Development work in Haiti recovering slowly after disaster, creative solutions keep education moving
In the midst of many challenges the Episcopal University in Port au Prince, Haiti is continuing to find creative ways to train tomorrow’s agriculture leaders. ECHO staff was recently invited to visit the university’s training center and farm in Leogane and got a firsthand look at both the blessing of good soils and the difficulties of teaching in buildings that suffered extensive damage in the earthquake over 5 years ago.
Since the earthquake the university has had to rearrange the agriculture curriculum due to the fact that student dorms are no longer habitable. In the face of this reality the university has focused its "on farm" curriculum on subjects that lend themselves to 2 day a week visit by the students and professors. The new focus includes subjects like composting, bee keeping and fruit tree grafting.
With the potential of infrastructure repair on the horizon the university is looking to add robust training in rural assessment, rural economics and vegetable seed production and seed banking. The university also hopes to create a thriving commercial farm where students can experience the realities of farming as a business and gain hands-on knowledge in sustainable farming practices. The diligent efforts of the university’s staff and students are a powerful testimony of moving forward with hope even when the circumstances are tough.