La Belle Mere

La Belle Mere's Community News

Coronavirus (COVID-19) impact on World Vision operations

In support of public health recommendations outlined by the World Health Organization, some sponsorship program activities have been temporarily suspended due to COVID-19. Activities may include sponsor queries and correspondence, sponsor visits, gift notifications and gift deliveries. These temporary suspensions may affect the information you receive from us in the coming weeks and months. Learn more about our response to COVID-19.

Thanks to the generous support of donors, we’re making great progress toward the well-being of children and their families. These are a few of the areas we focused on in the past year: 

The La Belle Mere community is located in Haiti's Central Plateau. Almost everyone here earns their living from subsistence agriculture and livestock production. The main crops are sugar cane, cassava, and corn. A few families work in petty trade and small agro-industries like making syrup from sugar cane.

Conditions here are very difficult. Crops depend on two short rainy seasons, production methods are not modernized, and farmers clear cut their land for planting and the production of charcoal for fuel. These practices leave the land exposed and at risk of erosion. As fields yield less and less, farmers continue to move further up the hills, clear-cutting as they go. Deforestation and soil erosion remove the soil, causing production to drop further. It is a vicious cycle, and means that impoverished farming families cannot produce enough to feed their families or provide for other basic needs.

The community exists almost in isolation. Access is difficult, and there is no postal service, telephone, or internet service. The “lambi horn is still used to gather people for meetings.
To ensure children can access and benefit from quality education, World Vision will assist the community to:
  • Construct new schools and rehabilitate existing ones in partnership with the Ministry of Education and the directors of private schools.
  • Train teachers and provide them with teaching resources and equipment.
  • Support families to improve their income so they can afford to pay school fees.
  • Teach parents the importance of education and help hold them accountable to allocate a portion of any increased income towards children's education.
  • Provide vocational education in skills like data processing, sewing, and hairdressing.
  • Establish adult literacy programs.

Health Care
With the partnership of Canadian sponsors and the community, World Vision will work to:
  • Build, refurbish, equip, and staff health centres.
  • Establish a medical laboratory to provide timely testing and screening.
  • Train health workers.
  • Train community health agents to monitor children in the community, support and teach parents, and help children access timely medical help.
  • Cap new springs and rehabilitate water sources to provide clean water and reduce the spread of waterborne illnesses.
  • Train the community, and especially parents, in good disease prevention practices, how to recognize symptoms of illness, and when to seek medical help.

Economic Development
To ensure parents in La Belle Mere can provide for their families, World Vision will partner with the community to:
  • Train farmers in modern agricultural techniques.
  • Provide irrigation kits. Promote diversification by introducing new seed varieties and better-adapted animal breeds.
  • Establish agricultural co-operatives so that farmers can pool their resources to secure supplies and market products at better prices.
  • Build silos to reduce post-harvest loss.
  • Train youth in business management and small business trading so they can have productive lives in their community, as well as reduce migration out of the area.
  • Extend small loans to producers/entrepreneurs, especially women, so they can start or expand their businesses.
Hurricane Irma: Updates and facts you need to know Hurricane Irma has begun moving through the Caribbean and is expected to lash the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba, southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos with life-threatening wind, storm surges and heavy rain starting Wednesday night and lasting into Friday morning.

Hurricane Irma is a Category 5 storm and now ranks among the most powerful hurricanes ever recorded.

World Vision is deeply concerned about the impact this major hurricane could have on children living in Haiti and the Dominican Republic, which are among the poorest countries in Latin America. Tens of thousands of children are living in flimsy shacks that are likely to be damaged and destroyed by powerful winds and rain.

What is World Vision Doing to prepare for Hurricane Irma? World Vision is in communication with community networks to stay updated on damage and on the status of sponsored children, so we can respond quickly.

World Vision is prepositioning basic food and hygiene items to meet the needs of affected families and to ensure that affected children are secure and supported through child-friendly spaces.

Hurricanes of this magnitude can be especially frightening and traumatic for children, and we are working to protect both their physical and psychosocial needs.

