By providing the community with a safe and sustainable space to grow food and raise animals, in addition to partnering with master gardeners and providing agriculture education, our farmers will be able to feed their families, earn a living wage by taking produce and animals to market, and provide money for their children's school tuition and other basic living necessities.
A Haitian native, Gymps Sunel was raised by his grandmother after losing his parents at age 2. He was educated in Haiti, Martinique, the Dominican Republic and later on in the United States.
After Covid-19 hit in 2020, Gymps saw an increase in the number of children and people that were already living in poverty and hunger plunged to a deeper level, not knowing where their next meal would come from. More than half of Haiti’s total population is chronically food insecure, and 22 percent of children are chronically malnourished.* People don't have the food they need to live a healthy and productive life. Hunger affects the ability of children to learn, and perpetuates the cycle of poverty.
It was this realization that led Gymps to find a parcel of land in his home country and the vision of Mango Community Family Farm was born. It is our hope that Mango Farm will provide a safe space for families to grow their own food and be able to provide a sustainable living wage from the proceeds of sales at the market.
In 2018, we received a multitude of vegetable seeds donated from Bomgaars, a farm and fleet store in Sioux City, Iowa. Plantings of these seeds all over Haiti has been very successful - this is now our third year of seed donation.
We have also enjoyed collaborating with Helping Haiti Work, a Minnesota non-profit, and also with Days for Girls International. Days for Girls is based in Washington state and provides menstrual education and reusable menstrual supplies for girls and women around the world. Our Sewing Center employs several local Haitian seamstresses to make these kits.
With the launch of Mango Community Family Farm, we are pleased to continue our partnership with Helping Haiti Work. Members of our local farm community in Lagosette will benefit from the use of the land, seeds, irrigation and equipment to work their own plots at Mango Community Family Farm. These farmers will be able to feed their families and sell the excess produce that they grow at the market to raise money to educate their children.