New Jaden Lakou initiative in Haiti promotes food self-reliance
(Washington, DC) — Commemorating Haiti’s Labor and Agricultural Day, May 1, the Haitian Development Network (HDN) is introducing “Jaden Lakou,” an initiative to promote food security through the creation of community gardens and workshops. The effort also offers resources, funding, and instruction toward creating greater self-reliance in the Caribbean Basin.
According to Jacques Jonassaint, Chairman and CEO of HDN, “Labor and Agriculture Day is the most appropriate time to envision the future of food and economic security in Haiti, a day when we celebrate and honor those who serve others. Our new Jaden Lakou initiative will expand on the work that’s being done every day to feed Haitians, providing even more food options by empowering individuals, families, and communities to grow gardens and orchards.”
The Jaden Lakou program includes:
- Fruit trees for individuals;
- A community orchard program for neighborhoods;
- A gleaning effort to identify surplus or unmarketable crops which can be shared with schools;
- A community food program to help ensure that locals are fed;
- School workshops to educate youth about agriculture; and,
- A seed database to preserve and promote biodiversity, as well as create a national seed and plant stock that can be shared throughout Haiti.
In Creole, ‘Jaden Lakou’ describes a community or courtyard garden, and according to HDN, the new effort was Inspired by the ‘Victory Gardens’ of World Wars I and II, when people throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, and England planted gardens to ensure that they had enough to eat during times of global crises.
“The challenges confronting our beloved Haiti are more real and consequential now than they have been at any other time in history,” Jonassaint said in introducing the program.
“We need to feed our people; they need food security. And once we have it, we need to focus on exports to build our economy. Jaden Lakou offers a solid foundation, one we can expand and grow into a miraculous resource, and just as importantly, one that can include individuals everywhere — no matter their age or ability. Jaden Lakou will develop and promote self-reliance.”
To learn more about HDN and Jaden Lakou, please go to HDN.org/Jaden.Lakou.
“We welcome everyone to join this initiative,” said Jonassaint. “You can help by sharing information about Jaden Lakou, volunteering to grow and support the gardens, or making a contribution for seeds and other resources.”
Jonassaint noted that Haiti is a signatory to the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights whose objective is to ensure that every human has equal access to safe, healthy, and culturally appropriate food.
“The Haitian Development Network’s Jaden Lakou initiative will help ensure that Haiti meets those obligations and does the right thing by our people,” he said.
Jaden Lakou is part of a long-term strategic effort of HDN’s “Haiti 2050” mission to turn Haiti into a thriving economic powerhouse. It is modeled after the blueprint that created success among former colonies that today are referred to as the “Asian Tigers,” due to their dynamic economic growth, prosperity, and advanced infrastructure.
To learn more about “Haiti 2050,” go to HDN.org.
The Haitian Development Network (HDN) is a non-profit organization promoting health, education, nutrition, and economic development in Haiti. Its government relations work falls under its 501(c)(6) designation, and its charitable endeavors fall within its 501(c)(3) status, operating as the Haitian Development Foundation (HDF).