Spring 2009 Newsletter — Contents
Making Money Out of Honey … p. 2
Member Profile … p. 3
Clean Water Project … p. 4
More Than Just a Grain Mill
It was an important day for ODTPG (Oganizasyon Dye Tou Puisan Gilgo) when members, Lambi Fund staff, delegation travelers, children, and community members from far and wide eagerly packed the newly constructed Grain Mill in Southern Haiti just south of Les Cayes. ODTPG, a grassroots organization dedicated to improving the community through sustainable projects and microcredit funds, orchestrated an exciting inaugural ceremony for the Grain Mill, which began with a Ra-Ra (parade) in the streets full of singing, dancing, and drums. As they made their way into the mill, nearly one hundred observers quickly filled the building, leaving many to watch the events through the windows or open doors.
This elaborate celebration of speeches, member introductions, music and theatrical performances culminated with the inaugural starting of the grain mill and a short demonstration of its machinery. Despite the harsh hurricane season and resulting dismal outputs of crops, organization and community members alike had reason enough to celebrate.
Before ODTPG partnered with The Lambi Fund of Haiti, locals were forced to travel two or three days to the nearest mill in order to have their rice and grains milled. In addition to the obvious financial burden this placed on the poor farmers from the labor lost during this trip, the roads were in poor condition and dangerous. Now, local farmers can easily and affordably have their grains milled in their community. ODTPG members provide milling services for a reasonable fee to others in the area, bringing more income to the community.
The modern machine produces high-quality milled rice and grains , allowing farmers to sell their goods at a higher price in the markets. In Haiti, these mills are run mostly by women, which further strengthen gender equity and their ability to contribute economically to their families' livelihoods. This grain mill is an exemplary model of sustainable development at work. Not just one or a handful of individuals benefit from the Lambi Fund partnership, but entire communities are lifted up and local economies strengthened.