This little piggy went to market and this little piggy stayed home…

John Porter Blog Leave a Comment

BBQ, Sunday, Oct. 27, 3-6 p.m. 4212 Regency Court, Atlanta 30327    Purchase your tickets now at ticketstripe.com/forgingfuturesbbq   

All of us at Forging Futures in Haiti are indebted to a little animal known as the PIG. In Creole, there are two words for pig:  kochon and pouso. We send $7,000 USD to Haiti each and every month to support our schools and even more to cover ongoing maintenance and constant emergencies.  But know this: One half of our needed revenue will result from the proceeds of this BBQ. I am always asked: what can we do to help? The answer: Buy tickets, tell your friends, and come and enjoy. That is all it takes. $30.00 per person; $100.00 per family – which guarantees that 70 faculty and staff are employed for 6 months, 500 children are sitting at desks receiving a cherished education and everyone has a nutritious meal every school day. 

T. S. Eliot once wrote: “So much evil done in the world is done by people with good intentions.”  Let me explain. There had been thousands upon thousands of pigs in Haiti for many years. These little pigs were a sturdy and hearty breed that had adapted to the harsh conditions in Haiti, ate almost anything and, in fact, could live without food for over 3 full days. Every peasant family owned several pigs. They were considered to be family members. They bred healthy piglets, they provided food and fertilizer for the fields, and upon slaughter or sale, provided money for weddings and funerals and celebrations that held the family and community together. More importantly, the money enabled Haitian children to attend school rather than having to scramble around to hard scrabble a living.

It all turned bad in the 1970s when several cases of swine flu were discovered in the DR and Haiti. The United States conceived a plan to protect the American pork industry by convincing the Haitian Government to eradicate the Creole pig – the lynch pin of the Haitian economy! In 13 months, every Creole pig was killed. The Haitians have bitter and tragic memories of this sordid process. It was a devil’s bargain. Every family who lost a pig would be compensated with a home grown American pig – which was proffered as better anyway. But the American pigs were not able to adapt to the Haitian conditions and died off by the thousands. Net result: Haitians 0. What a deal! Without the dependable anchor that the Creole pig gave to the peasant economy, Haiti sank deeper into misery. And school attendance decreased by 35% as children were needed to scramble to salvage a living for the family. 

As of now, Haitian and French agronomists are breeding a new variety of pig similar to the Creole pig. It is the only hope to repopulate the cherished Creole pig and to capture again their enormous contribution to the Haitian economy. What can you do? Come to the BBQ and enjoy. It is an easy way to help. 

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