Special thanks to all the anonymous contributors! God Bless, Mousson
ORE Haiti Earthquake Relief
Camp-Perrin, Main Office ORE, 28 February 2010
Your continuous support is growing steadily and everyone has found a way to contribute. Directly or by becoming a fundraiser, using your talents and creativity or very simply in your field of work, you are helping.
Every time I review the donations and I see your names or the anonymous donors, I send a silent thanks to you and I marvel at your generosity. You are, each contributor, very present in Haiti with me. Early morning is the time when my heart goes out to you, in awe of your selfless support. There are close to 400 of you, and so many anonymous ones, that I want to acknowledge here.
And donations keep coming in! Since our last report of January 27th, we have also received 3 tons of humanitarian aid on February 7th. It included clothing, shoes, linen, comforters, blankets, sleeping mats, hygiene kits, medicine and more. Thanks to the people of Atlanta, especially the children who participated in packaging the goods. Each box was a gift of love: Nathan, Kathryn and Ian, we did find your little note with your wonderful words of love and encouragement! It made us realize that real people gave their time as well as their wealth and from unsuspected corners of the USA.
Our funding status is as follows to date:
|Donations||28 February 10|
|Network for Good/Facebook Cause||$23,226.10|
|Direct Bank Wire Transfer:||$55,344.60|
|Expenses||January 10||February 10||Cumulative|
|Lodging program at EFACAP, Camp-Perrin||$78||$1,978||$2,056|
|Feeding Program, Camp Perrin, Port-au-Prince||$15,030||$10,480||$25,509|
|Health Care, Camp-Perrin||$34||$643||$677|
|Support Staff and Logistics||$0||$3,766||$3,766|
|Freight for Donated Goods||$0||$8,543||$8,543|
The relief program is evolving to respond to the circumstances as they arise. The preliminary results from the census we made together with the Camp-Perrin Civil Protection Committee is now of 2,023 displaced families, for a total of 7,516 persons.
ORE has provided direct earthquake relief services as follows:
- Over 700 people evacuated from Port-au-Prince to Camp-Perrin
- Over 2000 involved in the feeding program (purchasing food from local farmers and delivering to those in need both locally and in Port-au-Prince)
- 114 displaced persons have received health care
- 67 displaced people (including orphans) are sheltered, fed.
- Humanitarian aid: providing lodging, food, clothing, basic sanitary needs and medical care to the displaced families under our direct responsibility at the EFACAP center in Camp-Perrin. Medical services are offered at the Sainte Anne Hospital to all displaced persons requiring medical care and medicines, either from the EFACAP or from the homes of Camp-Perrin residents. And finally a feeding program was extended to about 300 families in Port-au-Prince.
- Promoting a return to normalcy: by promoting the reinsertion of displaced kids in schools and by supporting economical activities to enable displaced adults to become self-sufficient and contribute to the rebuilding of Haiti.
The first stage of the humanitarian aid program started with the evacuation of 726 survivors from Port-au-Prince, during the period January 18th –20th 2010.
The second stage has evolved as follows:
- Lodging and Feeding Program: this program is providing shelter and food to 64 people at the EFACAP center, a lodging facility at a school compound in Camp-Perrin, that was built to facilitate annual seminars for teachers. The displaced guests include 6 families of 27 persons (14 adults, 13 kids) and 37 members from a Port-au-Prince orphanage (7 adults, 30 kids aged 6 to 17).
The feeding program is also continuing for the Sainte Anne Hospital in Camp-Perrin and to several hundred people in Port-au-Prince’s neglected neighborhoods. Food kits have been sent every two weeks (in 3 separate expeditions), to 321 families of an average of 5 persons per family, providing basic staple food rations to a total of about 2,005 individuals in Port-au-Prince, bringing the total number of people who are benefiting from the food aid program to 2,072 since January 18th 2010. Our estimate of cost is $1.10 per day per person. A donation of $33.00 will allow us to provide basic feeding for a month for one person.
Since the beginning we had favored local food for the feeding program, preparing the kits to fit consumers’ eating habits and to support local agricultural production. This approach has been appreciated by the recipients, providing them a variety of familiar food types – and it is now the recommended approach adopted by most humanitarian providers.
