While the discipleship principles permeate all that HCDF does in the community, the Haiti Christian Development Fund is not a generally known name in Fond-des-Blancs. The church arm of HCDF addresses the spiritual and intellectual needs, while the coops concentrate more on the physical needs and reflect the basic make-up of the community. Although all of the HCDF projects originate from the same governing and administrative group, they are not directly affiliated in the implementation aspects. From the founding of the cooperative to this day, a lot of emphasis has been put on cooperative education. The members of the Coopérative de Développement de Fond-des-Blancs (CODEF) meet on the second Saturday of every month for the purpose of education, information, and planning.
CODEF, as an institution, is the oldest and one of the most respected community organizations in Fond-des-Blancs with a membership of over 3,000; it has touched every aspect of the economic life of Fond-des-Blancs. In 1982 CODEF capped a spring to deliver clean drinking water to the central communities of Fond-des-Blancs. This particular project tested the motivation and commitment of the people of Fond-des-Blancs. They contributed four years of back breaking labor into this project. CODEF has managed several road improvement projects in Fond-des-Blancs, managing over 2,000 people at a time.
CODEF has a long history of agricultural interventions in Fond-des-Blancs. It was solely responsible for one of the most successful pig repopulation program in the country. During and after the extinction of the pig population in the country because of the government’s eradication program, CODEF operated a goat improvement project and an egg laying chicken project. Once the pigs became available again, CODEF operated one of the largest pig repopulation programs in the country. Over a period of three years it distributed over 3,000 pigs to its target communities through its affiliated coops.Today, Fond-des-Blancs is a distribution center for pigs throughout the region. The same is true for bata goats bred through imported Nubians that are still in demand.
CODEF managed the only successful US-AID reforestation program in partnership with Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) to rectify the soil erosion problems that plague most of the country. At its peak, the reforestation program was planting 500,000 trees a year. In spite of the recent elimination of the finances for this project from US/AID, CODEF is continuing to produce and distribute tree seedlings in the community.
The credit union also grew out of a need in the community. Members of the staff constantly needed advancements on their salaries to meet various emergencies. Other members of the coop would come and ask for loans to redeem their land deeds which they had turned over to local loan sharks. HCDF committed $10,000 as seed funds toward the development of a Credit Union. Over the past five years the deposits of the members have reached $300,000. Jubilee is another member coop of CODEF, created as the business arm of the coop. Its members are individually and collectively members of CODEF and its administration is independent of CODEF. It has its own board of directors which regulates its activities. Its primary business interests are a cooperative store and housing development for both private homes and businesses.