We are happy to report that the chicken cooperative in Grand Bassin is up and running again. For the past year, the cooperative had been sidelined because the conflict with Dominican Republic had closed the border and they were not able to purchase baby chicks. Now it is operating again. The first crop of chickens has been sold. The cooperative expects to market about 500 chickens each year. A profit of about one dollar per chick is significant income for members in this extremely poor rural community. Because of high demand, they hope to expand their project. They have developed a plan to build a new chicken coop on land donated by the Catholic Church that would enable them to grow 5000 chickens each year. Unfortunately the OPODNE proposal for $10,000 to the Digicel Foundation for this project finished in second place in a national competition.
Grand Bassin is a farming village of about 12,000 lying 30 minutes outside of Terrier Rouge. It is a poor rural town suffering cycles of flooding and drought. The OPODNE LOC was formed in 2013. Ninety percent of the children can’t afford school fees and there are reports of malnutrition. A cholera outbreak was treated recently. Many are leaving the town to seek employment elsewhere, primarily in the Dominican Republic. The LOC began this chicken cooperative in 2014 in response to a lack of economic opportunity. As with all cooperative efforts organized by OPODNE communities, profits from the economic development efforts are distributed as follows: members 40%; reinvestment 30%; community activities 10%; OPODNE 10%; reserves 10%.