Robillard Louino, Cultivating Community and Forests in St. Raphael

Louino Robillard (“Robi”) was born in the town of St. Raphael in rural northern Haiti. When the rural agriculture system in Haiti collapsed, waves of peasants, including Robi, went to look for a better life in the city. Robi was raised in the slums of Port au Prince, but wanted to re-discover the countryside and his original home. Almost 20 years later, upon his return to St. Raphael, he was shocked to see the great, tree-covered mountains now bare.  He became aware of the mass deforestation in Haiti.  Robi and his wife, Sabina, decided to move to St. Raphael and start a model-forest/park to educate the community on the importance of trees for the environment and their lives.

The model-forest will include a community tree nursery, and eventually a larger demonstration forest to teach the principles of agroforestry. They also hope to create a space that promotes peaceful community change, including homages to Haiti’s historical figures and symbols of peace and social transformation from other cultures and opportunities to learn about non-violent social transformation around the world.

Robi recently completed his Master Degree in Community Change and Peace-building, and has traveled from India to Kenya to learn the best approaches for sustainable community change. “I believe that my perspective and dedication, combined with the local knowledge and experience of my community will ensure that this vision is realized,” Robi says.   Funds from the Pollination Project will be used to purchase items needed to begin community meetings and plant the first seedlings.