Mar 13, 2018 by Troy Sanon
After Hurricane Matthew devastated Haiti in 2016, World Renew joined forces with our local partner there, the Federation of Organizations and Agricultural Technicians of Léogane (FOTADEL), to organize "cash for Konbit” activities. In Haiti, a konbit is an event where the community comes together to accomplish something to benefit one member of their community or the community at large. To participate in a konbit is to help your neighbor. In rural Haiti, when a farmer needs help to prepare his or her garden, they call for volunteers and a konbit happens! Members of the community come together to get the job done and, in return, are provided with food and drink. On the hills of Léogane, FOTADEL decided to try a post-hurricane version of a konbit by calling for people to work together on each other’s farms in exchange for a small amount of money.
In adopting and modifying the cultural practice of konbit for a post-hurricane landscape, FOTADEL creatively used a great Haitian resource — its people — to support those in need of help rebuilding their food supplies, while equipping the helpers to be able to take care of their own needs for food and provisions. Participants best knew their families’ needs and so were able to meet them, while also supporting the recovery of the entire community through replanting and the injection of money into the local economies.
With a selection criterion that prioritized the most vulnerable, the “cash for konbit” program has far exceeded its initial goal of helping 350 farms. 1,750 people “came out for konbit” and reestablished far more than the target of 200 hectares (almost 500 acres).