Earthquakes, orphans, political unrest, violent protests, poverty, crime. These are the stories that normally make the headlines for Haiti. But what we often don’t hear are the stories of success, the stories of overcoming, the stories of second chances, the stories of hope.
Seven years ago, Rene was desperate. He moved to the Dominican Republic and worked for below market wages as an illegal immigrant. But then he was caught by the authorities and sent back to Haiti with nothing but the shirt on his back. He lost everything and found himself at square one.
In the time Rene had been gone, Food for the Hungry was steadily at work in Mategouasse, improving agriculture, education, health, income opportunities, and leadership capacity. Upon his return, Rene chatted with an FH staff member about all the activities going on in his community and was impressed. “But one thing grabbed my attention,” he says. “The training for the Community Animal Health Workers (CAHW). I liked the idea of learning to serve my community. Without thinking twice, I joined the group. It was nine months of training, but it only felt like nine days because the topics were so relevant and practical.”
|Rene is proud of his new profession as a veterinarian.
Rene’s training equipped him to provide critical care to the livestock in his community. “I know how to make the first intervention in case of bacterial, viral, and parasitic disease. Because of what I am doing in the community, the animal mortality rate has dropped considerably.” Not only is Rene improving the lives of animals and the families who depend on them, he is also now able to support himself, his wife, and his two little sons. “I don’t have the words to list all that I achieve by being a CAHW. I have made enough money to organize my wedding and buy a motorcycle. I am able to bring food home every day and regularly pay my children’s school fees.”
Becoming a CAHW created a reliable source of income for Rene, but it did so much more than that. It restored his dignity and inspired him to change his community.
“The training that I received helped me to change my mindset. I now believe in my capacity and I have become a new person. Other colleagues and I have already formed an association; currently, we are working on a vet pharmacy project because sometimes it is very difficult to find medicines for the animals in the communities.
“I can say proudly that today I have a profession.”
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