It all began with the trouble at the Haiti-Dominican border. “The frontier shut down and we couldn’t get food,” Noe Ippoloite, a resident of Haiti’s troubled Bel Air neighborhood, explains. “We realized that we had to increase local production in order to give ourselves stability.”
As a member of the Bel Air COPRODEP, one of the municipal councils that make up the heart of PADF's Urban Participatory Development Program (PRODEPUR), Ippolite worked with his COPRODEP, as well as the neighboring Cite Soleil COPRODEP, to come up with an effective intervention. A chicken hatchery, it soon became clear, was the obvious solution.
As Rose Sylvestre, a member of the Bel Air COPRODEP explains. “We know an egg-production center would allow us to keep a durable food supply that would provide employment as well as keep costs down for the residents of some of the poorest areas of Haiti.” In that vein, the Bel Sol (Haitian creole for “beautiful sun”) hatchery was born. Sylvestre, already experienced in chicken farming, became the farm manager. Ippolite, after undergoing training, would become the Director of Marketing.
Bel Sol is located on a 19-acre plain overlooking the Caribbean Sea in Cite Soleil. The hatchery currently has 4,000 chickens producing an equivalent amount of eggs per day. Due to increasing demand, the hatchery will soon double to 8,000 chickens. As Sylvestre explains, “The project has been received extremely well by the surrounding community, in large part because it came from the community. It was the community groups that came together and came up with a solution to a clear and present problem that was directly affecting our ability to feed ourselves and our families. The power was put into our hands, with PRODEPUR and the Haitian government giving us the backup we needed to run a truly successful project.
Sylvestre continues: “Cite Soleil has had a lot of problems, problems that were often resolved with violence. But with Bel Sol it’s different-we show that when we put our heads together we are able to help our communities and raise ourselves up.
To learn more about PADF's PRODEPUR, click here