The January 2010 earthquake in Haiti dealt a crippling blow to the nation's economy. In the year following the quake the unemployment rate in Haiti soared from 10 percent to 40 percent. An already bleak economic situation in the country's rural areas deteriorated its economy after the earthquake. Missions International of America, the Perrysburg-based charity founded by Dr. Jay Nielsen and his wife Jan, has created job opportunities for people in the rural West Haitian village of Savanette.
The charity is building a Farm Resource Center and when it opens next year, the mission will invite people from across Haiti to come to Savanette and learn about new farming techniques Dr. Nielsen introduced to Haiti. Money is already pouring into the community as residents are earning a salary connected to the construction of the Farm Resource Center. When the Farm Resource Center opens in 2013, local Haitians will conduct the seminars and sell some of the crops that will grow on the grounds. "Creating jobs, it's all about creating jobs," Dr. Nielsen said.