Mother’s Day in Haiti

From Meds & Food for Kids Agronomist, James Blanc
June 8, 2021

Haiti celebrated Mother’s Day on May 30th. It’s a special day for all Haitians, observed by long church services, dressing up in Sunday best, sharing gifts and flowers, and mourning for those who have lost their moms. In Haiti, they often say “Mother’s day is for all mothers,” whether you are rich or poor, young or adult, from rural areas or big cities. 

Meds & Food for Kids is proud to celebrate and honor Haitian mothers, especially those MFK have had a chance to work with whether in our malnutrition program, prenatal program, or farmer training program. Haitian mothers are some of the most resilient women in the world. Nearly half of the Haitian households are led by women and two-thirds of Haitian women participate actively in the workforce.

The MFK agriculture team works with rural mothers who are deeply involved in the agriculture supply chain. They are involved in every aspect of the chain, from planting to the commercialization of peanut production. The work that women do is integral to the Haitian economy. MFK has 20 mothers participating in this season’s farmer training program. Women are key to producing good quality peanuts with a low level of aflatoxins because they tend to take the lead and manage the peanuts after harvest (drying and selling peanuts, storing and selling). They are all this while at the same time taking care of their children at home. 

Yolette Jean-Baptiste is 43 years old and a mother of 5. She has taken part in the farmer training group this year. Mrs. Jean-Baptiste explains that she works on her own land while her husband works on a separate piece of land. “I wake up early in the morning, around 5 o’clock at the same time with my husband, my husband goes to his garden and I stay to make sure that the kids go to school on time and cook for them”, Yolette says. Yolette goes to her garden around 8 am after sending the kids to school and manages to work until she knows when the kids would be back. Yolette is taking advantage of the time when the kids are in school to attend MFK farmer training and she is hopeful the training will help her to increase her production and produce a better quality of peanuts. “I am learning a lot of new techniques and I remain hopeful that I can be a great peanut provider for MFK”, Yolette remarks. 

Yolette is just one example of how hard Haitian mothers work. MFK is proud to partner with these extraordinary women through our agriculture program, helping to provide the tools and knowledge they need to support their families through farming. Please join MFK in honoring Haitian mothers. We thank you for your support in changing the lives of Haitian women and their families through our programs.