One Hundred For Haiti: 2014/2015
What we’ve done and what we will do, thanks to your support!
Accomplishments since we last spoke…
In the last two years One Hundred For Haiti experienced a profound shift from relief work to development work. The change is significant: rather than only give supplies (which is how we started), we now focus whenever we can on helping create opportunities. Many of the following stories are explored in greater detail on this website (http://www.onehundredforhaiti.org), but those which are not are explained here, some for the first time.
You made all of this happen. We cannot be more emphatic about that. Without your ongoing support, none of this would have been possible.
The Rural Water Project: saving lives from cholera
While visiting Haiti in the early spring of 2014, we spent a week helping to build a medical clinic with Peacework Medical. Pam Burwell, director of Peacework was well underway building the new clinic there – the only one for dozens of miles around – and Greg flew in with Michael Scott, long time One Hundred For Haiti supporter to help level the new floors of the clinic and begin to paint the walls and entryway. While there we all discussed the need for cholera to be eradicated. Introduced into Haiti’s water table accidentally by a UN worker from Nepal, cholera had killed thousands of people: deaths which were entirely treatable.
One of the easiest ways to prevent cholera is to simply avoid it, and Pam told us about her desire to build cisterns around the Ranquitte region into which potentially cholera-infected water would flow, be treated by a low-grade chemical, and then taken from the cistern from a tap. We loved the idea and immediately agreed to fund all of the tanks they wanted to build. As of today, 15,000 people in Ranquitte region now drink cholera-free water due to your donations and the tanks we were able to fund. The success of this program has led us to commute to building ten more tanks. All told, by the time the project is complete and we build the new tanks and hire a local Haitian to monitor them, between 25,000+ people will no longer have to worry about death due to cholera-contaminated drinking water. Donations that come in from this point forward will fund that second round of cisterns.
Individual support: saving hearts, minds, and bodies
In 2014 we focused whenever we could on individuals and small groups as well.
We were able to provide barbed wire fencing to protect the former child slaves and orphans living at the Little Footprints, Big Steps safe house in Les Cayes. Robbers had been scaling the walls and harassing the boys as they slept. We felt that their young lives as orphans and slaves had been enough and that harassment from thieves was too much. We paid for barbed wire to be installed by a Haitian worker around the compound, and we paid for him to take it down someday when the safe house – which is renting the space – moves to a new location, so that the safety of the barbed wire can go with them when they outgrow their current space.
In addition, we helped individuals in two very significant ways:
- We found out about a young man named Josh who was suffering from a heart condition in a hospital in Carrefour, just south of Port-au-Prince. This was the nephew of Josue Lajeunesse who we had helped int the past in his village through installing our Moto Logistics Program. Josue told us that this young man wasn’t able to pay his medical bill at the hospital, and as a result wasn’t able to leave. This was a problem because he as at an inferior hospital, and we wanted him moved to Bernard Mevs, in Port-au-Prince, one of the best hospitals in the country. One Hundred For Haiti paid for his medical bills in Carrefour so that the hospital would let him go and he was able to receive life-saving quality care at Bernard Mevs. You saved him.
- Finally and arguably MOST importantly. We heard about a young woman who was raped in Les Cayes. She was a friend of Morgan Weinberg, director of Little Footprints, Big Steps. Her home life was completely unstable because her mother was out of work and she (who shall remain nameless for anonymity) was on the streets. The rape came as a result of her exposure on the streets. One Hundred For Haiti agreed to pay for immediate medical care for the girl as well as psychological counseling. In addition we paid a salary for her mother to be hired for a full year so that the home life for this young girl would be stable. In weeks that followed over the last month, we heard of two other cases as well. This is when we decided to take action.
What is coming in 2015?
We plan to partner with Little Footprints, Big Steps to develop a new rape crisis prevention program in Les Cayes. Our target students will be young men and women, along with local officials. Education in Haiti struggles critically, and around rape and sexual assault, the need for information and prevention through education is extreme. We want to turn the tide and protect future victim/survivors from ever having to experience the primary instance of assault in the first place. We will be developing these programs in the next few weeks.
We will be building more water tanks with The Rural Water Project. This will save thousands and thousands of people from dying of cholera. This is really help, in real time, for real people who need it most.
