabe Cement Blocks Program
OfC is currently supporting the ODB and Village Council so that all Bellabe village children can attend school – 100% were enrolled for 2011-2012 school year. Most families will not be able to repay with money, but will instead commit to some kind of repayment plan – which could be to OfC’s property (planting crops, trees or building a fence, making repairs, etc.) or to the community.