The Blue Ridge Community College Students in Free Enterprise (BRCC SIFE) was recently awarded a $2,000 grant from Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation (LCEF) as part of their Community Improvement Challenge.
BRCC SIFE applied for this grant to assist the small mountain village of Mon L’opital, Haiti in opening their first general store and bakery. Access to day-to-day staples including rice, beans, flour and oil is limited because of the two-hour journey to Port au Prince, where villagers currently purchase these goods. BRCC SIFE worked with villager residents to convert and upgrade an existing building for use as a village general store and bakery.
LCEF grant funding helped finance the upgrades to the building’s structure and improving building security, wiring for solar power to light the store and internal upgrades including shelving.
BRCC SIFE has been working with the villagers of Mon L’opital in the development of a business plan for the store and bakery – businesses that will create six jobs in a community experiencing an extremely high unemployment rate. The opportunity to have products for purchase in the village will save time and money currently required for travel to Port au Prince. BRCC SIFE will travel to Haiti in early June to assist with the final preparations for the store’s grand opening.
BRCC SIFE is now eligible to compete for additional grant funding from Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation. If selected, the team plans to produce biomass presses for use in the village, creating more jobs and offering the village an alternative energy source that converts trash to energy.
Further information please contact BRCC SIFE Sam Walton Fellow Rebecca Evans at firstname.lastname@example.org or 540.453.2366