Plant With Purpose Partners with Farmers to Plant Trees Before the Rainy Season

Written by Plant With Purpose on April 23, 2010 in General

By Tenaya Wickstrand, Plant With Purpose Intern

Every Tuesday morning we have an hour long training here at Plant With Purpose where we spend time studying, discussing, and sharing ideas about transformational development. This week we had the pleasure of hearing from our Executive Director, Scott Sabin, who recently returned from a trip to Haiti. He shared his experience and informed us on the conditions in Haiti by recounting the atmosphere, and the conditions of the environment. His experiences shed a new and a more personal light on the issue for me. I have read countless articles and seen a surplus of images, but to see Scott’s pictures and hear the story behind each one gave me a new and heart-wrenching view of life in Haiti.

One photo stood out above the others. An image of just one of the 1,800 camps of displaced people in the rural areas was imprinted in my mind. More than 600,000 people are currently displaced out of Port-au-Prince. Seeing the sea of white where thousands of people sleep under tents made of simple sheets, sticks, and whatever else they could find is not one you simply forget. Few of the tents, if any, had tarps. With some of these camps in flood prone areas, the sheets are not adequate protection from the rain, and the upcoming hurricane season. The government is working to move some camps to better locations, and provide tarps, but as of now they are still in danger. This is yet another obstacle for the courageous Haitians to overcome.

The thought of thousands of people sleeping under sheets, and others with even less, shook me. It further cemented that the work we do at Plant With Purpose is so vital. The hurricane season is approaching and hundreds of thousands are vulnerable. Not only are these people barely protected, but according to a recent article in the Associated Press, this hurricane season is predicted to be more aggressive than usual, with the possibility of as many as “15 named storms between June 1st and November 30th.” This could mean even more devastation for the people of Haiti, who are still struggling to recover from the January 12th earthquake.

Part of the problem that Plant With Purpose is working to eradicate is deforestation. By constructing soil conservation barriers through our “Cash-for-Work” programs, we are helping to protect the hillsides from the hurricane season, as well as providing work for over a thousand unemployed farmers.

Plant With Purpose is proud to work alongside the Haitians as they work to reforest their land and transform their lives. Stay tuned for more updates and blog posts on Plant With Purpose’s vital work in Haiti!

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