In January 2020 members of Home Roots Foundation who live in Haiti started meeting with grassroots organizations with the aim of partnering to help improve self-advocacy and make them more effective. These members will continue to meet with local officials, associations and other stake holders about the schools, education, and economics in these areas and how to best bring about positive changes. For our first trip, we drove over 7 hours from the capital Port-au-Prince to go to Jean Rabel to meet with Organisation des Planteurs du bas Nord-Oust (OPBNO), an organization of farmers in the Northwest part of Haiti. We learned of the dire need for new equipment, roads, transportation, and the lack of basic services and resources. The significant need for change was obvious when we saw the deplorable condition of the public or “national” school. Home Roots Foundation will work with this group to help them with advocacy and acquiring new equipment as they requested.
Our next trip was to Belle Fontaine which was maybe about 1.5 to 2 hours away. However, the roads were so horrible it took us 4 hours to get there and 4 hours to return. We met with the peasant organizations Federation Groupman Plante Bel Fonten (FGPB) and Konbit Organizasyon Peyizan Devlopman Belfonten (KOPDEB). These residents inform us that the number one need for the area is—predictably–to fix the roads. We found out some students walk 3 hours to school! They next needs were for agriculture and health services. The organizations made previous attempts to work with city hall to improve the area and make the situation more bearable, but these attempts were unfruitful. Members of Home Roots will be working with these organizations and government officials to address these issues in Belle Fontaine. .