Fritznel Octave, Radio Voice of the Far West, Port-de-Paix, Haiti.
As demonstrated by church leaders in the Parish of St. Mary, 52 kms from the city of Kingston, Capital of Jamaica, as well as on the Central Plateau, 137 kms from Port-au-prince, Capital of Haiti, religious congregations can collaborate with peasants in the Caribbean to help them change their conditions of living.
Seven years ago, Jesuit Fathers from Canada established an agricultural cooperative system in the Parish of St. Mary. Their goal was to help the peasants of the region organize themselves in order to improve their living conditions. The system is composed of 4 cooperatives: Long Road Cooperative, Belfield Cooperative, Fort George Cooperative and Group # 41 located in the community of Annotto Bay.
Before 1991, peasants in St. Mary used to be exploited by retailers. Moreover, they generally did not have the means needed to produce the way they should. They have always been confronted with a lack of financial support. Further, irrigation is needed to increase their level of production. Now things are getting better. The efforts of the Jesuit Fathers in St. Mary, along with support from the Canadian Church allow most of the peasants plowing the soil to take a deep breath. Read more ...
By: Odette Campbell, CERN correspondent, Grenada.
The solving of environmental problems often requires huge human and financial resources. People in Grenada joined hands to face beach erosion and marine debris, problems which also affected their fishing and recreation. With the help of Grenada’s Community Development Agency (GRENCODA), the residents of one West coast village have proven the old proverb that more hands make the work lighter.
The people of Beauséjour at Grenada’s West coast depend largely on fishing for their livelihood. In that village, as early as 4 or 5 in the morning, one can see fishermen casting their nets. One of the biggest challenges to these fisherfolks has been the gradual disappeareance of the coastline. Therefore, the community decided that they needed to protect their livelihood and sought the assistance of the GRENCODA.
According to Benny Langaigne of GRENCODA, people face two problems: “One problem results of the ravages inflicted on the beach by years of sandmining. The other is the loss of quite a number of trees, due to the encroaching sea. The beach is riddled with old dead tree stumps and logs that had fallen, and haven’t been removed. Less and less beach was available to people. Fishermen suffered because their nets got snagged at tree stumps, got ripped and torn and had to be mended.” Read more ...
Carril Desrosiers, Free-lance Journalist.
Since a number of years, Haiti, as well as some other countries of the Caribbean, faces an alarming social phenomenon: street children. In Port-au-Prince, Les Cayes, Cap-Haitian and in other urban centres of Haiti, one can see them systematically invading the streets.
Bare footed or with worn shoes, with uncut hair and wearing rags, they tirelessly criss-cross the main metropolitan roads carrying out legal, illegal and marginal activities. People attach all types of attributes to them: deprived children, tramps, thieves, delinquents, etc.
Numerous efforts to check this serious problem, attempted by institutions such as Foyer Lakay (“Home hostel”), Foyer Portes Ouvertes (“Hostel Open Doors”), Maison Arc-en-Ciel (“Rainbow House”) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), have proven insufficient up to now.
According to UNICEF representatives, the number of street children increases at an exponential and very disturbing rate. “Unfortunately, it is becoming a sizable social challenge,” said Claudette Bontemps François, in charge of a project of this organization on Children’s Rights and Children Living in Difficult Situations. Read more ...