"Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day.
Lake Azuei is home to seven of the poorest villages in all of Haiti. Caribbean Harvest currently works in four of the seven villages, and has fully transformed two of the villages: Madan Belize and Canez. With the income from fish farming, the community has been able to purchase land to build new, cement homes for its inhabitants, install a water treatment unit, and open a school. The transformation these two villages have gone through is truly astounding – increasing health, safety, and opportunity for 15 families and people that now work together as one new community called Bethel.
Lake Peligre is home to 14 villages, and Caribbean Harvest operates in 7 of them, reaching 460 families and nearly 2,000 people. In addition to improving nutrition and generating income, a key objective of this program is to generate enough revenues to improve their school system (renovate the schools, provide kids with lunch and assist with teacher's salaries).
In both lakes, farmers get to keep 10% of the fish they produced for their own consumption and nutrition, and the 90% is processed and sold by Caribbean Harvest through its new processing plant. A portion of the revenues are used for the entire community, implementing social programs, working to improve schools (renovating the schools, providing kids with lunch, and assisting with teacher salaries) and leveraging partnerships to improve access to quality healthcare.
Unlike traditional philanthropic models, a donation to Fish4Life is an investment that fuels the sustainable, ongoing income of individual families. The financial return is substantial: an upfront $2,684 capital investment in a fish farm yields an 85% return on the investment by generating annual recurring income of $2,300. This is substantial, representing 3.5x the average income in Haiti.
To help others understand the life-changing impact of Fish4Life, we created a short documentary about one of the main fishermen of Bethel. He now lives in one of the newly-built homes with his wife and children. His parents still live in the neighboring village of Lillet in a mud hut. He now looks after his own family cages, as well as helping to direct the care of the community cages.