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  • Jan12Mon

    Salvation Army Support in Haiti

    Today marks the five year anniversary of the earthquake that killed over 300,000 Haitians. The Salvation Army is looking forward to improve the lives of those affected. January 12, 2015
    Filed Under:
    World Missions
    Located an hour and 20 minutes from Port-au-Prince is The Salvation Army Vocational Training School in Luly.  Adult students, both male and female, receive business training and skills development.  The ultimate goal is for the students to operate their own business and generate income to support their families.

    The majority of the students will receive specific training in order to operate a business buying and selling fish.  Since they are located near the sea, they have the ability to easily access the freshest of fish.  The new business owner could sell them in local markets or by wandering the streets.  This is how much of business is conducted in Haiti.

    While on a recent trip to Haiti, World Missions staff had the pleasure of speaking with two individuals in the training centre, Renand, 45, and Edzer, a mother of three young children.  Both students had previous experience in buying and selling fish.  Edzer explains, “Before the earthquake, I used to sell fish in markets.  I would have $100 to buy fish and spend all of it.  I wouldn't make much money from it.”  The training has provided Edzer with valuable money management skills that will allow her business to thrive.  “The training has given me the opportunity to start my business again to provide for my three children.” Edzer says.

    Edzer, a mother of three, wants to own and operate her own business buying and selling fish. Edzer, a mother of three, wants to own and operate her own business buying and selling fish.

    Renand is grateful for the support from The Salvation Army.  “With this training and the support from the team, I am able to operate my business differently, better.” He says.  “I am thankful for this opportunity and I will be able to support myself and my family.”

    Renand and Edzer explained that typically, they buy the fish from the local fishermen early in the morning and then return home. They place their fish in a cooler with ice (also known as an igloo in Haiti).  Early the next morning, they carry the cooler with the fish to the markets or walk the streets to sell to passersby.  Quality and size of the fish as well as the location in which they are able to sell; determines their success.

    The Salvation Army Canada and Bermuda Territory provides training for individuals who are interested in agriculture, construction, plumbing and electrical.  The vocational training institute provides theory as well as practical field sessions that are specific to each trade.  These schools are located in six different locations; Luly, Petit Goave, Port au Price, Fond des Negres and Balan.  By offering schools in various locations, more individuals have the opportunity to participate.

    To date, a total of 678 students (496 male, 182 female) have graduated.  The Salvation Army Haiti Division supports the individuals following the training to gain suitable employment.

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