HOW INTERNATIONAL FARMERS ORGANIZATION FOR A SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT BEGAN
John and Josué (Joshua) met in Jeremie, Haiti Christmas of 2002. Josué was the interpreter for the mission team John was on. They had an immediate bond over agriculture as Josué shared about his chicken farm he had to raise money for college. John was so impressed with Josué’s entrepreneurial spirit that he gave him $50 before he left back to the United States. They communicated over e-mail and John sent Josuéa chicken raising book with a few hundreds stuck in the pages. They continued to correspond sporadically over ten years. John raised cattle at his grandfather’s ranch and Josué graduated from college with a degreee in Agronomy and went on to Brussels, Belgium where he graduated with a Master of Microfinance degree. Josué knew God had something special in store when he was miraculously saved during the earthquake of 2010.
Josué was offered several government positions around the world after graduating, but God was tugging on his heart to help his own country of Haiti. He flew to Miami, and met John in Northwood, ND for Christmas in 2011. There he introduced John to his vision for IFOSuD. He had led similar projects with other non-profits and in his own master’s program. Josué knew that if God was behind this vision, it would work. John spent the night in prayer and God confirmed that IFOSuD was indeed His vision for Josuéand Haiti.
So Josué returned to Leogane, Haiti and assembled a team of godly, educated men who also felt called to IFOSuD. John began raising funds and support in the United States and took a trip to Leogane to see what Josué had put together. John has assembled a team known as Friends of IFOSuD, now an official 501(c)3, in the United States to raise money and support. He has also been down to Haiti multiple times each year, bringing teams and assisting Josué . Josué has a team of staff dedicated to the work of IFOSuD. They graduated 250 farmers last year and are working with 250 more this year!
Why Haiti? The Problem We Seek to Solve
- Haiti is the poorest nation in the western hemisphere and among the five poorest in the world.
- IFOSUD aims to alleviate poverty of the rural population of Haiti which is 60% of the entire population.
- Aid programs over the past three to four decades have dis-incentivized the people. They do not work to grow their food or provide for their families. This causes loss of hope and complacency and an “every man for himself” mentality. The people lack food security. The use of archaic farming methods makes successful crop production questionable. Accounting practices to determine profitability are not used.
- There are no government programs to supplement farming and no insurance against loss due to natural causes.
- Haiti has re-occurring hurricanes and other natural disasters. When hit by natural disasters lives are lost due to immediate danger and to destruction of homes, crops, animals, businesses, irrigation canals & roads. NGO’s provide immediate aid to prevent starvation and spread of disease. There is little to no government help. When the NGOs providing aid leave the country, there are no sustainable and profitable farms or small businesses in place to provide access to food and provisions for basic needs.
With the IFOSuD Programs in place, farms can be equipped with seed and crop storage and businesses would have saved resources. Though rural families would struggle to feed and clothe themselves, they would be able. Children could continue to go to school because funds are reserved. Communities would continue to function in a unified manner and would the citizens of the communities would be able to help one another, especially the vulnerable in their midst.
With the IFOSUD programs in place there is HOPE.