All of this is possible with your help. The most important thing you can do is to spread the word: share this email with your friends and social networks. Like us on social media and read what we post. We are a small NGO. We do what we can, with what we have, when we have it: so your attention and focus goes a long way.
In terms of donations, we’d love to have you consider our recurring monthly donation option, where you can set paypal to donate anywhere from $1 to $100 a month on a regular basis. We’ve also set up employee matching programs so that your employer can match your generosity. If your company is interested in being involved, write us anytime through our contact page on the One Hundred For Haiti website.
We also partner with Amazon.com so that if you go to http://smile.amazon.com and set One Hundred For Haiti as your charity of choice, a small percentage of EVERYTHING you buy will go to us. It changes nothing about how the Amazon.com site works for you, but it helps us significantly, especially if enough people sign up to donate.
Thank you for your interest, your support, and your commitment: that’s why we are still here doing what we do. We said we would help in Haiti and we didn’t give up or forget, even after Haiti was out of the news. And we will continue to be here doing this work for years to come.
All the best,
Greg and One Hundred For Haiti
Phase 1 of our Rural Water Project with our partners Peacework Medical is complete. Phase 2 will be starting soon with a coordinated fundraising campaign!
We just received photos from Ranquitte Haiti, including this one of a little girl collecting CLEAN water from one of the cisterns that YOUR donations funded. She, along with thousands of her neighbors will never have to worry about cholera being in their water source again. The cisterns allow for cholera-infected water to be treated before it comes out of the tap, and as a result, thanks to medical monitoring by Peacework Medical, the number of deaths from cholera in the region has dropped to zero.
Spread the word about this success and let your friends know that in the next few months we will be coordinating the fundraising for Phase 2. We want to build ten more tanks like this one at least!
One Hundred For Haiti has been supporting the work being done by our friend and partner Morgan Weinberg at ‘Little Footprints, Big Steps’ in Les Cayes Haiti for the last few years, and this newest piece of news is an addition to that relationship which was possible entirely thanks to your support.
In January 2014, we visited the new rented safe house where Morgan has been living with the former slave boys, runaways, and orphans that she saves from the streets of Les Cayes Haiti. We heard Morgan mention that there was no barbed wire around the safe house, as there often is around houses and properties in Haiti. Morgan told us that people had been scaling the walls at night and stealing things from the compound and harassing or attacking the boys there. We were stunned…that these kids had been through so much and still their difficulties never seemed to end.
We asked Morgan if we could pay for barbed wire to be installed on top of the wall around the property. She said yes, but expressed concern about putting money into a rental property. We had an idea: what if we hired a Haitian worker to not only install the barbed wire, but also gave money so that the same worker could someday, when Morgan and the boys move out of the house, take down the barbed wire and more it to a new location? And thus this idea was born…it has now become reality.
This is the man we funded to put up and take down the barbed wire, and here are a few words from Little Footprints, Big Steps about him and what the process meant to him:
“The father of this family is the man we hired to put up barbed wire (all funded by One Hundred for Haiti). This was one of the only jobs he has had in months and significantly helped in him being able to send his children to school. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have been able to afford his children’s education. He took us to visit his children and we wife; they were so grateful that we hired him. They really prioritized their children’s education and seem like great parents! We will definitely hire him when we remove & re-install the barbed wire!”
That’s a victory as far as we are concerned. And you made it happen. Thank you!
We searched the world for a Social Media Director, and we finally found the one we were looking for!
Meet Ashley Burton: Ashley fell in love with Haiti on her first visit in 2013 and returned for a summer in 2014 as Country Director with Sustain Haiti. Because the people there changed her life, she’s committed to doing anything she can to help them. She recently received her MPA from Virginia Commonwealth University and has a BA in political science from BYU. She’ll be using her experience with social media to increase awareness of and mobilize support for One Hundred for Haiti.
Have questions, news, ideas for Ashley or our team? Send them our way through our CONTACT page.
While we were in Haiti this spring, we visited the safe house for former child slaves and homeless children being run by our friend Morgan Wienberg. Morgan works for Little Footprints / Big Steps and has been directly supporting homeless youth in the city of Les Cayes in the south of Haiti for years now. She has lived with them, nurtured them, kept them safe, and seen them grow. The children she oversees live full time in the space with her. The compound itself consists of a central house in the middle of an open space surrounded by a ten foot high concrete wall.
