Thoughts on the current situation in Haiti

Posted on Oct 9, 2019

The situation in many parts of Haiti is currently very unstable. We had a conversation this last week with one of our partners there. What started with shortages of gas in the country has snowballed. Sales of gas have stopped except on the black market. Treated water for drinking is twice as expensive as it normally is. Hospitals have been shutting down due to lack of resources. Opposition party supporters have allegedly been handing out guns in poor communities and inciting rioting. The president has made no comment about the situation. The US State Department continues to warn the world to ignore Haiti and stay away, a call which is supported by the chaotic situation there. None of this is to say that desperate people demanding more from their government, or fighting for better social conditions is to be diminished. Love and support for the Haitian people always in their fight for basic rights and against corruption.

This post isn’t a plea for help or a dramatic poverty porn description. Its a statement about a period of chaotic social conditions and adapting as members of a support network to support people best. We are working with our partner in the south to determine where we can place counselors to help with psychological support for orphans and children who have been through violence during this time.

Simultaneously, in the north we are working with locals to figure out the best course of action to take to continuing programs effectively.

More details soon.

Radio interview with Medical Professional Desha Wood

Posted on Apr 21, 2019

On Episode 89 of the Punk Rock Pariah podcast, hosts Greg Bennick and Cameron Collins (both of One Hundred For Haiti) welcomed in Desha Wood to talk about her time working as a medical professional in Haiti with Naturopaths without Borders. The three talked about cultural differences faced when providing medical care in Haiti, caring for people in difficult circumstances, and what it was like to learn across borders while serving others for as year.

Thoughts on the current political situation in Haiti

Posted on Feb 16, 2019

Haiti has been deeply affected by political unrest in the last week. 

The people we serve are safe, some on lock down for personal safety, others not, but overall they are safe and hopeful, especially in Ranquitte. 

Greg had a trip to Haiti planned for the second half of March with high school students which was cancelled this morning because of the State Department lowering their safety rating of the country to Level 4, which means “Do Not Travel”. There are evacuations of non emergency US personnel taking place currently and this wasn’t an environment safe for a student trip. In a way its unfortunate because we are seeing a revolutionary moment in a country rich with revolutionary history. 

The Haitian people are speaking out against oppression and economic imbalances.  That the US State Department sees only violence is unfortunate. We wish they would acknowledge the root causes, the strength of Haitian voices, and possible solutions. Instead as always it’s reaction, avoidance, and distraction away from the reasons people are upset. 

From the Mayor of Ranquitte:

“The conflicts between Haitians have affected the country so deeply and ultimately they make the country poorer than the way it used to be. Ranquitte is safe as always but Ranquitte too is the victim of what is happening in Port au Prince. The economy of the country has been hurt. The poorest people who can’t even buy a meal a day are the ones in great difficulty.” 

We are going to stay consistent with our efforts to raise funds for basic needs to provide the grounds for sustainability. Roofs over heads and clean water mean that people can focus their minds on other pressing social issues.

Feel free to reach out to us if you have questions. We are in touch with people on the ground who have insights beyond the news.

SOLD! First sale in our partnership with Sea-Town Real Estate!

Posted on Dec 17, 2018

Christian Castro and Greg Bennick are celebrating the sale of the first home in One Hundred For Haiti’s real estate partnership with Sea-Town Real Estate!

For every Sea-Town client who mentions One Hundred For Haiti, Sea-Town donates 25% of their commissions on the sale or purchase of that home to One Hundred For Haiti for the development work we do in Haiti, and our plans to put roofs on as many houses as possible this coming year. Learn more about them at

Find out more about Sea-Town at http://www.sea-town.com

Sea-Town Real Estate roof partnership announced!

Posted on Oct 5, 2018

We’ve been working on this all year with our friends at Sea-Town Real Estate in Seattle and are so excited to finally announce it. The video explains it all!

One Hundred For Haiti has teamed up with Sea-Town Real Estate to put roofs on houses in Haiti. For every house Sea-Town transacts that mentions One Hundred for Haiti, Sea-Town will donate 25% of their profits to One Hundred for Haiti. One Hundred For Haiti will use those funds to help give safe new roofs to people in need.