Clothing, Hygiene, Sleeping Kits: were distributed to all EFACAP residents and some Port-au-Prince families from the stock of goods received from Florida. A team of US based volunteers, Chuck, Ray, Sarah, Andi, planned and organized the shipment, finding the best options to ship the parcels down by air and to Greg and Grace for their help throughout. They also shopped for last minute items, selected the required articles from the donated goods, identified pallets and made sure they were loaded on the correct plane.
The flight was monitored from Fort Pierce to Port-au-Prince and our Haitian team was there early waiting for the plane, saw it land and oversaw the unloading of all the 8 pallets weighing close to 3,000 kilos. Additional local purchases were made to cover immediate needs, such as personal items, towels, bath soap, toothbrushes, stainless steel plates, bowls, cups, and cutlery for each family to enable them to take care of their basic daily routine. Distribution of the goods is underway – bringing in groups of people to see a display that we set up of the clothes and shoes to facilitate their choice.
- Healthcare: 114 displaced patients have received care at two dispensaries in Camp-Perrin – the Sainte Anne Hospital which is capable of caring for hospitalized patients, and a second health clinic is next door to the EFACAP center. We met expenses for the consultations, the lab tests and medicines. The medicine received as part of the donations from the USA was transferred to the two medical facilities providing care to the displaced people.
While taking care of the urgent relief actions, planning is underway to find solutions for the long-term. People from all corners of Haiti traveled back to their parents’ birthplace near Camp-Perrin, looking for solace. They needed to find a place among their peers, and become rightful denizens in their new surroundings.
Job Creation: the number of displaced people in Camp-Perrin represents an additional 19% of the commune (county) population estimated at over 38,000. When no job is available, the easiest and fastest income generating activity is charcoal making. This is a serious threat to the already fragile environment and the endemic problem of deforestation. Tree cutting has started, and we were alerted.
A solution seems clear: to combine the activities of environmental efforts such as tree nurseries, tree planting and soil conservation structures with the rehabilitation of economic infrastructures such as irrigation canals and roads – using the workforce of the displaced persons and the struggling local residents.
The result will be several beneficial impacts: people earning their livelihoods, a rehabilitated and reforested environment, a restored agricultural infrastructure contributing to increased food production and improved roads for better marketing of the produce.
Support for Education: The results of our census show a total number of 3,424 displaced kids are in need of schooling. Most schools have integrated several displaced kids in their classrooms. But they are overwhelmed by the additional number of students and lack the resources to hire more teachers, purchase additional desks and seats, books and school supplies and providing one hot meal a day.
One clear overall sign of the psychological trauma is the fear of being under a cement roof. Many displaced persons will not sleep in a room with this kind of cover. It is a real tragedy when it comes to attending school: it has happened in Camp-Perrin and all over the provinces, where schools have resumed their activities. The slightest unexpected noise, such as a desk falling down, provokes a panic among the kids, causing them to hurt themselves running around, and screaming uncontrollably. And the rumor spreads that a new earthquake has occurred.
Both interventions are large scale and beyond our present funding capacity, so humanitarian aid remains the priority until people can become self-sufficient. We are looking for other sources of funding in collaboration with members of the community, meeting with potential donors. One of their requirements is precise statistics, identifying the different categories of the displaced persons as a justification for their support. This is one reason why we decided to collect extensive data that will allow us to have exact figures about the number of school kids and the different levels, the type of trade people were involved in before the quake, and other details about the number of people who died in the quake from these registered families, the addresses of the displaced in Port-au-Prince, the number of amputees, all pertinent information to help identify priorities and plan the mid and long-term programs to rebuild the survivors’ lives.
With your support, in a small but meaningful measure, we have taken the first steps toward helping people to become self-sufficient, integrating some of the displaced persons in the relief activities such as preparing and packaging food kits, inputting census data, folding and displaying the donated clothes. Others, who very quickly went back to farming received subsidized seeds for food crops, as February is the beginning of the major agricultural production season in the region. Farmers at heart, they went back to their routine, only lacking the funds for the initial investment. 64 farmers received beans and corn seeds from ORE to plant 25 hectares (62 acres) of land. (The average family plot is 0.4 hectares or 1 acre).
