One Small Kitchen Equals Big Improvements in Haiti

11/25/14

Every day at our Village Partnership Program in Haiti, mothers volunteer to work for hours in the kitchen—a patch of dirt under a shade tree—to prepare lunch for 75 children. They make it look easy. Like a well-oiled machine they clean the rice, crack coconuts open on a nearby rock, and light a fire in the barbecue style oven.

 
For some of the children in our care, it’s the only meal they’ll eat today. 
 
Today, the women didn’t have any trouble cooking because Haiti’s skies were clear. But on a rainy day, preparing this meal is nearly impossible.
 
 
                                                  The old kitchen area, with the "oven" at right.
 
Thanks to a Venture Team from Flood Church in San Diego, California, the rain won’t be a problem anymore. The team worked hard to build a small cinderblock building divided into two rooms: a secure pantry and a cooking area. Soon doors and windows will be installed and the project will be complete.
 
The new kitchen is pretty basic, but it's a huge improvement over the open-air space where the mothers cooked before.
 
The women are thankful for COTN’s program and the new kitchen. “It’s helping our children,” one of the mothers says. Before their children were part of COTN’s child sponsorship program, the mothers struggled to provide enough food for their families. This daily meal helps their children stay healthy and focus in school.
 
 
By volunteering, these mothers are able to express their gratitude and help make the program successful for their children and the community. “Many parents are involved [in] cooking, disciplining, and tutoring,” says Marc Antoine Michel, COTN’s director in Haiti. “It is a good sign that shows they trust COTN and want to go deeper.”
 
“I think the community really likes the way COTN approaches working with them,” Marc Antoine adds. “They always say COTN is their partner.”
 
             Children have an easier time concentrating in class when their stomachs aren't rumbling with hunger.
 
Resources like this kitchen are making it possible for parents and the community to raise healthy, successful children. This kitchen is yet another answer to their prayers. “We believe that God provides everything,” says Marc Antoine.
 
You can improve children’s lives, too. Be a sponsor or join a Venture Team!