Campus Kitchens Project started at St. Lawrence in 2010 when one of its students applied for a grant as a Senior project. It has since become a vitally important service that community members-at-large depend on for shared meals and fellowship. Every single week, 52 weeks of the year, St. Lawrence students and community volunteers turn food that would otherwise be wasted from campus dining halls and local farms into delicious, nutritionally balanced, three-course meals. Campus Kitchen inspired me to further my knowledge on the poverty that affects Haiti every day. I very interested in this topic because when I was a junior in high school I went on a service trip to Haiti and was shocked at what I saw. I wanted my main focus to be on this topic because going back to campus kitchens made me realize how lucky I am to live the life I do, and not everyone is that lucky. I also realized that the people around this area who attend campus kitchen for meals because they can't afford are a lot more fortunate than the people living in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. Many people around here are born into a poverty lifestyle and if they are motivated to do so they will most likely get out of it. They can move to a different state and have the power to control their own fate. For Haitian people however, if you are born into the poverty lifestyle, which is most cases you are, it is very likely that you will never get out of it and there is an even bigger chance that you will live like that for the rest of your life.
About Partners and Development
Partners in Development is the place I stayed at when I went to Haiti and it strives to help impoverished communities attain independence and whole life improvement. They have structurally designed sets of programs to meet the specific needs of the populations. Through economic development, children's programs, housing and medical assistance, they engage the whole community in whole-life change, ensuring a better quality of life and a more promising future. The PID trip in Haiti includes child sponsorship which is when children in the developing country often lack access to food, clothing and education. Sponsoring a child is one of the easier and most effective ways to help PID make a difference in Haiti. The sponsorship is a process in which families in the lowest tear of poverty are picked based off their background. For example: say a family lost their dad and their mother can't work because she just had her fourth baby. They are barely getting one meal on the table and most likely live on the streets or in a tiny tin house with a relative.They physically can't make money, and get into this sponsorship where one kid gets sponsored by a family with a wealthier background. PID also has service trips, emergency child funds, higher education opportunities, housing programs, medical programs, and small business programs. When I went to Haiti, I did a service trip with one of my best friends and her mom. When I was there, we worked on building a foundation for a house that was going to be housing two families. While my best friends mom worked at the clinic seeing the patients who started lining up outside at 5 in the morning just to get see by a doctor. PID has a rule that only one person from your family is allowed to get seen by the doctor at a time.
History of Partners and Development
Partners In Development was founded in 1990 by James and Gale Hull of Ipswich, Massachusetts, as an organization committed to the education and economic advancement of the developing world. Partners In Development began its mission by offering a child sponsorship program. It has expanded from sponsoring a dozen children, when the program first began, to sending hundreds of children to school. The sponsorship program lead to small business loan program and the housing program. In an effort to provide whole life improvement, a medical program was established in 2002 to provide basic medical treatment, preventive care and health education services. The clinic quickly grew to treating 6,000 patients per year, and now average 32,000 patients annually at the clinic in Haiti. PID announced in 2013, that they would be expanding their impact by starting programs in the U.S. Today they have business in Haiti, Guatemala, and Mississippi.
Haiti is the is in the top 25 for the poorest countries in the world, with two-thirds of the population are living in poverty and three-fourths of the population living under two dollars a day. Although its not entirely their fault the government that has been up and down for decades hasn't helped Haiti get any better. The capital of Haiti, Port-au- Prince is over populated with over two million people. Along with that Haiti is located geographically where hurricanes blaze through. Most of Haiti has dirt roads and most people live in tin shacks without resources to get shelter when natural disasters hit.
The child sponsorship program in Haiti is for the children in developing countries who lack access to food, clothing and education. Sponsoring a child is the most effective way to help PID make a difference in Haiti. The sponsorship is 30$ per month or 360$ dollars a year. This money provides a child with nutritional supplements, school tuition and supplies like food, shoes, and free medical care for the child's entire family. On the PID website there are two different categories of sponsorships. There are emergency children available to sponsor are the kids who aren't getting the nutritional intake they should be. Most of the kids in the emergency sponsorship section parents do not work and struggle to give their kids one meal. The other section are children who need to be sponsored for many different reasons. Most of those reasons consist of the father leaving the family and the mother not being able to work. Along with the amount of children in the family and their living conditions. Sponsorship for a child is the most effective way to help the families in Haiti because with even one child taken care of, the family has a lot less to worry about.
