Our vision is a community where individuals cannot just survive,
but truly thrive in the pursuit of
We know that good primary care cannot be successful in isolation, in a resource poor environment like rural Haiti. When our patients leave the clinic many have limited access to a nutritious diet or educational and economic opportunities to support their families,which limits their ability to thrive. As we strive to treat the whole patient, acknowledging the complex web of biological, social, and environmental factors that impact human health, we have developed a number of community development programs that integrate our clinical services to maximize impact.
Education opens doors. SRHF believes that every child has the right to an education, and because primary and secondary school is not free or guaranteed in Haiti, we have established an educational sponsorship program. Through this program we cover tuition costs and and provide a stipend to families to ensure that they are able to provide food to nourish their children and families and provide the materials necessary for students to be successful.
In addition last year we established a University Scholarship Program through a generous grant from the Flatley Foundation. We were able to send 17 students, many graduates of our educational sponsorship program, with full financial support. This is a dream previously unreachable for the children of the Saint Rock community and we are thrilled to be able to continue to provide this opportunity into the future.
Many women aspire to have their own business yet lack the necessary funds. Microloan programs have been shown to be an affective way of providing financial support and literacy in developing communities around the world. In May 2008, the first Saint Rock Haiti Foundation microloans were awarded. Many women throughout the community applied for $60 loans to start retail businesses, of which 20 were selected. With a 97% re-payment rate, the program teaches accounting skills to loan recipients as they begin building their small businesses. The program now has 110 women and 3 men enrolled. These small businesses provide the income which allows parents to send their children to school and support their families.
Throughout Haiti unsafe water and poor sanitation exacerbate an already high maternal and infant mortality rate. After several years of research and testing, construction on the clean water initiative began in 2009. The project is now pumping water from a clean mountain spring to several cisterns spread throughout the community. The local cisterns free up women and children from the days hike up the mountain to retrieve water for their family and have helped to greatly reduce the risk of water-borne illness for our patients. We regularly test the water in the cisterns to ensure it is safe to consume.
To maintain their livelihood, inhabitants of Saint Rock primarily rely on subsistence agriculture. To support the community in a challenging landscape that is very steep with loose topsoil prone to landslides, SRHF has slowly expanded our community agriculture initiatives.
We began with a goat husbandry program in 2006 with an initial investment of 25 goats and the cultivation of grass for their feed. Families who receive a goat are asked to give the first baby goat to another family in the community, through this model the program has become self sustaining. There are now over 140 goats roaming the mountainside providing milk, meat, fertilizer and income to 75 families and these numbers continue to grow.
We also support six community gardens throughout the region we serve which provide nutritious vegetables to families with children enrolled in the clinic's malnutrition prevention program.
The latest agricultural initiative being developed is an egg-laying chicken program, which will introduce more protein in to the local diet and will also fold into the clinic's malnutrition prevention program. To date several individuals have enrolled in a veterinary seminar to learn how to raise and provide basic veterinary care. These individuals received the first chicks in 2016 and they have begun to lay eggs! The goal for this program is to grow into a community cooperative coop that will also provide economic opportunity for the community.