Pestel Village a community development initiative of Help One Now - serves as a children's home for orphaned and vulnerable children in the mountains of Haiti's southern peninsula. It will also serve as a community hub, investing in future generations through education and development.
In 2010, a devastating earthquake hit the country of Haiti, leaving nearly 300,000 dead and 1.5 million displaced. It is estimated that after the earthquake, the number of orphans in the country rose to over 500,000. The after effects of the quake have continued to ripple and plague the country. Much of Haiti's trade and export completely disappeared, as there was a negative stigma and fear of products coming out of the country.
Haitian coffee farmers took a hard hit. Haiti was known for decades as a premier supplier of the Caribbean "Blue Mountain" coffee, similar to that of the neighboring island of Jamaica. But after the earthquake, Haitian coffee lost its prestige and export came to a halt. This left thousands of coffee farmers and workers without jobs or the ability to care for their families.
Pestel is located in a remote mountain area of Haiti's southern peninsula. It is mostly cut off from major cities and was completely reliant on the coffee trade for its survival. There is still some market for small crops, such as potatoes and bananas, but it is mostly local and does not bring in enough for a family to survive.
Pestel is the hometown of Pastor Gaétan Alcégaire. He returned late last year for the first time in nearly 30 years. What he found was not the same thriving community he had once known as a child. His people were in need of help, and he rose to meet them.
Gaétan has since started a children's home, to care for the orphaned and vulnerable children of the community. They are provided with 24/7 care as well as given proper nutrition and education. Gaétan is also in the process of building a school that will be open to the entire community, giving hope for a better future to all.
Our hope is that through proper care and education, the cycle of poverty will be broken for the children of Pestel. Rooted in deep friendship and partnership with local leader Gaétan Alcégaire, we are working together to ensure that these children can grow and lead healthy lives that will one day enact change and development in their community. We will work alongside our leader to achieve his goals of improving the quality of education and school facilities in this community, and building dormitories for up to 30 children.