Other plans include setting up a small revolving fund to enable 3-4 of the women staying at the EFACAP to start a new a commercial activity, selling secondhand clothing and shoes, an activity that they used to do while in Port-au-Prince. Another one will receive support to start her old business of selling a special morning drink, Akasan, made from corn flour. We are discussing with the men of the group, identifying their skills in order to look into possible job opportunities. There is also the idea of an handicraft project with a group of artisans already producing tablecloths, table sets using the appliqué technique to supply the new tourist market in the north of Haiti, through the cruise boat Oasis of the Sea, the most recent vessel of this kind, bringing at least 6,000 tourists a week at Labadie. This project would integrate displaced women with skills for embroidery and sewing.
We are looking into many income generating activities, agriculture being the dominant sector in Camp-Perrin. The census revealed that construction was the primary trade of 42% of the displaced persons. Because of that we will help coordinate training sessions on best practices for anti-seismic building techniques.
The challenges we face are great and of all kinds. The first one is the huge number of people in need, 2 million people nationally and over 7,000 people locally. The scale of the help, support and investment required is beyond our reach. But no matter how small the scale, we can offer help to any individual that destiny puts in our path as long as we have the resources. Food, health care, clothing, sleeping gear, every small step counts for that particular person!
Also it needs to be said that help is often not easy to provide to the ones most in need, because security issues are always a serious concern. The distribution of aid is always insufficient, and the number of people in need is always greater than the estimated or available goods. Our team-members Makil, Wilson and Ruben have held up their commitment to coordinate our aid trips to Port-au-Prince – starting with the trips to evacuate survivors in the beginning, to the current regular truckloads of food for distribution. Wilson and Ruben are from Camp-Perrin, and travel late at night, so as to arrive in the early hours so that distribution can be done without attracting the attention of passersby. The sites selected are enclosed compounds, offering security to the recipients and the relief team members.
A short visit to Port-au-Prince has shown the resilience and ingenuous nature of the Haitian people: they have taken all the necessary survival steps, from creating the tent cities, with makeshift tents made of any piece of cloth to provide some privacy, to transitional living quarters made of scavenged tin roof sheets and pieces of wood and tarp to protect themselves against the elements. Without guidance and direction, the result is a sore sight to the onlooker who remembers the nice parks, the quaint squares, the majestic statues who symbolized the heroism and greatness of a free people. But now, there is another kind of greatness, from the people who have suffered horribly in their bodies, in their emotions, who having lost all, wealth and loved ones, carry on to find a way to live, recreating homes, neighborhoods, commercial activities and playgrounds for kids.
The parents Paola, Natacha, Santana, Marcelyne, Sherlyne, Joane, Michou, Ricardo, Amaray, Reginald, Fritznel and their children, Michael, Robert, Jonathan, Naika, Ericka, Samantha, Jamesley, Laurie,
The orphans Wadelyne, Berline, Nephtalie, Dieunie and all
From Gaelle, Marjorie
From the ORE personnel Benoit, Faubert, Alienne, Dalila, Yolaine, Eliassaint
Also our gratitude to Licia, Felice, Ray, John, Shamia, Sarah, Dominique, France, Corrine, Yves, Eric, Darcey, Paul, Anthea, David, Karen, Carol, Bonnie, Diana, Marie, Pamel, Jeff, Jane, Sandhya, Ajay, Nancy, Anne, Grace, Jane, Ben, Kinja, Rene, Irina, Henk, Inga, Susie, Jean, Joan, Jennifer, Claudia, Philippe, Judy, Fabienne, Jan, Arun, Kuldeep, Deepak, Valerie, Stephanie, Amy, Micky, Margaret, Rochelle, Lois, Donka, Peter, Masako, Andre, Lilian, Bindu, Sindu, Sunil, Tommy and so many more.
Thank you all so much, and God bless!
Dr. Mousson Pierre Finnigan
Directeur Général ORE