Help spread the word about this partnership by following One Hundred For Haiti on Instagram, and Facebook (@onehundredforhaiti on IG and https://www.facebook.com/100forhaiti) and sharing the posts about the partnership…..and also please ask anyone in the Seattle area to not just like Sea-Town Real Estate on social media, but to buy and sell houses through them.

Haiti trip Spring 2018 – faces and inspiration

Posted on Apr 3, 2018

APRIL 8th 2018

This is Madame Cleguy. She lives in Bas Pinal Haiti. To make her living as a broom maker, she walks twelve hours to where a plant called lantanier grows, collects as much as she can carry on her head, and then walks twelve hours back to make brooms with the plant leaves. (Lantanier is seen here drying on the ground behind her in this photo).

She can usually only carry six brooms worth of lantanier which when complete she will sell at market for a profit of 88 cents each (less than six dollars total). Almost every woman in Bas Pinal makes their living this way. And they have, for over eighty years.

Check out the work our friend Brenda Reed Cooper at Haitihelpers is doing to make the broom making process more efficient and profitable for these women.

www.haitihelpers.org

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APRIL 8th 2018

Madame Papo, Bas Pinal, Haiti

It is always important to remember the constant beauty experienced in Haiti along with the struggles.

This is Madame Papo. She lives in Bas Pinal, a small community a few kilometers from the center of Ranquitte. One Hundred For Haiti put a roof on her house last year.

I met her yesterday for the first time. I asked what she thought of her new roof. “Trè kontant”. Very happy.

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APRIL 7th 2018

Little boy and broken bike, Haiti 2018 www.onehundredforhaiti.org (photo by Greg Bennick, all rights reserved)

In Haiti I see things every hour which are difficult to process. Actually more like every few seconds. After awhile I start to get used to it. It’s a coping mechanism in order to stay focused.

And then I see something that just stops me cold and the whole world freezes in time.

Like this little boy I met a few minutes ago, out in the street, just playing with his bike. 💔

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APRIL 6th 2018

This is Mr. Timamoun. He lives near Ranquitte Haiti. One Hundred For Haiti put a new roof on his home last year. Today I met with him here and he told me through a translator, “Now when it rains I don’t need to sleep standing up in the corner.”

He and his family were drying some cassava in the sun. He asked to give me some to eat along with some tomatoes. I tried to say no but he insisted as a thank you for the roof.

I had them for dinner tonight. Every bite was gratitude all around, for and from everyone involved ❤️ www.onehundredforhaiti.org

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APRIL 6th 2018

On the left is Faustin and on the right is his friend Frantz. They are eighteen and live here in Ranquitte Haiti.

Faustin told me, “When I am hungry I call my friend and we talk and tell stories. And then I am not hungry anymore.”

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APRIL 6th 2018

Kids today at the feeding program in Ranquitte which Fresnel Desauguste started with money from his own pocket. We now support that feeding program, calling it Healthy Kids, Healthy Future. Forty kids per day come to eat what might be their only meal of the day. Today after the kids ate, we worked on funny faces.

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APRIL 6th 2018

Leon Joseph in Bas Pinal Haiti

Leon Joseph in Bas Pinal Haiti

This is Mr. Leon Joseph. He lives in a very rural area called Bas Pinal, Haiti in a thatched roof house constructed with mud walls about the size of a kitchen table. I met him today and he is one of the most photogenic humans in history. With your help we will build him a real roof this year. The problem with thatched roofs is two fold (amongst other things). During the rain, leaks make sleeping basically impossible. No one should ever have to endure sleeplessness. In addition, the roof can easily be infested with bugs, some of which carry disease. A new roof will change all of that.

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APRIL 5th 2018

Little girl in Ranquitte Haiti pumping water

Little girl in Ranquitte Haiti pumping water

A little girl pumps water for her family in Ranquitte Haiti. There are two more pumps like this one in the center of town which we hope to repair this year in conjunction with the local Mayor, Edelin Phillipe. We’ve often focused on rural people over the last few years but the Mayor raised the very good point that because the condition of water pumps in town is bad, residents of the town often have to walk to rural sites for water which taxes the already sparse supply there and makes life even more difficult for rural people. We hope to shift that balance and ease stresses.