How is World Vision responding to Hurricane Irma? World Vision has relief supplies pre-positioned to assist in responding to the needs of those affected after the storm passes. Supplies include:
  • Hygiene kits
  • Sawyer water filters
  • Bed sheets
  • Mosquito nets
  • Jerry cans
  • Dry food
About your sponsored child If you would like more information about your sponsored child, please call our toll-free Hurricane Irma emergency line at 1-800-654-2650.
Child Protection
  • 30 leaders were trained on positive parenting techniques
  • 1 committee with child protection plan was developed and implemented
  • 3 community action groups, churches, and community-based organizations advocated for child protection services
  • 87 parents were trained on positive parenting techniques
  • 30 children and youth were trained on positive parenting techniques
  • 104 children and youth were mobilised to promote good health, nutrition and  water, sanitation and nutrition activities
  • 10 churches were mobilised to promote good nutrition, as well as good water, sanitation and health activities
Community Development
  • 7 partners are actively involved in group planning and decision making
  • 10 churches are implementing joint activities with partners and programs
  • 1 joint plan was developed in coordination with the Ministry of Health regional office
Health and Nutrition
  • 8 acutely malnourished children under age 5 were rehabilitated through community-based management of acute malnutrition
  • 4 mobile clinics were conducted to provide health services
  • 12 mothers' groups have been sensitized on exclusive breastfeeding
  • 5 mobile clinics were conducted for community-based management of acute malnutrition activities
  • 64 home visits were conducted for community-based management of acute malnutrition activities
  • 344 women accessed essential health services
  • 3467 children accessed essential health services
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
  • 6  water and sanitation committees received training, learning how to maintain the village water source and provide cleaner water for children.
  • 324 households were trained on drinking water treatment
  • 1 school sanitation facility was constructed in collaboration with partner organization
  • 46 basic household sanitation facilities were constructed by community members with financial or in-kind community contributions
  • 4  broken water sources have been repaired, providing families with better access to clean water.
  • 188 individuals were trained in the benefits of sanitation and sanitation technologies
  • 29 trainings were conducted on drinking water treatment for households and centralized systems
  • 93  households received hygiene training and now have hand-washing facilities with soap, enabling families to improve hygiene at home and reduce diseases.
*Results achieved from October 2018 to September 2019

Explore La Belle Mere

current conditions

To protect the privacy of children, this map shows only the general area of the community, not the exact location.

The needs in La Belle Mere

Education costs money, which is in short supply here. There is only one public school in the area. It charges low fees, but can only accommodate a small number of children. The remaining primary school spaces are in small private schools that charge much higher fees. Many parents simply cannot afford to pay any fees or provide the supplies needed to send their children to school. Some, being uneducated themselves, do not see the value of education at all.

The private schools struggle to offer students a good quality education. Many of them are run down, without furniture and teaching materials. Teachers not only lack training, but some of them only have a grade 2 education themselves. Teachers are not paid well, and it is understandably difficult to attract trained teachers to this remote area.

Health Care
In a community like La Belle Mere, where there are few toilets, waste is discharged in the fields, and clean water is in short supply, diarrhea, typhoid fever, and intestinal parasites routinely leave children sick. Families cannot easily get to a hospital to receive the care they need.

The available health services are few and often lacking in supplies, equipment, and staff to provide adequate care. The area has only one health centre and one clinic. The centre has a doctor and a laboratory assistant and can provide basic health care. The clinic is staffed by two nurse's aides and can only provide basic first aid. People in need of further attention are taken on a difficult journey, by donkey or car, to facilities outside the area.

Parents in the community know little of basic prevention and care practices that can help children enjoy better health and get timely help when needed.

Economic Development
Farming families here get little return for their hard work. Long periods of drought and a lack of irrigation destroy crops, and farmers often practice outdated methods without adequate tools and good seed stock. Pests and diseases plague crops and livestock. Farmers do not have the knowledge, resources, or technical help they need to improve their yield.

With so little public infrastructure, it is difficult to get produce to a market that can provide good prices. There is virtually no electricity, and the roads are poor and often impassable in the rainy season.
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Life cycle of a sponsorship community

La Belle Mere,  is in Phase 2

PHASE 2: Evaluate and grow

We monitor progress and make adjustments to meet goals. More community members become involved, lead projects and gain ownership of their success.