In discussion with Morgan, she explained that while the safe house and the space they live in is generally safe, a lack of barbed wire on the walls around the compound means that people have been breaking in at night, harassing the youth, stealing from them, and being violent. We asked if having barbed wire around the compound at the top of the walls would help. Morgan said that the problem is that the house is a rental, and the landlord is unwilling to do any improvements to it as a result.
We have found that solving problems is often about disregarding limits: we asked if we could fund not only the barbed wire, and its installation, but also the removal of the barbed wire at any point in the future that Morgan and the children moved out of the space. Then the landlord could have his unsafe safe house back! Morgan happily agreed, and the plan was set in place.
For these boys, all of whom were on the streets before Little Footprints / Big Steps invited them to have a better life inside the walls of the safe house, life has not been easy. They suffer from post traumatic stress disorder at times, which is heightened by a lack of personal safety within the compound when there is no barbed wire. We are going to change that this month. You made this possible through your donations. More details to come as the barbed wire is installed.
Phase one of our Rural Water Project was funded today for the rural area of Ranquitte. We – meaning YOU – paid for Haitian workers in extremely rural areas to build ten water treatment tanks. These tanks will protect the water supply, currently coming directly from the ground from natural springs, from infecting people with cholera when storms disrupt the groundwater and reintroduce larger amounts of cholera into the water. We expect 15,000 people in Haiti to never have to worry about dying of cholera again as a result of this project. Thanks to our partners from Peacework Medical who originally built the first tanks in the area which we saw on our trip there a few months ago. Phase two will begin in the fall: more water tanks, more lives saved.
Gwen Whipple retired last year but decided to stay busy. The Seattle resident has a love both for fabrics and for the work One Hundred For Haiti is doing in Haiti. She recently decided to take her passion and transform it into a fundraising campaign for us. It was all her idea. Gwen makes handmade purses like the one shown below and has set a goal to sell one hundred of these for us. She has raised hundreds of dollars so far. We asked her recently about the campaign and where her idea came from.
100FH: How did you get involved with sewing and how did the idea of the purses for Haiti project come together?
GWEN: It started about twenty years ago when I went to visit my brother and sister-in-law in Sacramento. Betty signed me up for a quilting class. I had no supplies but it was so exciting and fun. Once I started going to quilt shows I found fun patterns for bags and purses. I still get to put the colors together (my specialty) but the projects get to the finish line quicker. I got inspired hearing Greg Bennick speak recently in a keynote presentation at an event. His passion for the people of the country was intoxicating, and drunk on excitement I decided I could do something. I knew I was going to keep making these purses so I thought, wouldn’t it be great for the proceeds to go to a fund where the money is clearly helping people pick themselves up and have a better life? The next thing was to broaden my exposure so, with my new goal of one hundred purses for Haiti, I began networking.
100FH: How long does it take to make one purse?
GWEN: I often cut the fabric out one day and do the sewing the next day. If I worked on it straight through, it takes about 5-6 hours including the button and beading. I always have 4-5 fabric combinations lined up. I love it when I get requests for theme fabric (“can you make me one with owls?” or “My friend loves elephants, can you make one with elephants?”)
100FH: Why is this cause important to you?
GWEN: I trust that this money is in good hands and helping brighten lives. It started simply with clean water now those same people are asking for help to help themselves through conditions most of us have never had to endure. Life is good for me, how could I refuse this simple request to help? It is a win-win-win. I get to feed the creative side of my brain, someone gets to walk around with a new stylish purse knowing that the money spent is going to a great cause, and One Hundred for Haiti gets a new stream of money to fund programs.
Gwen had this to add about the purses:
“They are 8 1/2″ X 13″ tube top purses with plenty of pockets. They have four inside pockets for pens and credit cards, two full-width outside pockets with buttons on front and Velcro on back. The tube top is available for the stuff you really don’t want exposed and folds down to reveal the embellishments. The strap goes across your body and fits nicely on your hip. It has room in the back pocket for a Kindle (a nice bonus). I use mine for my full-time purse. It works great for travel and gambling as it can swing around and sit in your lap while you are on your favorite machine your money is close at hand…your hand no one else’s!”
To contact Gwen with questions, email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org