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APRIL 4th 2018

http://www.onehundredforhaiti.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/IMG_6025.png

Water flows thanks to donations to One Hundred For Haiti

This is why we do what we do. Clean water flows from a new tank at Benefice, near Ranquitte Haiti. The mayor of this area and I met today. We have big ideas for access to safe cholera-free water in this region. All of this paid for by donations to One Hundred For Haiti ❤️ He has some water sites he would like to focus upon for 2018 and we have a list of the forty sites we’ve been managing and maintaining (and building) for the last few years. Only possible with your help. Consider becoming a monthly recurring donor. It goes so far over time.

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APRIL 3rd 2018

Port au Prince, Haiti (4/2/2018)

This week has been a lesson in adaptability. I’m in Haiti (its Greg writing you tonight) where very little ever goes as planned.

I’m here at the promise of an international group who shall remain unnamed who evidently connect pairs of global cities together in partnerships to develop both cities culturally and economically. I’d received a personal invite two weeks ago to be a part of a diplomatic team who were going to travel the north for five days. This was billed as a trip which would allow heads of NGO’s and select government officials to meet and travel and spend close time together while discussing matters of job creation, micro loans, and development throughout Haiti.

The list supposedly attending was amazing. Members of President Juvenal Moïse’s cabinet, people from the southern command (who can facilitate movement of huge construction machinery from the USA to Haiti), members of immense NGO’s, and many others. I had to say yes. Because bureaucracy can be as much of a facilitator to progress as it can be an inhibitor, and because even the best meetings wouldn’t result in immediate direct change, I doubled the length of the trip to include time later this week in the rural area of Ranquitte where we do a large amount of work so that I could be amongst the people. I am glad I did.

The meetings were a bust. One took place. Evidently the organizers either didn’t coordinate the event, never were involved, or just didn’t know how to make an event of this magnitude happen. On the first night, members of the President’s cabinet showed up and we (the cabinet, about five NGO’s, some private investors and others) sat around a table. There was no structure and the event started an hour late. We each introduced ourselves for a moment then the group heard a for-profit pitch by a private business for over an hour. Then the Haitians present argued in Kreyol and French for an hour about an internal Haitian issue involving a shipping container of some kind. All in all it was largely a waste of time.

The next morning, having realized that the event was a bust and to salvage the experience, I met with some of the people from the night before and made some good connections which can result in real change for some specific communities I know here, then left in order to forge my own proverbial way. Brenda Cooper from Haiti Helpers (another small NGO who work in the same area in the north as One Hundred For Haiti) and I went with Fresnel Desauguste (in-country director for both of our organizations) to stay for three days in Port au Prince at a friends’ private residence. This friend and his family introduced us to more people in the first two hours than the supposed government meetings did in 24 hours. Its actually turned out to have been an amazing few days and will potentially have wide ranging success for One Hundred For Haiti moving forward.

Tomorrow, Brenda flies home and Fresnel and I head to Ranquitte to do hands-on work for five and a half more days. Can’t wait. The people who live in Ranquitte are who we work for, and listen to and be with them will be more important than any meeting could have possibly been. Adapting to change and helping others to do the same.

Photo above: Port au Prince haiti tonight, taken from a Mavic Pro drone.
Photo below: L to R, Fresnel Desauguste, Jacques Denis (who’s medical endeavors immediately after the earthquake were the reason One Hundred For Haiti formed the way it did), yours truly, Joelle Denis (Pediatric doctor and long time advisor and friend!)

Updates to follow!

What Matters

Posted on Feb 2, 2018

Late at night, sitting up in Canada, thinking about what matters, what doesn’t, where to put energy, and where not to.

I just got this photo sent to me from one of the villages we support in Haiti.

This is a roof you paid for this year so that a family can sleep safely. In the Ranquitte region, a thatched roof means not only rain falling in and soaking families in the night (families will often crowd into corners or sleep sitting up to avoid getting soaked by leaks).

It also means the threat of bugs falling from the thatch onto the faces of sleeping people and biting them around their mouths. Known as “kissing bugs” the Chagas disease that they transmit can be deadly.

Putting a metal roof on a house changes everything for a family in Haiti. Here’s to one more family who will sleep at night in a house safer from disease and the rain.

That matters.

(from Greg Bennick, Executive Director)

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