The goal of our tree nursery project was to teach our kids about the environment and the importance of planting trees. With the help from our agronomist our Bossan team kids planted 2k tree seedlings over the summer.
This project took on an even greater relevance due to the devastation caused by hurricane Matthew last October, which Haiti is still recovering from. The importance of planting trees in Haiti has long been talked about but now there appears to be evidence that they can actually reduce the likelihood and severity of hurricanes (check out this article if interested).
The Grand’Anse region which is one of the lushest areas of Haiti was the hardest hit by Matthew, the greenery and agriculture in the region was almost completely wiped out. We decided we wanted to contribute to the reforestation of the region.
Recently we loaded up a “tap tap” and buses with staff members, our Agronomist Onel, 3 coaches along with 75 kids from our communities to go plant trees from our nursery. We went to a community near Les Cayes which is 4 hours from our sites. We had one truck just for the saplings which included 1,000 plants varying from moringa, mangos and flamboyant trees.
The kids and everyone else were excited for this rare outing to do community service outside of their own communities. We collaborated with a local agronomist Yvette, and she partnered for us with a local youth group. The community we worked with is called Madan Comb, which is 15 minutes outside of Les Cayes. We spent the day unloading and planting trees and after lunch we organized a small soccer game for our kids with the local youth group. The score was not what was important but the camaraderie and the sense of community that both our kids and the kids from Madan Comb experienced were. In the end, it was a great outing for all of us.
Most of our community service projects are done within our own community. It is important for our kids, who have never left their own town, to understand the need to give back to others beyond their community. Taking our kids outside of Leogane to collaborate with other community leaders for a good cause is part of the process of creating future leaders of the country.
We plan to plant the remaining tree seedlings within our communities in the coming weeks and look to replant the tree nursery with a new crop next year.