HISTORY OF FONDS DES BLANCS
Fonds Des Blancs is a rural area about 40 miles west of Port Au Prince Haiti. The road to get there is good until the last twenty kilometers….when it becomes rutted and narrow. It is an agricultural area and unfortunately charcoal is made by deforesting, which is cutting down trees to make the charcoal and there are many barren fields.
Ferel Bruno has 2 brothers and one sister who currently live in the village of Degue. Ferel is employed by Our Little Brothers and Sisters in Tabarre. He is in charge of the IT department. Ferel has been going to FDB on week-ends (his days off) to bring rice for several years. Ferel invited volunteers to come and see this beautiful area. As a result of his touring visitors, many projects have been started by many different people, from all over the world.
These projects have brought jobs and thus income to the people. I will list the projects and hopefully it will be clear that it is difficult for Ferel to manage all of these projects just on week-ends.
- Grain project: Donors from Germany donated a machine which is run on diesel fuel to grind up corn and grains. People used to do this by hand. There is one man who is employed to supervise the project. He is able to repair the machine also. The income the employees receives and the income from the grain project is unknown.
- Concrete block production: this is all done by hand, shoveling the materials to form the blocks. This is a good project for the area as the people can purchase the blocks locally instead of going 15 kilometers to purchase them. The number of employees and income it produces is not known.
- Farm: there is a community farm in Degue and in L’hommond (latter is about 8 kilometers from Degue). Vegetables are grown and shared with the community. There is one man in charge. The farms have irrigation and wells.
- Water purification: An order of Catholic nuns from the USA donated a water purification and machine to bag water. The water bags are sold in the community. They are delivered by a “moto” a motorcycle. There is one employee. This is in Degue.
- Bakery: Italian donors gave an oven that produces bread. The bakery employs 4 people. The bread is delivered by the same “moto” to the rural area. This is in Degue. Bread is made every other day. Some of the employees know how to repair and maintain the oven. The costs are not known.
- Sewing school/industry: 2014 twelve new treadle sewing machines were shipped to Degue from the USA. A sewing school was started in March 2014. The following March (2015) there are 10 students and 2 Haitian teachers who are planning to sew 300 school uniforms for the children who attend the school in Degue for the school year 2015-2016. Each teacher is paid $13.00 US a week. The school is in session Monday through Thursday from 9 AM until 1PM.It is the goal for the school to be self-sustainable. The materials for the uniforms were purchased with donated funds in March 2015. The teachers’ salaries are paid through September 2015.
- Restaurant: In Degue there is a restaurant that serves the area. It employs two people. The kitchen has a propane stove. The restaurant has seating for 40 + people. It is enjoyed by many of the area people.
- Goat project: Ferel gives certain families 2 goatswith stipulation that after a year, the family give Ferel two goats. This makes the project self-sustainable.
- Dental clinic and medical clinic: In the village of L’homond is a clinic that employs a nurse and there is a doctor who works three days a week. There is a complete dental clinic, currently there is no dentist.the clinics were built through the generosity of the people of Ireland and Mexico. Both clinics are powered by solar energy which was donated by USA solar company. In the clinic are 2 buildings that can house volunteers and a community meeting room. It is planned to have a radio station there.
The above are all of the projects and Ferel manages them on week-ends only. As a result it is not possible to develop business plans and to separate each project with funds, budgets, job descriptions, mission statements etc.
A volunteer would be so valued! The housing is in Degue, it is a lovely little house with a front porch! It has a bathroom and shower. There are two bedrooms. It is safe. There is a kitchen. Electricity is provided by a generator and hopefully soon solar.
The people of the area will be welcoming and are eager to learn. A volunteer could set up these projects so the people could understand managing and planning. It would be a wonderful gift!