We truly believe in giving back to our local communities and this past month, joined together to support the ESPWA Foundation as they provide much-needed aid to the Haitian community. ESPWA, meaning “hope” in Haitian Creole, is dedicated to alleviating the country’s most pressing social issues in health, education, and sustainability.
Haiti is considered to be the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere with 80% of its population living under the poverty line. In conjunction with the nation’s corruption, decentralized education system, and vulnerability to natural disasters, it’s clear to see an immediate need for aid. Unpredictable weather changes and rampant deforestation have adversely affected Haiti’s agricultural output. Meanwhile, two-fifths of Haitians depend on small-scale subsistence farming to feed their families and communities.
That’s why, we knew our team could help ESPWA achieve its mission. Together, we raised over $4,000 to help ESPWA build a farm and bring a little piece of “hope to Haiti.” Because FrontStream encourages a culture of philanthropy throughout our organization, all employee donations were matched, dollar-for-dollar, to enhance the impact of this campaign.
About the Project – Jovenel’s Farm
Twice a year Joe Shaffer, an ESPWA member, and his team set personal interests aside and take unpaid time away from work to put “boots on the ground” in Haiti to carry out the mission of the organization. During an annual medical mission trip, Joe was introduced to a Haitian farmer struggling to serve his community.
Farmer Jovenel is a brilliant agronomist with a passion to change Haiti through hard work and education. This genuine and trustworthy gentlemen serves his community tirelessly and keeps receipts down to the last penny. His dream is to have his own farm. Not renting, not leasing, not constantly affected by the fluctuating rates and demands of landowners, but his very own. His passion and dedication resonated with ESPWA and the foundation adopted his mission.
“What farming can do for a community…it’s consistent and returns year after year, month after month. It is hope for the future, for tomorrow.” – Joe Shaffer, ESPWA Foundation.
Through the efforts and charitable giving of the ESPWA team, FrontStream employees, and caring donors, Jovenel now has the complete freedom to provide for his community. With 5 acres of farmland finally in his care, Jovenel has hired farmers and grows everything from mangos to beans. We’ve helped him purchase water pumps, equipment, land, but most importantly, we’ve helped Jovenel realize his dream.
“I make the world a better place by aiding charitable organizations find the right fundraising solution for their needs, ensuring the mission grows. I often donate as well, if the cause inspires me. Jovenel and Joe’s stories do just that, inspire. I’m happy to help,” says FrontStream employee, Dan Fonseca.
About The ESPWA Foundation
The ESPWA Foundation’s mission is to bring hope to Haiti one child at a time. They are committed to fighting poverty through a network of medical clinics and orphanages that bring much-needed care and medical attention to the children of Haiti. ESPWA works towards realizing its mission through multiple initiatives supporting medical assistance, education and Haitian sustainability.
St. Anthony’s Medical Clinic
ESPWA provides funds for doctors and nurses to purchase medicine and equipment in one of the poorest neighborhoods in Cap Haitien. With ESPWA’s medical training, the clinic can better assist its community by hiring more practitioners. As it stands, Haitian clinics are extremely crowded and understaffed with one doctor for 70,000 – 80,000 patients.
Peace and Joy Project
Twenty-three children and their families are supported through this sponsorship program. ESPWA sponsors education for each child, provides access to medical care, and a monthly family stipend. Much to the children’s joy, ESPWA gifts clothes, shoes, toys, and beach trips throughout the year.
In addition to supporting those in need, the foundation seeks to unveil the beauty of the Haitian culture through music and video. ESPWA records Haitian choir music available for purchase here. 100% of sales and donations go directly towards medical relief and clean water for the people of Haiti.
For more information, visit http://espwa.com.
All photos courtesy of ESPWA.