Working to improve the lives of equids and their owners in Haiti
Haiti is the poorest nation in the western hemisphere and in recent years has been severely hit by natural disasters and political instability. Data from 2012 shows 58.5% of Haiti’s population lives below the national poverty line, with 53.9% living below the international poverty line (PPP$1.90 per day).
Who do we work with?
World Horse Welfare initially partnered with Humane Society International (HSI) when we first started working in Haiti in 2013. Following this, in 2014 we helped to establish the first Haitian animal welfare foundation, Fondation Quatre Pattes (FQP). It is the first animal welfare organisation in Haiti run by Haitians.
We believe that partnership with local organisations is the best means of ensuring that solutions we propose for welfare issues are appropriate and sustainable. We help these organisations to setup well-organised projects that are fully accountable, monitored and evaluated.
Why do we work here?
Working equines are vital to their families. They are used for taking goods to market, transporting water and carrying feed to livestock. These equines work long hours carrying poorly made pack saddles that are often overloaded which can cause injuries. Owners do their best, but they’ve never been shown how to properly care for their equines and there are very limited veterinary services accessible in rural areas.
With access to the skills and resources they need, communities in rural Haiti can improve the care they give working horses, donkeys and mules. Communities recognise the value of their working equines and want them to be fit and healthy in order to thrive. Learning how to keep their animals strong and able to work is important to the people who depend on them, increasing their independence and strengthening livelihoods.
What is our project doing?
Together we can empower people with the skills and resources they need to care for their working horses and strengthen their livelihoods. Working in rural regions around Port-Au-Prince, we share knowledge with horse owning communities and provide training in saddlery, horse care and veterinary treatment to increase independence whilst improving the health of working horses.
The veterinary agents and saddlers in the communities also receive workshops in setting up rural businesses on top of their practical training. This helps them to sustainably provide better services and products for equids and a better income for themselves.
Meet one of the people being helped by our project
Garron lives in Zoranje, a rural community near Port-au-Prince. He grows crops and rears livestock on a small plot of land, earning a living by selling his produce at market. Like many others in his community, Garron’s livelihood depends upon his donkey.
Garron has been working with World Horse Welfare’s partner, Fondation Quatre Pattes (FQP), learning about horse care and management. He is now passing on his new found knowledge and skills to others in his community.