Following the January 12, 2010 earthquake, Fondation de France wanted to put in place mechanisms that would enable the Haitian people themselves to become actors in the reconstruction and development of their land and that would help to rebuild the social fabric in a country traumatized by disaster. It was in this context that Fondation de France asked AVSF to organize the implementation of the ”Local Initiatives Fund” for rural areas (Rural LIF). Since people living in rural areas are generally the most knowledgeable about their land and the most aware of the possibilities for increasing their income and improving their living conditions, AVSF issed a call for small and mirco projects to various community associations in rural areas. AVSF worked with these associations and provided training so that they would be able to formulate and present their projects in the best way possible. A selection committee made up of national development actors was created to choose which activities would receive funding: namely, those which would likely bring about the greatest long-term improvement to the socio-economic living conditions of people living in rural areas.
The activities that received funding focus on a wide range of areas including the improvement of crop and livestock production, the processing of agricultural products, the implementation of infrastructure for irrigation and water conservation, and the creation of services to help reconstruct the social fabric in those areas hit hardest by the earthquake. To be more specific, among the 80 projects that received funding, there were associations that taught their members how to micro-cut yams in order to increase the amount that could be grown; groups that set up breeding mounts for cattle and goats in order to improve the breeds of the animals that they raise; associations that rahabilitated or developed irrigated areas; groups of young people that set up internet service and provided access to multimedia in rural areas; etc.
In addition to the actual results achieved, this project makes it possible to add value to organizations that actively use their land. Local leaders and authorities in the community recognize these organizations as being important partners. The project often helps reconnect young people (who had left home to receive training) with their home community. The associations call upon these young people, making use of their abilities in order to organize the various projects. These young people therefore add value to their respective communities, and in some cases, find opportunities for employment.
This activity is supported by Fondation de France.