Tuesday, November 5, 2013

FONDAMA Yard Garden progam going to the Mouvman Peyizan Bayone--Farmer Movement of Bayonnais

The third week of October, Tiga (Herve Delisma) and Marimaude St Amour, from Papay, and I put together a darn good presentation about yard gardens for a farmer's organization outside of Gonaïves, in a municipal sector called Bayonnais (19° 25' 0" North, 72° 29' 0" West), in Haiti's Artibonite Province. The organization is Mouvman Peyizan Bayonnais (Peasant Movement of Bayonnais--MPB).
We started by discussing the knowledge and resources that farmers have already in each of their zones, and the fact that what we have to offer is very small compared to all the knowledge and resources the already have. We followed this up with a  Biblical reflection comparing God's abundance as encapsulated in texts taken from Genesis 2:15 ("The Lord GOD took the man and put him in the garden...to till it and to care for it.") and Revelation 22: 1-3 (see caption below).
After this, Tiga presented our garden story using a PowerPoint presentation and then Marimaude witnessed to her own yard's transformation at home in Papaye. We started with our first presentation Monday afternoon, October 21st to MPB's executive committee. We did two each on Tuesday and Wednesday, going into the mountains, sometimes by vehicle and sometimes on foot.
For each presentation, our host Viljean Louis, the coordinator of the organization, weighed in  with his own take on the power that the farmers have to change their own lives.

On Thursday morning, October 24th, fifteen people chosen by the participants in each community we visited to represent them in FONDAMA's Yard Garden program, came together with the members of MPB's executive committee to receive their first workshop. We used Matthew 10:5-10 as our Biblical text: "These twelve Jesus sent out...." 
We also explored the difference between addition and multiplication. "Addition" is the result of projects that purchases things for people. "Multiplication" can result when you provide people skills that they can share with others. Our goal in this program is to provide skills and resources to people that they can then share with others, within their grassroots organization and within their communities. See core values of CHE (Community Health Evangelism): Multiplication as a core CHE value
By Thursday afternoon we were on our way. An intense, productive, Spirit-filled four days.

Our colleague, Cindy Corell, the PC(USA) mission co-worker serving with FONDAMA (Haitian Foundation of Hands Together) came with us to Bayonais as part of her work to understand the work that the farmer organizations of Haiti are doing on the ground. Cindy is the companionship facilitator for the Presbyterian Hunger Program's Joining Hands: http://www.presbyterianmission.org/ministries/hunger/haiti/ These are her photos.
Photos by Cindy Corell, all rights reserved.
— in Gonaïves, Artibonite, Haiti. (8 photos)
 Talking with our first group about the importance of what they already know and the resources they already have.

One of the participants sharing the reading from Revelation 22:1-3. "Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, brights as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb....On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. Nothing accursed will be found there anymore...."

Tiga (Herve Herve Delisma), doing the PowerPoint presentation for our first group of farmers, Tuesday the 22nd, AM. I got to be the IT person who advanced the slides.
 Tiga explaining as participants listen.
Marimaude St. Amour giving testimony to how she has made the yard garden techniques work for her in her yard in Papay.
Viljean Louis, our host and coordinator for MPB,  sharing his vision of the power that the farmers have to change their own situation, and the responsibility they have to reject outside help that fails to respect their dignity.

Two women listening as Viljean preaches the Good News of their own power and dignity.

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