Our organization’s mission has
been two-fold: 1. address the
development of the economy of the mountain farmers (women and men and children) and 2. identify means for
retention of youth in the zone by cooperatively improving quality of life through new technologies, modeling new methods in schooling and offering training in
practical skills, that would be attractive to youth – particularly girls and
Goals of “If Pigs
Could Fly” which have evolved (and been refined in collaboration) over the past decade include: bringing college youth in limited numbers to learn from (not “teach to”) mountain peoples; developing a peanut butter project,
run by Haitian women, to make and produce “mamba” and serve in a local school;
introduce “hands-on-math” with manipulative objects to rural Haitian teachers; studying the implementation of solar power with local residents, to improve
access to water; seeking out and develop alternatives to agricultural work, in fields of upland and over-planted small plots with increasingly low yields.
Field work and the farming market- based economy, is gender-neutral. Hunger is an "Equal Opportunity Employer,"
and all hands are needed to haul and carry and eke survival out of steep hillside plots.
"Sew What?" Sewing and embroidery for women and girls.
Among alternatives to agricultural work in a depleted soil, the most promising
effort currently is our recent pilot project, providing sewing and embroidery training for girls and young women, our
Project “Sew What?"
Women - and men - carry 3 new treadle sewing machines across the rivers and up to Mon Bouton!
A visiting Haitian American volunteer shares a collection of buttons and bows for baby clothes the young women will be sewing on our treadle Singer sewing machines (courtesy of INDEPCO in Port au Prince and CEO Hans Garoute).
A trainer shows us how to make a paper pattern from our cloth shift.
Below, two girls learn to use a treadle sewing machine. This "bipedal locomotion" is necessary as one machine was in need of
repair and a visit from a repair "person" (We hope to have one of our young women trained in machine repair in future.).
One among many beautiful embroidery sam
ples introduced by trainer, Veronique.
Next, one of the small conference satchels produced (with the collabration of SOLTEX in Port au Prince and CEO Roosevelt Gabriel Jean) for the Haitian Studies Conference, 2011.
Projects in the domains of "Air, Fire, Earth and Water"
- Water – Develop and improve access to water
- Fire - Bring alternative energy technologies - solar panels, WorldStoves, solar-powered water pumps – and then some. Marijosiye, age 5 and cooking below, may see change in her young lifetime, when we're teamed with WorldStoves. Haitian time, of course. The photo on the right shows one of the solar panels our project shipped to ENERSA, along with special solar-powered water pumps, with the expectation that these will be soon installed at the "Oache Ouache" (Wash-Wash!) a local spring, to bring more water uphill and closer to habitations. Haitian time too.
- Earth –
enhance a model garden, improve soil, augmenting agricultural work
Our purpose is to collaborate with the rural Haitian Zoranje zone farming community:
- To create viable light industries that provide paid work, and support the community in other ways
- Create opportunities and improve quality of life to retain youth in the mountain zone
- To bring new technologies to be adapted and adopted
- To enhance small subsistence farm yields
- To bring visitors to learn from, and
with, our Haitian community
the people, a concern has been the flight of young people to the teeming
given the eroding landscape and increasingly inadequate resources (food,
education), there is little alternative but exodus.
collapse of the capital on Jan. 12 provokes a re-thinking of Haiti's
Targets we want to meet
- By August 2010 - Secure land below 1200 feet for new jaden - DONE! It is now being planted in manyoc to make kasav (bread) which will make the mamba project more sustainable.
- By September 2010 - DONE ! Have new latrine for school. Done! And, new school, bricks and mortar, built by Digicel for us! TO DO: Water access, Solar-powered pumps 2.0 to bring water and generate power for the school
- By August 2014 - Improve access to water at the Ouache-Ouache (Wash-Wash!) - Done!
How our community will gain
- Our community's women and girls will have skills and training that can be parlayed into paid work
- Our community will have acccessible resources (water for bathing, improved school house and facilities, internet access) to retain youth in our hills
- Our community will consider experimenting with alternatives to agricultural livelihoods
- Our men and women will have more time to devote to literacy classes
- Our community will improve its agricultural yield by deploying compost, manures and better techniques; and consider cultivating bamboo for new markets
If Pigs Could Fly and the Zoranje residents will:
- Provide rural Haitians with meaningful opportunities to interact with city dwellers, Haitians from the Diaspora, Americans and visitors from other world nations.
- Establish shared training projects, with Haitians at the helm.
- Devise project-based education curricula for visitors to work together with Haitian teachers, school principals and children, embedding algorithms and science concepts in practical, real-life settings, gardens and fields.
- Functioning latrine for school and church will be completed by residents - DONE
- Functioning water pump and wash area for school and sport field will be built and maintained by residents - in progress
- Garden for fruit trees and manyok are maintained by youth - DONE
Pigs do fly and deliver: laptops, cellphones and interested persons to our zone. IN PROGRESS
You name it: History, hurricanes, earthquakes, Delhi-belly, wind, drought and
pestilence fire and brimstone.