The Organization for the Rehabilitation of the Environment

Rating: 5 stars   1 review

Issues: Food, Environment, International

Location: 3750 Main Highway Miami FL 33133 USA

Mission: Our immediate concern is to provide relief and support for refugees from the recent earthquake, mitigate their suffering and help them put their lives back together. We are helping the evacuees from the Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas who will be seeking refuge outside of the stricken capital, providing shelter, food and access to medical supplies.We are placing our organization''s long experience in development activities at the service of the community and would appreciate everyone''s support at this time. The immediate impact will be to feed and house as many families as possible suffering today from the terrible events of the recent earthquake.The key long-term goals of our development projects in Haiti are to increase farmer income, produce nutritionally enhanced food, and to improve the environment with commercial fruit trees. The programs involves high revenue tree crops, improved seeds, cash crops and marketing initiatives. Working directly with farmers, we are able to provide practical solutions to deforestation and subsistence farming. We offer commercial quality plant materials and the technical assistance needed for successful production and marketing. Practical agricultural training and hands-on technical assistance are essential means to achieve these goals.
Programs: ORE's core programs are improved seeds, high value trees crops, and vegetable and tuber crops, associated with training and marketing initiatives. We work with a network of 20,000 farmers, collaborating with 34 participating organizations in the south of Haiti. Improved seeds: ORE is committed to providing Haitian farmers with quality, high performance seeds adapted to local farming conditions. Priorities are high-yield quality protein maize (QPM) and iron rich beans. The program is working with both newly developed hybrid and open-pollinated varieties of corn, selected black bean varieties, sorghum and pigeon peas. ORE has set up a seed processing facility in Camp Perrin where we produce approximately three hundred tons of commercial seeds a year, using material from our ongoing seed research and improvement program. The benefits are increased yields, higher income and improved nutrition. The program typically provides 400 metric tons of seeds a year. High Value Tree Crops: ORE's tree program is based on the simple premise that by providing the local farmers with commercial tree crops it is possible to promote both sustainable economic growth and long-term protection of the environment. Commercially productive trees provide small farmers with a valuable source of income, and at the same time offer an economical solution to the Haiti's degraded environment. Trees producing high revenue crops survive deforestation, because they earn more every year than their value as wood products. The approach is to create a concentrated regional production of commercial fruits in selected areas, and train and assist farmer producer-groups to develop competitive marketing skills. The program typically produces 250,000 trees a year. Vegetable and Tuber Crops offer Haitian farmers substantial income opportunities. ORE offers technical assistance identifying markets, sourcing seeds, and improving production, grading and marketing.

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

I first became acquainted with the Organization for the Rehabilitation of the Environment (ORE) in 2004 when I served on the board of directors of the American Bamboo Society, a non-profit organization. We received a proposal from ORE to propagate a large number of bamboo plants for distribution to the local farmers near Camp Perrin, Haiti. The ORE goal was to re-establish plants that might reduce erosion on the denuded hillsides of Haiti at the same time provide material for construction and crafts. For a modest sum from ABS, $2000 combined with the same amount from their own funds, ORE propagated over 2500 plants, instructed the local farmers on their planting and care, delivered a variety of bamboo plants of different species to local farmers and provided initial care.

The mission of ORE in Haiti has been to introduce and provide new food crops to the local farmers to improve their incomes as well as to introduce plants that are more nutritional. Within the immediate area of Camp Perrin they have been successful. Like the ancient parable, “feed a man a fish and you feed him for one day, teach a man to fish and you feed him a lifetime.” This is exactly what ORE is attempting to accomplish in Haiti.

Initially, I spoke and dealt with Mr. Finnigan, ORE president. His former wife, Dr. Mousson Pierre Finnigan, is a Haitian-born, French-educated medical doctor who has been involved in both the horticultural aspects of ORE as well as providing medical care for the area. Because of Mr. Finnigan’s recent health problems he has turned over the ORE authority to Dr. Mousson.

Since the earthquake struck Haiti, Dr. Mousson has been overwhelmed by families, particularly those with small children who have been and are continuing to flee the chaos in Port-au-Prince to find safety in Camp Perrin, about 100 miles west of the capital. The small agricultural station with its propagation sheds and plant facilities has been overwhelmed by the refugees and is struggling to feed, cloth and house over 9,000 evacuees. In particular Dr. Mousson is attempting to provide a more normal family life, provide for the education of the children and bring some desperate return to normalcy to these struggling survivors.

Here is an organization that has existed in Haiti for over 15 years, is staffed by Haitians, and has direct knowledge how best to help these struggling survivors, but has limited facilities. Moreover, these facilities were designed as an agricultural and plant propagation station, but are being utilized in an emergency situation. They are literally “boots on the ground” best available to bring help and a return to normalcy to these Haitian families. ORE desperately needs our immediate help in caring for these hundreds of refugee families with small children as well as returning to their agricultural objectives. ORE is attempting to accomplish so much in both short-term efforts in dealing with the earthquake emergency as well as the long-term agricultural goals for Haiti. These are desperate times, please help!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

See above review of my association ORE.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Nothing, other than to expand their authority and resources! I have checked out the organization. As near as I can tell, all are volunteers, none receive any salaries. In the early years , before the quake, administrative expenses are low and probably 95% of funds raised go to accomplishing the objectives. Now they have been so overwhelmed I'm not sure as to exact breakdown, but based on their past performance I suspect almost all available funds are going to help the refugee problem.

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