A Message Of Thanks
& The Latest News
Words of Thanks from Dr Mousson Pierre, the CEO of ORE, Haiti
Dr Mousson Pierre Finnigan

First, my very heartfelt thanks for once again for your unrestrained and outpouring fast response.

Your donations, from $10 to $20,000 are so touching. I cannot explain it, but just reading the names of the donors bring tears to my eyes… most of you I know, although I never realized I knew so many people!… some donations were anonymous and they also touch me profoundly.

Thank you for your compassion, for wanting to help.

The terrible destruction!

The terrible destruction after the 12 hour onslaught

Devastation near Port-a-Piment

… people in the middle of the rubble, putting their belongings out to dry in the first ray of sunshine.

Meetings with farmer groups in Formond near the Macaya park to organize the next planting season

Thanks to your help we have been able to meet with the farmers groups, distribute the first seeds, and plan for the coming planting season…

Because although, maybe people will get help rebuilding their home, for food… they need to take care of that themselves.

Most of the community are just farmers, that is all they know how to do!

Thank you for your help!

I was traveling when Matthew struck, I had left Haiti the day before…

I talked to my colleagues on Monday morning and they were getting ready. In my 38 years living in Camp-Perrin I had experienced 3 major hurricanes and rejoice about 2 “monster” ones that had missed our part of the island. I had seen branches ripped from trees, flooding, the loss of crops, barely any damage to houses. So we all thought, we know what to expect.

But what hit the West southern peninsula of Haiti this October was off the scale, we had nothing to compare it with… you would need to go back 60 years. But even Hurricane Hazel in 1954 had the same destructive force as Hurricane Matthew.

But Hurricane Matthew moved much more slowly! It churned its 230 km/hr wave of destruction from 8 or 9:00 p.m. at night until 8:00 a.m. the next morning: A full 12 hours!

It is hard to understand the effect, the extent of the destruction caused during those 12 hours: uprooting or breaking big trees, stripping every leaf from all branches. Two trustworthy people said they saw two “balls of fire” crossing on their balcony.

From Paris, when the first photos arrived, I did not understand what I was seeing. Nothing looked remotely familiar, my village was unrecognizable for  2 days. Only when I saw a photo of the church did I fully understand that all was lost…

And I was stunned, I felt lost and had to make a huge effort to become philosophical again, to want to talk again, and to try reach out to all the people, all my co-workers, all the communities where we work, because none were spared.

And photos of people in the middle of the rubble, putting their belongings out to dry in the first ray of sunshine, The ORE team, with somber faces, carefully laying out sheets of paper, chairs, table, books, out to dry in the sun, in the middle of trees, amidst tin sheets from the roofs. And the communities, looking for clean water to wash their belongings, to drink. Resilience, I suddenly understood its true meaning.

But the worst for me was the loss of trees. Trees had been the core of my work. I had learned so much about how precious they were, how we should reforest, protect the trees, protect nature and… Nature had done that! So I reached out and ask friends around if they had experienced this total destruction of seeing trees littering every single inch of the ground… and the ones standing, bare, blackened as though they had been burned.

And a friend shared a very positive experience and it gave me hope: Nature restores itself, even when things looks so desperate. So I called home and their first words were “the trees are budding, new leaves are springing forth”. The best example, are the banana trees: fields of broken trunks and now replaced by new shoots, spouting naturally from the dead parent tree.

And people all around were picking themselves up, starting to clear their plots, getting busy so as not to miss the major October-November planting season: beans, corn, vegetable crops. This was an urgent need: the need to quickly start over and produce food within 3-4 months, to stock up for the family and generate revenue. To get their lives back.

Emergency humanitarian Aid, so badly needed during the first days, when all the basics of life are lost, will last 3 months!

Maybe people will get help rebuilding their home, but for food… they need to take care of that themselves. Because most of the community are just farmers, that is all they know how to do!

The solutions: a relief program based on the needs expressed by the communities most affected

So the solutions, the relief program has been adapted based on the need expressed by the communities most affected:

Clearing the land!  Imagine the work it takes !

Clearing the land, so that it can be planted again.

With your help 24 teams of ten persons per team have been mobilized assist farmers in 8 communes, so that there is food in the months to come!

November delivery of 15 tons of improved corn seed to farmers

Distribution of improved corn seeds to farmer groups.

  • We have been coordinating with Oxfam to provide drinking water from a deep well on our facility to 3 of the 18 communes of the South department. 636,000 liters already been provided to the communities
  • We are focusing on providing vegetable and corn seeds to farmers in 8 communes in the South and 1 in the Grand’Anse. We target 50 ha. of vegetables: carrot, leeks, eggplant, lima beans, cabbage, tomato, pepper; and 2500 ha to be planted in improved open-population non-GMO corn.
  • Other seeds include high-yield sweet potatoes, and some 45,000 Guadua bamboo plants to date.
  • We are also funding 24 teams (of 10 person per team) to assist farmers in the onerous task of clearing of the plots, making the plantation possible.
  • We are also training farmers in the rapid multiplication of yam seeds and about 90,000 minisett yam seeds are targeted.
We are combining our efforts, using your donations and the additional funds provided by agencies that recognize the usefulness of this approach:
A huge thanks to our friends in Germany who have made so much possible through their support:
Misereor 
and
Naturland / www.betterplace.org.
Also to the organisations who are collaborating and supporting our efforts in Haiti
Save the Children
BIT-Bureau International du Travail in Haiti
 And of course, our special thanks to YOU all who have helped
Thanks again, Mousson and the whole team at ORE
God Bless!
Photos of some of the latest activities
  • Meetings with farmer groups in Formond near the Macaya park to organize the next planting season

  • Clearing the land, so that it can be planted again. With your help our teams, have been able to assist farmers in 8 communes, so that there is food in the months to come!

  • Meetings with farmer groups in Torbeck, focusing on providing vegetable and corn seeds in 8 communes in the South and 1 in the Grande Anse

  • Clearing the land! Imagine the work it takes !

  • Teams working to clear the land for planting

  • Unimaginable amounts of fallen trees to clear away

  • Showing farmers in the mountains of Formond how to rapidly multiply yam plants by ‘minisetting’

  • Showing farmers in the mountains of Formond how to rapidly produce multiple yam plants by ‘minisetting’ to reestablish production.

  • Beds of ‘minisett’ yam plants growing in beds of saw-dust for the planting in a few weeks! of saw-dust for the planting in a few weeks!

  • The terrible destruction!

  • The mountains devastated and stripped of trees

  • Drying first 15 ton batch of HP-2012 improved corn seed

  • OXFAM loading drinking water at ORE’s deep well facility

  • November delivery of 15 tons of improved corn seed to farmers

Any help you offer will make a huge difference!

Even the smallest gift will go a long way to alleviate the suffering that thousands are going through as a result of this natural disaster… women and children, the old and the needy. thank you for your help. Every donation goes in full directly to those in need.