Garde Saline, Haiti

"But be very careful to keep the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the Lord gave you: to love the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways, to obey His commands, to hold fast to Him, and to serve Him with all your heart and all your soul."

Joshua 22:5

Data from a community-wide census, which was conducted in April/May 2012, helped identify assets and challenges within the village and provided an idea of what life in the village was like when we first started working in the village.

Population

  • 1,229 people in the village proper.

  • 207 households.

  • 61% age 30 and under; 29% age 31-60; and 5% age 61 and older.

Food

  • 100% of households reported agriculture as their primary source of food, consisting primarily of beans, rice, plantain, corn, and sweet potatoes.

  • 6% reported fish as a secondary food type they consume.

  • 72% of households report eating 1 time per day, sometimes; 16% reported eating 1 time per day, most days; 12% reported eating 2 times per day, most days.

  • When asked to quantify the amount of food eaten per person, per meal, “1 plate” (equivalent to 1 cup of cooked rice with 1-2 tablespoons of beans) was identified for an adult and “1 small plate” (equivalent to several tablespoons of rice and beans) was identified for a child.

  • (25%) of households reported owning farm animals, primarily chickens and/or goats.

Housing

  • 37% of respondents stated they owned their own home and 27% stated they rented their homes.

  • 26% of the homes received a construction ranking of “good”; 5% received a ranking of “fair”; 69% received a ranking of “poor”.  (Conditions of homes were ranked according to the following criteria: 1) Good, constructed with cement floor and/or walls; has a roof that doesn’t have holes; 2) Fair, constructed with a dirt floor; has mud, stick or tin walls with few holes; has a roof pieced together with various  materials and it has some holes; 3) Poor, constructed with a dirt floor; has mud and stick walls, with many holes; roof pieced together with whatever materials are found and it has many holes.)

Sanitation

There was no community sanitation system, with most private systems consisting of a hole in the ground, surrounded with a pieced-together structure, made of sticks and plastic, for privacy.

Education

  • 2nd grade was the level of school the majority of people completed (21%), with the 6th grade the 2nd highest grade level completed (17%), and with the 3rd grade the 3rd highest grade level completed (12%).
  • 3% completed grade 12 or higher, with 86% of those being male and 14% being female.

Health

  • 100% of villagers do not have regular health care.

  • 69% of villagers reporting some type of illness or medical condition.Because they have not been seen by medical personnel to get a proper diagnosis, they describe illnesses/diseases in terms of symptoms.

  • Across all age groups, fever-related conditions ranked as the top medical issue; vomiting/worms/stomach conditions ranked 2nd; and head-ache related conditions ranked 3rd.

  • 19% have been to a dentist, with “tooth removal” as the primary treatment for any ailment.     

Business/Occupation

  • Employment rate is less than 2%.

  • 64% of the villagers reported having skills in agriculture; 16% reported skills in other areas, i.e., basket-weaving, security, mechanic, and construction; and 12% reported skill in fishing.

  • Of those employed, only 2 people reported having regular monthly income.

Transportation

  • 92% of the population reported having no means of transportation other than walking.

  • 6% reported having bicycles, and 4% reported owning or having access to motorcycles.

 Assets and Strengths

Assets on which to build a solid foundation for a healthy, sustainable community:

  • Strong faith formation and community leadership, a commitment on the part of the people to do the hard work necessary to build a healthy community, and great faith in God and in themselves.
  • The Baptist Church, though small and in great disrepair, serves as a center for community life and leadership development.
  • The village is surrounded by land that can be developed into sustainable agriculture, and a river runs through the village, offering potential for developing an irrigation system.
  • Villagers have skills on which to develop small businesses.
  • It is within 5 miles of Ft. Liberté, a city with high schools, a technical school, and a fairly solid infrastructure.
  • There is local and national government support for The Faith Project.

A new census is being conducted in Spring 2017, to measure progress in the village since we first began working in 2012.  We will publish those results when data is obtained and compiled.