The Cooperative is in Business!
When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field orgather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and for the foreigner residing among you. I am the LORD your God. Leviticus 23:22When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and for the foreigner residing among you. I am the LORD your God.
From Luke Brouwer, HOPE Field Director…
I included this verse from Leviticus, because though most of you aren’t farmers, the image of the harvest is a powerful one and in many ways your investment in KOPEDAG is an investment from the gleanings of your own “harvest”. I will do my best in this update to give you a sense of how the co- op is using your gleanings to create a harvest of their own.
The first round of birds have been sold and the second round is already in the cages. Here are some of the highlights of the first round:
9 of the 15 farmers went through the first round of production with no losses! This means that they carefully followed what they learned throughout the education process. Everyone paid back their loan for the first round by the end of December, enabling pCH in concert with KOPEDAG’s board to make a second order. Profits varied depending on the individual farmer. On the low end a couple of farmers made the equivalent of 40usd and on the high end Pastor Eddy made over 60, which is a profit of a dollar per bird. This figure depended on the price each individual received per bird and we saw that the farmers who sold more slowly in smaller quantities made more money. Overall the first round was a positive experience and one that built confidence in the business of selling live birds. In fact, the vast majority of the farmers chose to reinvest their profits in order to further grow their business! We are thrilled to see the real life effects of business training and understanding.
Of course like any startup business, it wasn’t without its problems. The farmers who sold at a higher price held on to their birds too long and therefor had to purchase more food. While this did not affect profit, it did delay the process of repayment, which in turn delayed the second round of birds. There were also problems within the administrative council as they learned the importance of tracking everything the hard way. The beauty of the cooperative business model is that it provides a complete structure and manual for tracking and accountability…but of course the process doesn’t complete itself. It took some time to sort it out, but we got there in the end and important lessons were learned. Over and over again we remind everyone involved that this is a business, that they have a responsibility to each other and to those who have invested in them and their future.
We are excited for round two and expect success and plenty of opportunities to grow and learn. Please continue to pray for these farmers and for Haiti.
So thankful for you and your partnership -Luke
John and Chris Brouwer’s Visit On Jan.15/2019. My wife Christian and I (John) , had the opportunity to meet with and address six of the board members of KOPEDAG, the chicken cooperative in Gonaives, Haiti. Our son Luke and Pastor Mickenson were also with us and served as our interpreters. I was asked to share my story of starting my own business, the risks and the rewards, and was able to encourage them to have a long term goals for the business. Also advising them them to separate personal money from from their business working capital and to pay off their startup loans as quickly as possible, which will in turn provide other opportunities for growth in the future.
Following the time of sharing and some Q and A we visited a few locations nearby where there were chicken coops and we were able to see the second batch of chicks in their hutches doing very well. It was an exciting time for us to be there and witness this, and sensing the excitement and gratitude of the Board Members. They also expressed sincere thanks for the fact that we and our fellow partners back home were willing to invest in Haiti’s people, that we care about them, their families and their future, and instructed us very emphatically to pass along their gratitude.
The following day we visited two groups of adults who were being taught to read and write, also part of the work we had begun. We found this a moving experience, seeing their pride at being able to print their name on a black board for us and read from a book to us. Incredible to see. We were excited by the thought that when they are reading well enough to read a book we would be happy to give them the gift of The Word in their own language. All in all it was a very special trip and a wonderful time. John Brouwer.
We are so grateful for you! Julie and I get to see firsthand the impact the cooperative has in strengthening families and we are acutely aware that this wouldn’t be possible without your generous support. www.donateforhope.org