Often in life you start down a path, with a the best intentions, and then you gain more knowledge and you have to backup and take a new path. Well, this is one of those times! After speaking with a friend of a friend who lives off the grid in Vermont, and is connected with others who are also off the grid, it would appear that a fully solar bakery could very well be prohibitive. He feels that we would need so many solar panels and storage batteries to run the electric ovens, that we shouldn’t try to go in that direction.
So where are we going in Boily? We had back up to a road we looked at and moved past, a store/wholesale buying and selling location. We have now re-reviewed that road and have chosen to pursue it.
So here is how it would work. The store/wholesale location will affect the same groups of people as the bakery would have. Though what it will do for them is vastly different. This business will have three owners and affect thousands of people. Boily, Haiti is located in the mountains, a 5.5 hour walk to the nearest market or medical care. The 700 residents of Boily live by the soil, their gardens and animals provide them the food and money to survive on. Changing those crops into money takes a lot of effort. Imagine having to walk 5.5 hours to sell a watermelon, how many can you carry in your hands, or on the back of your donkey, can I get them there before they spoil? It should be mentioned that the woman are they ones who go to the market with produce and do the buying for their families. These question are asked and limit the amount planted, therefore limiting the families income. By opening a store/wholesale buying location in Boily the residents of that village and the approximately 2700 people from surrounding villages will have a place to sell their produce locally. The business will then take the produce down the mountain in a truck to sell, and bring back the items that people need to live. This will mean that an entire crop can be sold without the danger of the produce rotting. Allowing them to make more money, giving them the ability to send their children to school, attain medical care, and live a more comfortable existence. Right from the beginning this store will employ four people as well as the three owners, their income will have a direct effect on a minimum of 50 people. We hope to have this business up and running by February 5th when I leave Haiti after a 25 day stay.
We have high hopes that this store will change the lives of the people of Boily and the surrounding villages in a big way. When we go to the store we drive there buy our goods and drive home, we take as little or as much time as we want. Imagine having a 5.5 hour walk down the mountain from Boily (further from the other villages near Boily), leaving in the wee hours of the morning, do the selling of your produce, then shop for what you need, depending on how late in the day it is you stay over night with a friend (sleeping on their floor), and then returning back up the mountain the following day with your purchases on your head. Items such as bread that go bad in 3 days, are purchased only on occasion, since trips to the market do not happen on a daily basis. A store in Boily would give people opportunity for things that they wouldn’t always have available to them, including time and money.
The future: we are hopes that the profits from the store/wholesale location will help to expand the store and open a restaurant in the future.
Currently: we are working on raising the $8000.00 to open the store/wholesale location. We have an iPad raffle going on until December 17, I will also be applying for a grant.
What you can do: if you feel moved by the story of the people of Boily and what we are trying to do for them, please consider making a money donation towards the opening of this business. You can also donate items that need to come from the US to sell, (because they are cheaper to buy here than in Haiti).
http://www.gofundme.com/b5sic to donate money.
Irish Spring soap (original)
Solar lawn lights
Battery powered Christmas lights
Girls hair bands