Haiti Outreach Foundation
P.O. Box 2563
Staunton, VA 24402-2563
Volume 4 No. 3
This month’s pictures show two boys who were orphaned after the earthquake and are now living in Pointe-a-Raquette and the remains of Fr. Roosevelt’s foster father’s church in Leogane. Only the altar remains.
NEWS FROM LA GONAVE
Although the people on La Gonave continue to suffer following the devastating earthquake last January, they are taking steps to try to resume a normal existence. Fr. Roosevelt has been providing cement blocks to families who need to repair and rebuild their homes, and we recently sent additional funds for the purchase of cement. Cracks in the cisterns have been repaired to allow the people to collect rainwater now that the rains have come to LaGonave. The influx of refugees has taxed the town well’s capabilities to provide adequate water, but the local Water Committee has provided the leadership necessary to insure that there is fair distribution of the available water.
Wilky Estinvil, our garden specialist, will return to La Gonave later this month to work with the people there. Wilky’s home in Port-au-Prince was completely destroyed in the earthquake, but he never stopped working. We hope to have him plant gardens in Nan Boukan, an extremely destitute village about 5 miles from Pointe-a-Raquette, when he returns to LaGonave. The plant nursery in Pointe-a-Raquette was almost destroyed over the dry season because the increased need for drinking water depleted the available water supplies, but some plants were saved and will be used to help the gardeners get started again this season. Wilky will be bringing seeds from the mainland also.
We have a new nurse at Bob’s Clinic. Our first nurse, Miss Ketura Jean worked her last day on April 30th. She had been employed for the last five years and was a wonderful asset to the clinic. She is emigrating to the United States to join other family members who live in Florida.
We are still waiting to hear if the Zabricot Rabbit Cooperative will be accepted into the Farmer to Farmer Program which is part of the Partners of the Americas Program administered by our government. If the group becomes a partner, the women will receive additional funding, and most importantly, on-going training and supervision from Haitian rabbit farmers on the mainland. This will enable the cooperative to expand. Although the women have worked very hard over the past 2 years since they received their first rabbits, the 2008 hurricanes and then the 2010 earthquake have undermined their efforts to expand their business. We hope that a closer relationship with the Makouti Farmers Association will help.
TRIP TO LA GONAVE
Although the parish trip to LaGonave planned for January, 2010 had to be postponed because of the earthquake, we hope to have a group travel next January. Unfortunately, the conditions on the island are still too uncertain right now for group travel, and the rectory remains filled with displaced persons from the mainland. However, Fr. Roosevelt has asked Dr. Linda Kofeldt to meet with the people in Pointe-a-Raquette, and she will be travelling to LaGonave on May 29th to visit Father and to visit our various project sites. If you would like to send a letter to Fr. Roosevelt or to your sponsored schoolchild, please bring it to the office before May 27th, and she will take the letters to La Gonave. She will give a talk about her trip on Sunday, June 27th at 10am in Assisi Hall.
UPDATE ON YOUR DONATED MEDICINE AND BAKING EQUIPMENT
Thanks to all who donated baking supplies and OTC medicines back in December and January. The response was overwhelming and very much appreciated. We have made arrangements for all of these items to be shipped to LaGonave this month. It is unlikely that they will arrive while Dr. Linda is there, but the items should be available to the people by the end of June. It has taken several months for the regular shippers to Haiti to resume operations, mostly because of the destruction of their warehouses in Port-au-Prince, but now they are again shipping on a regular schedule. We will also be sending a solar oven, donated by the Blue Ridge Community College SIFE Team, with the shipment. The Technical School has been closed since the earthquake, but the arrival of these supplies should be an impetus to get plans for the bakery started again.
Thanks to the CCD classes and the parishioners at St. Francis who collected their change during Lent and returned their milk bottles. The change is being counted now and we will report the amount as soon as the numbers are available. Thanks also to St. John the Evangelist in Waynesboro who joined the milk bottle campaign over Lent and raised $2200.84 for Haiti Outreach Foundation.
ON A LARGER SCALE
The International Donors Conference on Rebuilding Haiti was held in New York City on March 31, 2010. Dr. Robert Maguire, Associate Professor of International Affairs at Trinity Washington University, was one of the panel moderators. Dr. Maguire has worked in Haiti for over 40 years, and he has an absolutely on-target vision of what needs to happen there for rebuilding to be a success. He was one of the featured speakers at the Diocesan Haiti Gathering in Charlottesville in March and is very knowledgeable and inspiring. For anyone interested in learning more, go to www.trinitydc.edu/maguire
Mesi anpil. Thank you so much for your continuing support. It means so much to the people on LaGonave. It gives them hope that they are not forgotten. Please keep Fr. Roosevelt and the people of La Gonave and all of Haiti in your prayers as they continue to fight back from the devastation of the earthquake and the very difficult conditions under which they live each day.
Men anpil chay pa lou. Many hands make the load lighter.
Bondye beni ou. God bless you