Forgive the lack of photos, but we want to keep the recipient of this particular update anonymous. Today your donations to One Hundred For Haiti paid for six months salary for a woman employed to do laundry at a safe house for former child slaves in the south of Haiti. We will be renewing her contract for another six months as well if she is happy with the work.
Why did we support one woman’s salary with donations? Because her young daughter was recently raped by a family member and the mother’s inability to earn a living on her own was contributing to an extremely unstable living situation for the girl who survived the assault.
This job gives her mother independence and security, which means the victim/survivor has a stable place to go home to and thus can feel safer. Healing begins in the heart and the mind. Safe and protected: that is the goal. Next: support for activist teams heading into rural areas to train people in rural communities about how to stop child sexual assault.
#commitment means helping beyond the point where the headlines fade.
Bailey Richardson joins us to do research and outreach and a list of other tasks and we are really excited to have her on the team. Fluent in Swahili (!) and devoted to non-profit work, Bailey has already pushed to have Ten Thousand Villages do an info night and benefit for One Hundred For Haiti. We think Bailey is cool.
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. 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 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 are hoping to work with a new consortium of organizations in Haiti to develop child sexual assault crisis prevention work in rural areas. 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 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.