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EDEM NEWS

SPRING 2016

EDEM NEWS Printemps 2016 | Nouvelles d’EDEM | Ile-a-Vache, Haiti

EDEM’s Mission EDEM Foundation is a nonprofit organization supporting the education of children and delivering community-based, integrated, and sustainable development assistance to Southern Haiti by partnering with local communities, municipalities, a n d i n t e r n at i o n a l i n s t i t u t i o n s . EDEM is Haitian Kreyol for Help Me.

Je a n - Pa t r i c k Lu c i e n , founder of EDEM, recipient of two awards On January 9, 2016, Jean-Patrick Lucien, founder of EDEM Foundation, received the prestigious Haitian-American United Inc. Award for his innovative

PhotoCredit:VBS Photography

EDEM’s New Farm in Pradel Haiti is currently facing one of the worst food-insecurity crisis since 2001. Its causes are complex, ranging from global warming and its consequent drought affecting tropical countries, the parceling of land into small plots, the aging work force as youth leave the countryside, and the reliance on old methods and archaic tools. The cost of food represents more than fifty percent of a family’s expenditure. The crisis is compounded by the fall of the Haitian gourdes vis a vis the US dollar. As Haiti imports most of its consumer goods, the weakening of the currency makes it even more difficult for a family to meet its daily nutritional need. Every Monday and Thursday resellers from St. Jean and Les Cayes bring their goods from the mainland to the local market of Ile-a-Vache, competing with the limited crops that are produced on the island. With the support of the Kellogg Foundation, EDEM opened a new farm in June 2015. It provides local merchants with crops that can compete with those from the mainland and help stem the flow of

EDEM Foundation is a Project of United Charitable Programs, Inc., a Registered 501(c) (3) Public Charity PhotoCredit:VBS Photography

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EDEM NEWS

approaches to promoting sustainable development and social business ventures on the island of Ile-a-Vache. Today EDEM programs on the island include Ecole du Village elementary school, a Women I n i t i at i v e Pro g ra m , a Yo u t h Development Center, and the Farm Training Center. At the same venue, Jean-Patrick Lucien was awarded as well a G o v e r n o r ’s C i t a t i o n f ro m Charles Baker and Karyn Polito, Governor and Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts, in recognition of his commitment and service to the Haitian community in diaspora, and of his ability to link local supporters and investors to programs in need in Haiti

J e a n Pa t r i c k L u c i e n l i v e s i n Massachusetts and is the founder of Ile-a-Vache Development Group www.iavdg.com which operates the Pradel Farm and the Vacation Village resort. He is also the founder and d i r e c t o r o f E D E M Fo u n d a t i o n www.edem2.org

SPRING 2016

Tony at the farm

imported produce.The farm, located in the community of Pradel, sits on 7.5 acres in its initial phase and will expand to over 25 acres in the upcoming years. It is managed by local leader Sauny Pierre, technician Merinord and agronomist Jackson BonneAnnee. Besides producing crops, the farm also serves as a seed bank for fruit trees and vegetable suited to the island, and the seeds are made available to local growers.

Ample crops of eggplant, black bean, green pepper, cabbage, and hot pepper have been grown on the farm for the last three months allowing local merchants to bring the produce directly to their island customers. Even merchants from the mainland are now calling and placing orders. You will enjoy watching a short YouTube video of the farm activities at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DAlyTGnhJU The Pradel farm intends to include youths and children in its activities and to promote the agricultural sector to this new generation. Eight students from an agricultural school in Les Cayes are scheduled to start a one-month internship on the farm. They will work with local youth and encourage them to pursue this sector. Another of EDEM’s projects is to promote agri-tourism, attracting visitors to the farm and encouraging them to purchase and/or distribute fresh produce back home. EDEM is seeking partners to support the installation of a 5-kilowatt off-grid solar system to support an irrigation system crucial to the success of the farm. The Self-Reliance group, a non-profit organization ba sed on Cape-Cod, Massachusetts, is spearheading the fundraising effort. Please visit https://www.crowdrise.com/bringingcleanelectri/fundraiser/isleavache and consider making a donation to support the farm and its future by helping us acquire the much-needed 5-kilowatt solar system. EDEM wishes to thank the Kellogg Foundation and other partners who have supported the Pradel farm and have already brought some relief to the food crisis in Haiti.

