3 SEEDS OF IFOSUD
- Christian Discipleship
Our team’s main focus it to evangelize and disciple the farmers we work with through devotions, church meetings, and one-on-one conversations. The Haitians are a very spiritual people, and without the discipleship, heart transformation and social change will not happen.
- Technical Training
Led by educated Haitians, our team trains Haitian farmers to plant, irrigate, fertilize, identify and control pests, and harvest their fields with hands-on training. We have already seen yields increase 70%!
- Financial Counseling
Our team also walks the farmer through his expenses and income. They help the farmer realize the potential to market his crop and increase his income.
Farmer Field School:
This is the nuts and bolts of IFOSuD. It is a hands-on training program that runs every week in three locations. Farmers are taught how to think critically. To analyze, decide, and act. They are taught to better grow their traditional crops and to grow new crops, such as vegetables like tomatoes and peppers. We want them to have something to feed their families and have extra to sell. With this profit they can improve their farms, increase the quality and quantity of seeds planted, and send their children to school.
Local Development Committee:
Developing local committees in each area we impact is the core of what we do and what makes us different. Our aim is to instill Biblical values, principles, and practices for social and economic change in our beneficiaries and local committee leaders. Then we, the Haitian team, carefully select leaders from our pool of beneficiaries for each committee. This committee is in charge of managing local funds and executing programs, such as the laying hen program recently established. Once the committee is secure and operating on Biblical principles, we hand over the region to them. This is a three year process. We will continue to help and support them from a distance, but they will be responsible to see their community grow and continue in the way IFOSuD has taught them.
Both Haitian and U.S. teams are a part of IFOSuD because we love Jesus. We want every beneficiary and their families to know and experience the life and hope that is in Christ. Most of the communities know we are a Christian organization. Prayer, devotions, and worship are a regular part of the program. Everything we do is based on relationship. To be a beneficiary you do not have to be a Christian. In fact we try to have 50% of our beneficiaries come from outside the church. We have also supported bringing in and dispersing Scriptures by way of Bibles and MP3 players in the Haitian language.
House visits are an important part of our program. The Field Monitors are sure to visit each of their beneficiaries several times each year.
The people chosen to be beneficiaries in the small business sector are taught basic accounting from Imelda Dantes who has a Master’s of Accounting. During these sessions he/she is also shown how to promote the business through marketing. Each beneficiary receives a small loan from IFOSuD and a plan to pay it plus interest back. The beneficiary is encouraged to use some of the profit for his/her household needs and to use some to invest in the business.
Animal Husbandry. Raising laying chickens and goats have been two successful projects in the animal husbandry program. The animal(s) is a loan from IFOSuD. When the goat kids are born two are given back to IFOSUD in repayment of the loan (a goat). IFOSuD invested in the Boehr breed of goats because they normally produce twins. IFOSuD owns the stud. The laying chickens are housed in an egg laying cage which IFOSuD owns. The beneficiaries handle the egg sales using some of the profit for their own food, buying feed and some for payback of the loan of chickens, initial feed and use of the cages. They do not need to market their eggs, often selling every egg they have because they have developed a good reputation.
Our team walks the beneficiary through expenses and income. They help the person realize the potential to market his crop, products or animals in order to increase his income.
A New Approach
Based on four years of IFOSuD experience in teaching the gospel through the Farmer Field School model in the communities of Leogane and Gressier, a new Working Approach has emerged. The new (2017) approach will be addressed in 4 steps. These steps start before the Technical Training and Financial Training and run concurrently through to the end of the entire program:
- Find (cf. Matt. 18:11, Matt. 28:19b)
- Train (cf. Acts 2:42)
- Strengthen (cf. Eph. 2:20)
- Send (cf. Matt. 28:19)