God Bless, Mousson
ORE Haiti Earthquake Relief
Camp-Perrin, 1 May 2010
It has been two months since our last report and I would like to apologize for this long delay in keeping you informed. We have been very busy with various commitments and responsibilities, as the relief program continues to bring help to victims of the earthquake. Haiti has faded in the news, but the crisis continues. The situation for the hundred of thousands of homeless and destitute defies the efforts of all the aid and governmental committees, the experts at all levels, to provide complete comprehensive relief.
Your contributions are enabling us to provide targeted feeding and healthcare programs, to support education and to start the relocation of the displaced persons under our direct care into more permanent housing. It is hard to imagine the difference you are making in so many lives, bringing about a god-sent respite from suffering, offering hope and the courage to continue.
Our funding status is as follows to date:
|Donations||28 Feb 10||24 Apr 10|
|Network for Good/Facebook Cause||$23,226||$26,350|
|Direct Bank wire transfer (updated Feb)||$55,567||$118,715|
|Expenses||Jan 10||Feb 10||Mar 10||Apr 10||Cumulative|
|Lodging Program (Camp-Perrin & PAP)||$78||$1,978||$115||$10,157||$12,328|
|Feeding Program, CP/PAP||$15,030||$10,480||$17,599||$16,560||$59,668|
|Health care, Camp-Perrin||$34||$643||$739||$0||$1,416|
|Individual Aid/Education Aid||$438||$104||$2,644||$137||$3,322|
|Support Staff and Logistic||$0||$3,766||$1,839||$4,732||$10,337|
|Freight for Donated goods||$0||$8,543||$0||$3,794||$12,336|
Twice during this period we received overseas visitors, supporters of the relief program.
Carole Devillers came from New Mexico at the end of February.
Her blog and photos provide a deep insight into the situation both in Port-au-Prince and Camp-Perrin. She has directly helped the program to reach out to numerous individuals in Port-au-Prince in desperate need of assistance. Her heart ached seeing the hardship… particularly for the plight of the thousands and thousands of single women with children, especially those who had themselves taken babies (orphans of the disaster) under their care. (You can read Carole’s journal at this link: http://www.oreworld.info/?page_id=777 ).
Then in April, Greg and Ray came from Florida, on a mission to evaluate needs and best responses to the crisis. They have been tireless in their efforts… most recently purchasing and shipping tents, cots and clothing to alleviate the dire conditions of families in critical need they identified in Port-au-Prince. Their presence brought much-needed moral support, and their discussions helped to clarify how best to address the seemingly endless needs.
In Camp-Perrin, as the EFACAP facility where we had been lodging evacuees has had to resume their normal activities as a teacher training center, we have opted to rent houses for the displaced families and the group of orphans under our direct care. Your support is helping with these costs without impacting the still desperately needed humanitarian program: food, health care, lodging, basic amenities and education. Our census figures of evacuees in the Camp Perrin area have been updated and show that there are now 2,091 displaced families, a total of 8,917 persons. Food distribution for these families has been organized by of the Regional Humanitarian Coordination Committee including major international organizations, using our census list. Copies of each completed form were given to the representative of the Committee in charge of planning and executing the food distribution in Camp-Perrin. This activity, the first food support program in the region since the earthquake, (the only one to be implemented) was inaugurated during the week of 22nd March, 2010.
Our main relief activities have been as follows:
1. Humanitarian Aid:
- In Camp-Perrin, we have continued to provide lodging and food for those under our direct responsibility at the EFACAP center: 27 persons (14 adults, 13 kids) and 37 members of an orphanage evacuated from Port-au-Prince. Medical services are provided at the Sainte Anne Hospital and a small dispensary close to the lodging center to all displaced persons in need in Camp-Perrin.