EDEM Foundation is a Project of United Charitable Programs, Inc., a Registered 501(c) (3) Public Charity

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EDEM NEWS

SPRING 2016

Welcome US Naval Academy! ……………………………

EDEM Foundation is pleased to welcome US Naval Academy as a new partner. US Naval Academy is no stranger to Ile-a-Vache: two years ago Mr. Fritz Cezar, mayor of the island, approached Ethan Lust, Professor of Mechanical Engineering at USNA, hoping to deal with the invasion of plastic bottles washing from the mainland onto the shores of Ile-a-Vache.

Professor Ethan Lust and J-P. Lucien

USNA students worked under the direction of Mr. Lust, designing an incinerator to burn the trash. The model is engineered in such a way that excess heat from the incinerator can be used to filter water and act as a clean water treatment. Fast forward to 2015: several people, including Professor Thomas Lennon from Mass Maritime Academy and Katherine Ashton, an engineering student at the U.S. Naval Academy who had worked on the incinerator, saw the potential of a US Naval Academy and EDEM Foundation partnership and contacted Patrick Lucien. Ethan Lust and Mr. Lucien met and discussed possibilities. They traveled together to Ile-a-Vache in October 2015 for Professor Lust to assess EDEM’s projects and to look at the program already in place with the students of Mass Maritime (see p. 5).

Professor Lust spent six days on the island visiting the farm project and the local market among other sites, gathering data to bring back to his students. The good standing of EDEM Foundation’s programs and the existing partnership with Mass Maritime convinced him that US Naval Academy and EDEM could become excellent partners. It did help that all logistics were already in place to welcome US Naval Academy students to Ile-a-Vache. At the moment, USNA students have been assigned to design a family farm kit. The kit will allow a household to grow food in its own backyard garden, providing some relief from the food insecurity now affecting Haiti. Work on the incinerator is ongoing, and students are also devising a model to improve transportation of goods within the island. A first group will soon be visiting Ile-a-Vache. EDEM Foundation is proud of its new partnership with US Naval Academy. It welcomes its students, whose engineering designs are bound to shape positively the development of the island. Arrival on the island

EDEM Foundation is a Project of United Charitable Programs, Inc., a Registered 501(c) (3) Public Charity

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EDEM NEWS

SPRING 2016

It Takes a Village ……………………………

Every morning more than 2000 families wake up on Ile-a-Vache ready to make the best of the day. But determination alone is rarely enough under difficult conditions. As EDEM expanded its projects to various parts of the island it became clear that bringing the community together, listening to people’s needs and pooling their ideas would lead to better results. It does take a village.

Community Leaders meeting at Village Vacances

In June 2015, on the occasion of a couple’s retreat organized by therapist Bernadette Henry-Lucien and her husband, EDEM founder Jean-Patrick Lucien, a group of men began discussing family issues on Ile-a-Vache. They proposed to bring their concerns to the leadership of the island. This involved convening a meeting of leaders seeking public office in the upcoming October election. On August 21, 2015 Edem Foundation coordinated such an assembly for the first time, gathering members of seven political parties running for the mayor’s office, thirteen individuals running for local office, and an additional ten members of the local civil society.

EDEM organized the logistics and prepared the agenda, while Vacation Village, a local eco-tourism resort, offered its venue and a meal to the guests. Lawyer Maitre Nestor Destil and Pastor Joseph Saun conducted the meeting. As is customary in rural Haiti, Pastor Saun started the meeting with a prayer, and Maitre Destil established its rules. People introduced themselves, explaining why they were running and hoping to be elected. Patrick Lucien then brought up the main topics of the day—education, health, economic development, infrastructure, youth development and local governance—with the intent of identifying major concerns and of discussing them with local leaders. The most pressing issues raised were access to clean drinking water for the whole population; completion of the local high school by the central government; a uniform education system on the island and the cost reduction of school materials; additional health care centers; improvement of local housing infrastructure and transportation to and from the island; improvement in school infrastructure especially sanitation facilities; support for the local economy through access to credit; training for farmers; access to the tourism market by the local population; special attention to youth; and participation of the local civil society in the governance of the island. The meeting ended with EDEM’s proposal to help local leaders continue meeting, seeking solutions and developing consensus. EDEM also offered assistance in establishing a community council to support the newly elected mayor, and in encouraging all organizations active on the island to work together with the mayor’s office and the council. EDEM is seeking partners willing to assist local leaders in setting and accomplishing the goals so needed for the improvement of the village in their care. A complete report of the meeting is available for anyone interested in supporting this effort. Please contact Patrick Lucien at Patrick_lucien@edem2.org for more information.. EDEM Foundation is a Project of United Charitable Programs, Inc., a Registered 501(c) (3) Public Charity

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EDEM NEWS

SPRING 2016

Mass Maritime Did It Again …………………………… For the second time in as many years, Massachusetts Maritime Academy sailed to Ile-a-Vache, strengthening its existing partnership with EDEM Foundation. Prior to sailing, Professor Thomas Lennon and other school representatives communicated with Port Authority and Coast Guard officials in Haiti; Professor Lennon and Jean-Patrick Lucien also paid a visit to the US Embassy in Port-au-Prince, all to insure the smooth arrival of the TS Kennedy to the island on January 11.

