Project Maison L'Arc-en-Ciel
La Maison L'Arc-en-Ciel d'Haiti (MAEC) is an orphanage located in Kenscoff, Haiti. The children that live in the orphanage are infected or affected by HIV/AIDS and stay in the orphanage until they are old enough to reintegrate into Haitian society.
The orphanage director, Danielle, expressed her desire for the orphanage to be able to function without outside donations by implementing sustainable development projects.
Although we knew we did not have the expertise in agriculture, livestock and other sustainable projects, we knew we could create a network of experts that would be willing to donate time or experience.
Phase one of the project took place in June 2015. We extended the roof of their chicken coop, built a closed goat pen and built a free-standing covered feeding area for the goats and their kids. Before these additions, Danielle was having trouble keeping the goats alive and healthy and therefore was unable to expand the herd.
The agricultural component of this trip included soil testing, reorganization of both raised-bed and in-ground gardens, and the assembly of several composting bins (both traditional compost and worm composting). Included with each of the aspects of the agriculture project were hands-on lessons for the children and staff of MAEC.
We also assembled two beehives and hired local beekeepers to introduce swarms to the hives. Due to the potentially dangerous situation of beehives around small children, we also gave lessons concerning how the children and staff should act around the hives to prevent any potential accidents.
Lastly, we organized a community library using books the orphanage already owned but were not being used. Over six hundred barcodes were put on the books and a check-out system was created so the children and local community could use the books.
After leaving Haiti, we were able to support the construction of a large chicken coop, pig pen, and compost. The chicken coop is expected to triple production and allow the orphanage to be a reliable chicken vendor to local restaurants and stores.The covered pig pens and feeding troughs will enable the prolific breeding of pigs in a comfortable and humane environment while preventing the animals from perishing outside during the rainy season. The older children have been trained to raise and butcher livestock to be sold to local restaurants, hotels, and grocer chains. Lastly, composting efforts have begun and we hope to use the compost in the agriculture projects.
Current Projects at Maison L'Arc-en-Ciel
Switch to Solar
Beginning the switch from a diesel generator to solar power will have a positive financial impact on the orphanage, reduce their consumption of natural resources and provide a clean energy source for the children that is beneficial to the environment.
This is the largest project that Honey for Haiti is trying to support at the orphanage but will likely have one of the largest impacts.
The implementation of both a traditional composting area, as well as an additional "lombriocomosting" or worm composting project, will allow fresh nutrients to be added to the agriculture projects, as well as assisting in keeping the soil moist to reduce water consumption.
This project is partially underway. Composting efforts have began but we are always looking for those with expertise willing to help improve the project.
This is the fuel to make Maison L'Arc-en-Ciel more self-sustainable. We are working on constructing raised-bed gardens and expanding and improving a composting project. As the composting project improves we hope it can be used to improve crop yield in the agriculture development projects.