- In Port-au-Prince, the distribution of food kits continues and now supports 228 families, providing basic staple food rations to a total of about 2,005 individuals. Some groups who are now receiving aid from other Port-au-Prince based organizations, have been replaced by new families. These new families from various neighborhoods and camps were brought to our attention as isolated groups struggling to survive and in particular need.They include some individuals identified by our friend Carole during her visit in March. It so happens that on a recent trip to Port-au-Prince, at a chance stop in front of the crumpled ruins of the National Palace, I actually met one of Carole’s protégés. It is hard to describe the feeling of inadequacy as you register the huge need for all in that specific camp, sprawled in tents and under tarps on the pavement across the national palace… with no help reaching them, so close to the people in charge who receive all foreign dignitaries on the lawn facing the camp across the street. (You can see this scene in a 360º photo on our blog at this link: http://www.oreworld.info/?page_id=900) .
Our distributions were organized every fortnight until the second week of April at which point we decided to increase the portions in the kits so they could last for a full month, as the cost of freight has increased.
2. Education and Lodging:
- 43 displaced kids have been reinserted in schools – this included covering the cost of books, supplies, uniforms and transport. Education support was also extended to 3 other students: one returning to university (studying agriculture in Leogane), another to a professional school in Port-au-Prince studying administration, and a third starting anew in Les Cayes learning computer skills. Some of the evacuee mothers staying at the EFACAP are attending the crafts courses at the same location. One nursing student has enrolled as a volunteer at the Sainte Anne hospital, hoping to get credit and be able to join the Les Cayes nursing school, one of the best in the country. (The nursing school in Port-au-Prince was destroyed, and 200 students and about a dozen teachers were killed).
- As the EFACAP center needs to resume its normal teacher-training activities, we had to find houses for the families and the orphanage group.
It has been a lengthy process, but we have secured three sites and are making the necessary repairs so that the families can move in. The orphans group has already moved to their new home, which still needs more repairs (leaking roof). The houses have been rented for a one-year period. We have purchased the basic amenities to replace those used by the guests during their stay in EFACAP and made the necessary repairs to restore the place to the same good conditions as we found it and improving in some areas (painting of the facilities, building of a secure trash pit, setting-up of clotheslines, buying new mattresses and linen and so forth.
We are working on various long-term perspectives for the economical activities, but at present are primarily focusing on the immediate task of implementing the relief activities. We are all learning how best to help and serve. People have gone through tremendous trauma and the effects are just surfacing. We are following every lead that may reinforce our capacity to help, whether for feeding and lodging programs, or the education and health care support. Recovery plans are slowly being made at the national and regional level which is affecting our ability to develop long range plans at the community level.
Our relief program has enabled ORE to offer training and temporary jobs from its two major core programs: nursery work in the fruit tree program, and quality control and conditioning work in the improved staple crops seed program. We are now concentrating in keeping the people in our direct care settled and progressing towards earning a living. We are also taking steps in helping improve the living conditions of the most vulnerable ones in Port-au-Prince by providing them with tents and cots.
At the same time we are actively involved in trying to develop partnerships with different interested parties in education, to subsidize tuitions of more displaced children, so as to integrate them in schools as many are threatened with expulsion from schools that have not yet received the announced financial support by the Ministry of Education.
Haiti is less prominent on the news but the humanitarian crisis is still very present. For the victims it will remain a life and death struggle to survive under appalling conditions until their means to earn a living is restored. It is tragic, so many families have lost their sole property (for which they had no insurance), others, now bankrupt, had been repaying loans they had taken out loans to build a house. There are so many heartbreaking scenarios and there have been yet no hint of how they might get help to start over. The people’s real trauma is not knowing what to plan, what is the priority: whether to try to put kids back in school, getting a tent, buying food, cleaning up the rubble, building a temporary shelter, moving out of Port-au-Prince, out of Haiti? And all the time, for so many not a sign of relief in sight, no hope that real help, real solutions will reach them. This is why your support has been such a blessing and has had such an impact on so many people’s lives. The task is tremendous, but every effort, every gesture we make is particular blessing…
And on a very personal level, I would have felt beaten when faced with the scale of all that needs to be done, were it not for your continuous care, your gentle concern and your desire to give support at whatever level. This gives me the strength to go on. But above all, it is a blessing to see the smiles and relief on the face of everyone we help: I want to become their messenger and express to you their gratitude. I am the lucky one, being at the receiving end of their love. The children’s smiles say it so much better than my words! Thank you and God bless.