A pastor friend from New York texted me and said, “we can do more working together with those that have the same heart; great strategic connections”. We agree! Project Nourish works on building alliances with other organizations, churches, businesses, etc. to accomplish more in the communities we serve. We just simply can’t be the best at everything, right? But if we team up, each specializing in a particular area of service, we can knock it out of the park!
For example, Project Nourish is working with an organization that builds schools to help with the teaching and scholarships. We collaborated with Samaritan’s Purse to build houses for many displaced families. There are many organizations that are passionate about caring for the poor. Also, so many individuals have a ton to offer too. A husband & wife team, both nurses, are gathering medical supplies and volunteering to go administer care at our clinic. Pooling our resources make each of us way more effective; everybody wins. Especially the families we are aiming to help!
Over the years my family has been actively involved in sponsorship programs in Haiti. My wife and I sponsored a little girl in Santo who is now a young woman and mother of her own little girl. Our relationship with Natacha continues to grow after all these years…she is family! We been able to see her go to school and positive things like that and also have seen her living in a tent after the earthquake. We were happy to be able to help her get into a more suitable living situation in the small house she and her little daughter now occupy. Self-sustenance is a theme we have in Project Nourish and we wanted it to apply in this family’s situation. A business of selling groceries was decided on and a couple of very humble attempts were made without great success. The reason was lack of oversight and training. Well, I met a nice man in Haiti a couple of weeks ago and he is fulfilling that need for mentorship. His name is Auguste and he is just a great guy! He has offered free training in business. His own business of 2-1/2 years is successful and he is transferring his knowledge and experience to someone else; helping better the community and strengthen this family. We are so grateful. He recommended not being one dimensional but rather to have diversity in business that includes electronics and selling phone minutes. Well, we’ve begun and it looks promising.
She has opened an account and is selling cell phone minutes now. I received a call from her today and could instantly hear the joy and excitement in her voice. I could tell she sees a promising future in business and she was so appreciative of the opportunity. Her business will grow and she’ll be able to support her family and provide a service to the community. It is great to be a part of this story and to have people like Auguste joining in to help stating, “When you help people in Haiti it’s like you’re helping me and I appreciate that so I want to do what I’m supposed to do.” Wow, I love his attitude.
By the way, she started our phone conversation in English with a few more English words than usual. Our friend has agreed to teach English as well and Natacha is among the few who are taking advantage of his class. Thank God for kind souls. 🙂
We had a post earlier discussing some of our business initiatives and promised some updates so here we go… I spoke with a couple of participants last night, via telephone, and found out that the one providing fishermen with supplies is a little slow because more is needed to stock an inventory…but there is some commerce happening.
(Anyone remember the old treadle sewing machines?)
Now the food supplies store seems to be doing great! The supplies are being sold and another trip to the market is on the immediate schedule to replenish the inventory! What a blessing for this young mom who is very happy to be providing for her family!
On our next trip we’ll get some new pictures of these entrepreneurs. It is so rewarding to be part of helping people succeed…isn’t it?! 🙂
“Hi” all. We’ve made some more contacts and begun relationships that hopefully prove out to be advantageous for all involved! There are a few people who have spoken to us sharing their desire to join with us by supporting our effort…and that’s exciting! It is really nice to build together and to enjoy thoughts of our potential as we work together.
Now I’ll give you an update. I received a call from a young lady that we helped start a new business. I think it was mentioned on the Sept. 7th entry, “Business Initiative”. She called to say that she began to operate the business. I asked if anyone bought anything yet and she said yes and that all the rice sold and she had to buy more! It was so exciting!! We are so happy for her and her family.
This photo shows the young lady in front of her new house/store. We are looking at a picture on my phone. Notice the small door at the left end of the building. That is where patrons purchase their goods. It is nice to see this endeavor showing early signs of success! And you contributors had a part in it!! So feel good about it with me, ok?!
This young mother of a little girl, living in the village of Santo, now lives in a new house. She was living in a tent when we last visited her village in June. Wow, is she happy for this upgrade in living conditions! The little house will have a partition built to separate one end for operating a store which will sell food and cooking products. The little window is where patrons will come to make their purchases. She plans to make a profit by purchasing in bulk from Port au Prince and selling at an increased price at her locale. Some of the profits are to be kept aside to pay back into our, or an affiliate, organization. We’ll be tracking this project closely and trying to guide it along. There are also a couple of other business projects we are involved in other locations. One is a barbeque in a small village where the locals (and me when I’m there!) will be able to purchase a ready-made meal. And yet another is a fishing supplies business which will purchase mono-filament string, hooks, etc. and sell to the fishermen who launch their boats from the beach next to the young entrepreneur’s village. It works out well for the buyer and seller which all business should!
We have a few other irons in the fire too regarding business and welcome your input. We have seen success in the motorcycle taxi business and some other ventures and look forward to seeing more success in our present endeavors.
One of our goals is to help bring communities to a place where they’re self-sustaining. Part of this effort is creating business. Just going and passing things out to people isn’t the objective here. That just creates reliance. Of course there are many types of businesses and we’ll probably explore several of them in the future.