PITTSBURGH - From their home office in Pittsburgh, Jeff and Sarah VanderMolen are working on solving the problems of people nearly 2,000 miles away.
The couple founded the international charity Haiti H20.
“Our goal at Haiti H2O is to help provide a hand up not a handout,” said Jeff VanderMolen. “We try to do programs that are sustainable and that are run by the community”
70% of Haitians do not have electricity, and 90% do not even have running water, said VanderMolen.
Recently, his organization came up with a plan to provide some much-needed help.
It’s called the Goat Project.
“A goat in a third world country is like a savings account,” he explained. “As the goat reproduces and has litters, they get interest on them.”
The hardy animals are easy to raise.
Families use the goats to breed, barter or as a source of protein.
People can donate to buy a goat for a family for less than $100 but the gift is priceless for these families.
“I’ve talked to families who have said just because of this goat he’s going to go to school,” said VanderMolen.
About 80% of Haitians live on less than $2 a day, so the gift of a goat fuels their income.
In the last two years, Haiti H2O has provided nearly 100 goats to families in need, and the project keeps giving back.
Families who receive a goat give their firstborn goat back to the organization so another family can benefit from the project.
To donate to or learn more about Haiti H2O’s goat project, log on to the website.