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Overcoming The Challenges of a Remote Island Community.

La Gonâve is dependent on the ability of goods, food and many services to move securely back and forth from the mainland. Anything that threatens the physical flow of commerce across the water has a huge negative impact on the island, including how much circulating cash is available, what vendors have available to sell and what island farmers are able to take to market. The Health Clinic staff purchase medication and supplies from mainland pharmacies. Everything is connected. A thriving economy expands opportunities for human capital to remain on La Gonâve, rather than relocate for employment.

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PROFESSIONAL CENTER OF ST. FRANCIS- Anse a Galets

The Professional Center functions as a trade school but is so much more than that. The relationships, personal growth and encouragement that its students experience foster a love for the Center and give it the feel of a university. Between 60-70 men and women pay tuition to attend courses; they develop expertise in an area of interest- culinary arts, restaurant, bar and banquet service, flower arranging, fashion, sewing and soon, tile-laying. Students are very motivated and energized by the opportunity to earn an income. Support for the program pays teaching staff and the purchase of supplies, fabric and equipment.

AGRICULTURAL SUPPORT AND DEVELOPMENT

Under the leadership of St. Barnabas University-trained agronomist, Mr. Jean Thony Joseph, the staff function as community agriculture agents. They travel to support various communities in the development of agriculture, teaching best practices for home, schools and large-scale farming. They evaluate soils and advise growers regarding appropriate seeds and current market considerations. The Parish maintains a large garden that functions as a plant nursery to establish plants for distribution to farmers.
SWAP IN for agriculture
SWAP IN FOR GOATS

"KID FOR A KID" GOAT PROGRAM

Each year, five school “kids” from the Parish’s nine rural primary schools are selected by their principal to receive a Kid for a Kid goat. The student and their family receive training and on-going support by the program’s trained veterinary technician. A healthy goat can be bred or sold for meat – good sources of income for a family. The vet tech and the agronomist often travel together to provide joint mobile vet clinics for animals and consults for farmers.

COMPUTER LITERACY, ENERGY AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ARE VITALLY CONNECTED

Internet connectivity through Starlink receivers at the St. Francis campus and the Healthcare Network’s clinic building is a game changer. In addition, computer access through the school system’s 2 computer classrooms (2nd classroom opening Fall 2024) provide endless opportunities for students as well as lesson development and continuing education for teachers. The Ministry of Education requires information technology to be taught beginning in the Fundamental level of school. In the future, students on La Gonâve will have access to university courses. Computer literacy and internet access provide opportunities for employment previously unavailable to La Gonâvans. Of course, all these components are reliant on a source of energy that will most frequently be solar.
SWAP In for computer
2024 Annual Conference