The TS Kennedy arrives to the island

Eight students had already settled on Ile-a-Vache a few days earlier to plan the logistics for the distribution of goods donated by Mass Maritime and EDEM Foundation. The students did a very efficient job of forward flowing the merchandise, earning well-deserved course credit back in Massachusetts: over 13,000 diapers, donated by CVS Pharmacy, were delivered to a local orphanage. Even though they had been defeated five times by the local soccer team the year before, Mass Maritime students had enthusiastically collected tons of soccer gear, cleats, and balls in the US. These were handed to the mayor’s office to support a new soccer program. In addition, more than thirty computers and laptops donated by Mass Maritime were distributed to the mayor’s office, to EDEM’s new farm, and to a cybercafé about to open in the community of Bois Mouton. EDEM Foundation also took advantage of the ship’s passage to bring various agricultural goods contributed by Johnny's Selected Seeds, an employee-owned company based in Winslow, Maine.

This time around, the ship was able to anchor a lot closer to the island, giving Fritz Cezar, mayor of Ile-a-Vache, Peter Mulrean, US Ambassador in Haiti, Professor Lennon, and Jean-Patrick Lucien the opportunity to come aboard for a welcoming lunch offered by the ship’s captain. Ambassador Mulrean, a Roxbury native, was particularly proud to see a ship from Massachusetts sailing to Haiti with such a load of humanitarian donations. Officials from the Haitian Coast Guard and the Port Authority also attended the luncheon and were honored for the part they played in this endeavor. The TS Kennedy’s visit, with some 700 Mass Maritime students aboard, was deemed a great success by all. There is talk already of turning this visit into a yearly event. We look forward to the opportunity of welcoming more equipment and goods to the island and of supporting organizations seeking a sustainable path to development in Ile-a-Vache.

US Ambassador and Port Authority officials on board

J-P Lucien, Mayor Fritz Cezar and Professor Thomas Lennon

EDEM Foundation is a Project of United Charitable Programs, Inc., a Registered 501(c) (3) Public Charity

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EDEM NEWS

SPRING 2016

Let There Be Light ……………………………

Sirona Cares is a non-profit organization founded in 2009 to tackle energy poverty, one of the world’s most pressing community issues. Sirona provides small-scale solar installations allowing communities without access to energy infrastructure to produce their own power. In partnership with Sirona, EDEM Foundation recently brought to Ile-a-Vache a solar-charging system capable of providing basic lighting to 200 homes. While this system does not solve the major energy issues facing the island, it allows these families to light up their homes for five hours a night, giving adults a chance to carry on their duties into the evening and children to do their homework. The system is also equipped with a phonecharger system and a flashlight, helpful in case of emergency. The program is currently managed by Figaro Pierre, a young leader member of the EDEM team on the island. Families pay a small fee—less than $3.00 a month—to take the kit home and they can bring it to be recharged at no cost. EDEM would like to thank Sirona Cares and the members of the community who are gradually welcoming this technology into their home.

EDEM Foundation is a Project of United Charitable Programs, Inc., a Registered 501(c) (3) Public Charity

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EDEM NEWS

SPRING 2016

Please Invest in our Efforts We are thankful to all people and organizations who have partnered with us in the past and who have visited and worked in ile-a-Vache. If you are an organization, a school or individual looking to start a new partnership or willing to explore a new world, we encourage you to consider this beautiful island. EDEM will work with you throughout the process. Contribute to the farm. Besides the need for the generator your contribution, in kind or monetary, will assist us pay our farmers, acquire tools, seeds, and ameliorate our distribution system. Contribute energy supplies and school materials. Massachusetts Maritime Academy is ready to carry goods over to Ile-a-Vache in January 2017. Collect now and contact us at contact@edem2.org To make a monetary contribution you may go online to www.edem2.org and click on the yellow donate link; if you prefer, send a check to EDEM, P.O. Box 3313, Framingham, MA 01705 We can be reached at anytime at contact@edem2.org

EDEM Foundation is a Project of United Charitable Programs, Inc., a Registered 501(c) (3) Public Charity

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Edem newsletter 2016  

EDEM FOUNDATION 2016 Newsletter www.edem2.org

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