Archive for September, 2010

Las Palmas Pineapple Plantation

Friday, September 24th, 2010

Have you ever had a garden? Some tomatoes, cucumbers, corn, maybe even zucchini? From your garden you got fresh vegetables, better nutrition and less money spent at the grocery store. Our children’s villages each use their gardens and farms to accomplish the same goals. Several of our projects have been able to use their farms to offset their operating costs.

A Baby Pineapple From Las Palmas

A Baby Pineapple From Las Palmas

Our Las Palmas Children’s Village in the Dominican Republic has recently begun growing pineapples on their farm for on-campus consumption and for sale to the public. A few weeks ago we received a report on the progress of our pineapple project from Mario Lora, our business manager at Las Palmas.

A pineapple almost ready for harvest

Almost Ready For Harvest

Mario told us the first harvest of pineapples from their original planting of 22,000 plants was excellent. In fact, the number of pineapples harvested was so great they had a hard time selling them all. The extra crop was given to the homes for their use and as Mario puts it; “Our children did get the opportunity to eat pineapples in abundance—more than we could count.”

The second harvest produced very good results as well. Buyers have commented that the Las Palmas pineapples are unequaled in quality and of superior size.

Three harvested pineapples sitting on the kitchen table

Examples of Our Pineapple Crop

Currently the Las Palmas pineapple plantation is in its third cycle of planting with a total of 25,000 plants in the ground. This staggered planting cycle assures that the pineapples will be available throughout the year. This number of plants also provides Las Palmas the ability to recycle the harvest into new plantings thus eliminating the cost of buying new seedlings for each new planting cycle.

What is needed now are resources to expand the plantation as demand dictates. Right now, we are the lone farm in our area growing pineapples. This means there is no market to which we can sell any plants we can’t reuse in a new planting. Those plants must be plowed under. Rather than plow under these plants we would like to be able to use them to expand the plantation or, in the future, sell them.

Field of growing pineapple plants

One of Our Fields of Pineapples

We would deeply appreciate your help, large or small, in growing this pineapple enterprise. It not only benefits the children of Las Palmas, through cost savings it also provides the resources for us to expand the reach of ICC. Please prayerfully consider what you can do to help. Thanks again for all you do for “His Kids.”

Thank for reading!

Ken Wilson
Media Director
ICC

Las Palmas Medication Blessing

Friday, September 10th, 2010

Tattered clothing
Little bodies needing a bath
Evidence of malnutrition
Eyes that show fear and emit tears

These are outward appearances of orphaned, abandoned and vulnerable children when they first arrive at an ICC children’s village. Immediately our staff provide for their obvious physical needs: the children are bathed and dressed in clean clothes, food is offered, and the children are given abundant assurance that they are in a safe place where they will be happy.

However, even with all these efforts to provide for the apparent needs of the children, underneath, lying hidden perhaps for months and even years, are wounds and scares from a past life that in many cases was filled with neglect, abuse and fear. As a child grows and develops within the children’s village these wounds and scares begin to manifest themselves in attitudes and behaviors that require intervention.

At the Las Palmas Children’s Village in the Dominican Republic, several of our children have undergone psychological evaluations and are now receiving psychotherapy and pharmacological treatment. Critical to the success of such intervention for these children is correct follow-up to this process and that involves ensuring that the children continue the medical treatment without interruption and without missing the established appointments as part of their therapy.

At a time when there is a great need at the project for this intervention, the project is also facing economic challenges as costs outpace ICC’s ability to provide for all the needs at the project. The medications and general process are expensive yet essential.

Being placed in a difficult situation, our administrator contacted the National Counsel for Children and Adolescents in the Dominican Republic to see if they would offer assistance. Here are the results, according to our administrator. “After satisfying all the requirements of that institution and a long waiting period, we obtained, by the grace of God, a satisfactory response from them in the sense that they will commit to providing monthly the needed medications for the treatment of the boys and girls in our program.” What a blessing this is and a cost savings to ICC of nearly $600 each month.