When going down on a service trip to help with PID there are many different steps you have to take in order to be allowed to go down. First you have to read the security measures, read the trip agreement contract and waiver. You have to get 4 shots, along with two different types of pills to bring down with you. You also need to know what to expect when traveling down there. Luckily when I went down, my friends mom was able to inform us on what to expect. Although I was informed I was still in shock when we got off the plane. We were told to keep your head down and not make eye contact with anyone outside of the airport. This was because when you step out of the airport you are swarmed by the people living in Haiti begging for money. We were also told what to expect when we got to PID. When down in Haiti the service that your group does is construction on a house. This house is made out of cinderblocks and cement. The house you are working on is not just for one family, it is actually for two families and its split in half by a wall. When I went down we were in charge of filling in the foundation of the house with huge buckets of rocks. We also helped move the cinderblocks for the people building the walls. You can also do things like shovel the rocks into buckets and make cement.
Emergency Child Funds
The emergency child fund is a donation base program at PID. The donations are used to immediately cover the cost of the milk, medicine, food, transportation, and hospital fees for the emergency children that come into the clinics at PID. Many of the children who are covered by this fund are children under the age of five. PID targets this age group because Haiti's risk of malnutrition and high mortality rates have increased due to health issues and poverty. Once a child has gone through the clinic, sponsors for that child are often searched for.
Higher Education Program
PID's main goal for the higher education program is to help students stay in school as long as they can and achieve the dream they want to achieve. Many children are forced to drop out of school because most families cannot afford to send them. The partners in development website states " In an area where professional education is often not an option due to the lack of financial resources, our Higher Education programs helps students make strides toward a better life by making technical education an accessible reality for them. We help students as they look at adult training programs, decide on their major, complete the application process, purchase school supplies and more". Partners in Development have the kids in Haiti's best interest at heart and want to do everything in their power to give them a chance at a bright future. To help the higher education program it once again relies on a sponsor to give 30$ a month or 360$ a year, but this time it will go toward school tuition, supplies, transportation and uniforms if needed. If sponsorship isn't an option you can always donate to the Sela Nelson Higher Education Fund which is for children waiting for a sponsor.
The housing program aims to help families reach their goal of living a better life in safe, adequate housing conditions. Families in the program must take part in the building process, send their children to school and have a means of supporting their family. The family will begin monthly payments on their 0% interest mortgage. Mortgage payments are then put back into the program so we can continue to help additional families and make strides to transform their community. The houses cost 3,500 to build a house from start to finish and will house two families.
A productive community is a healthy community. Too often in impoverished areas of the world, communities crumble under the weight of poor health and lack of resources. The medical clinic at Partners in Development has a big role in ending the poverty cycle. In the medical clinic many different things are being done. Documentation of health, yearly physical exams, eye exams, dental checkups, medications, vitamin and nutritional therapy, physical therapy, and sick visits are categorized as primary care. Specialized PID programs include midwife training programs, diabetes and hypertension, Emergency child delivery services, pre-natal care, and ultrasounds are also done. When I went down to Haiti, I was in a group with 4 nurses so when we went to the construction site they stayed at clinic to meet hundreds of patients. The rule for the medical clinic was one person from each family was allowed to be seen in a day. Otherwise they would never be able to see half the people that were waiting to be seen. The clinic started at nine but by seven a.m. there was a line a mile long. Usually the nurses couldn't see everyone in one day, but since they were there all week many people would come back if they weren't seen. The clinic was established informally in 2002, and it quickly grew from front porch care to a full functioning institution. In 2010, the new building was opened adhering to protocols recommended by the World Health Organization and the Department of Public Health. There are more than 26,000 patients seen per year and the numbers are continuing to grow.
Small Business Program
Considering most of Haitian families live on less than $2.00 a day and more than half the population is unemployed the thought of survival becomes a daily struggle. The small business program works exclusively with the poorest of poor who often have no credit history or collateral, meaning they cannot qualify for a bank loan. With PID using micro-credit loans, impoverished families are able to start or further develop an income- generating business so they can provide for their family.