Since the last update, tremendous progress has been made regarding the sustainable income-generating projects at Maison L'Arc-en-Ciel. The projects are based on livestock, agriculture, composting, renewable energy, and beekeeping, and the goal of these projects is to generate a long-term, sustainable income source for Maison L'Arc-en-Ciel and provide hands on vocational training for the older children who will soon reintegrate into Haitian society. These projects are essential as they will ensure that the administration of MAEC will have access to the funding they need to continue the amazing work of serving children impacted by HIV/AIDS in Haiti.
Currently, two chicken coops and the building that was designed as a pig sty are being used to raise broiler chickens and hens to lay eggs. Last year, over 6,000 chickens were produced and sold to businesses and members of the community. Next year, it is estimated that these buildings will allow the production of nearly 10,000 chickens and several thousand eggs, creating a significant profit.
Over the last few months, a biodigester was installed by Viva Rio Haiti, with funding from Honey for Haiti, which will use animal waste to create a clean and sustainable source of cooking fuel, saving MAEC thousands of dollars annually. This device uses waste that would not normally be monetized, creates cooking fuel, and the leftover waste and water can be used to fertilize crops across the property.
In addition to the biodigester, significant strides have been made regarding the composting project, both traditional and worm-based. The staff has constructed small structures that are used efficiently compost animal waste, food waste, and all the related organic waste from the income-generating agricultural projects. This compost can be used to improve the quality of the soil across the property, which has been shown to have low amounts of the nutrients necessary to have an abundant growing season.
This increased soil quality will ensure that the traditional farming projects, which now cover nearly the entire MAEC compound, will be successful and create a bountiful harvest for use by the children with excess produce being sold to businesses in the region. In addition to increased soil quality, farming will be improved thanks to a new addition of 4 new beehives, brining the total to 7. These beehives will create a source of honey for the children, as well as produce honey to sell.
Maison L'Arc-en-Ciel is on the way to a self-sustainable future, and with your support, we can ensure that Danielle and Robert's work will be continued for decades to come!