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Nov 1, 2010

Our Growth in Haiti

Some of the kids we work with playing
Some of the kids we work with playing

Hello all,

We hope this finds you well!

Since our last project update our growth in Haiti has been extraordinary. We’ve spent the last three months funding football programmes, building classrooms, distributing school supplies to more than 680 students, locating and distributing tents in an emergency and teaching English – just to name a few of our favourite projects.

The common thread in all of these initiatives is the involvement of the community. Every programme that we’ve established, funded, or supported has been proposed by the community.

We hear comments almost daily along the lines of “you are the only group that’s ever come in and asked what we needed.” Even when a community contact proposes a project which we can’t take on for whatever reason, they’re confidence in us doesn’t waiver. When asked why, they reply simply that we listen where other groups do not.

We couldn’t be here, listening, without you. So in this update, we’d like to simply say thank you. We’d like to invite you to take a moment to visit the project section of our website (http://www.edvolunteers.org/programmes-projects), look at the pictures included in this update and consider for a moment that it was your donations have made these life-changing projects possible.

One last time, thanks again, and take care!

Haitian students receiving supplies
Haitian students receiving supplies
One of the kids at a school where we work
One of the kids at a school where we work
Studying english at our free language exchanges
Studying english at our free language exchanges
Emma with one of the kids we have housed
Emma with one of the kids we have housed
A few of the kids at an orphanage where we work
A few of the kids at an orphanage where we work

Links:

Oct 10, 2010

Housing Secured!

Emma with one of the kids your donation has housed
Emma with one of the kids your donation has housed

Hello all,

We hope you’re all well! We’re excited to write you with big news.

Following a donation of $3,000 from one of our US-based partners, Burners Without Borders (BWB) we can now say with assurance that we’ll be able to rent a safe house for all 47 children living at the Hands Together to Defend the Children Orphanage for two years!

We echo the emotions of the staff and kids living at the orphanage when we say we are awed and humbled by your support. The children who your donations will house have spent much of their young lives in dirty, unsafe shelter under threat of eviction. Your donations will provide these children with secure housing for the first time in their lives.

Success in this fundraising effort would not have been possible without the help of all who donated. So thank you all for your contributions.

We hope that this won’t be the end of your extraordinary support of the Hands Together to Defend the Children Orphanage. With housing secure, we’re turning our attention to making sure that the children have tables to sit at when they eat, beds to sleep in, can afford to see a doctor when they’re ill, and have their school fees covered.

So while further donations won’t go specifically to housing, they will still be used to change the lives of these children.

We hope you’ll help us reach this goal of going beyond housing by telling your friends and family about Global Giving’s “Give more Get More Day”. On 12th October, Global Giving is matching all donations made on their site and waiving their 15% administrative fee. Donations will be matched on a sliding scale, so donations between $10 and $499 will be matched by 30%, donations between $500 and $999 will be matched by 40%, and contributions between $1,000 and $2,500 will be matched by 50%.

Again, thanks so much for your generosity. Your donations have changed the lives of these deserving kids. We're looking forward to sending you photos and updates as these kids settled into their new house!

If you have any further questions, ideas, or concerns feel free to email me at Media@EDVolunteers.org.

Another of the beautiful kids at the orphanage
Another of the beautiful kids at the orphanage
A group of the kids at the orphanage
A group of the kids at the orphanage
Aug 17, 2010

Laying the Foundations for Sustainable Recovery

Community members and Volunteers working together
Community members and Volunteers working together

After arriving in Haiti in mid-June we’re off to an amazing start. Not only have our projects taken off, but our executive director, Andrew Chaggar, has been selected from among 2,500 applicants as a Vodafone World of Difference winner. Vodafone's support will not only bolster Andy, but provide a huge boost for EDV. Andy's Vodafone win would not have been possible without your support - so thanks so much.

During our first month on the ground in Haiti we’ve spent time building connections in the community, begun a long-term sustainable building initiative, and run a project which protected an orphanage for disabled children from flooding.

But it isn’t the small project we’ve completed or the large project we’ve begun which are most exciting for us – it’s the relationships we’ve developed with community members and local groups. These partnerships give us the greatest opportunity for a successful programme here in Port au Prince.

Many community members have told us the same thing: We appreciate the aid that’s given to us, but we need permanent change and skills, not hand-outs. That’s exactly what we aim to provide.

Our sustainable building project and its integration within the local community is a great example of how we can affect long-term change. The project aims not only to create buildings in a sustainable way, but also to teach residents how to build using locally available, affordable materials like earth, rubble, and the by-product of processed sugar cane called baggasse.

While the buildings we create are important, this project hinges on the community contacts we’ve been fostering since we arrived here. By involving the community in every step of the building process and training residents how to build with materials which are readily available to them we can empower communities to meet their own needs and direct their own recoveries.

We’ve already involved local women’s groups, schools, student groups and community organisations to begin planning workshops and skills trainings centering not only around sustainable building, but also on health, education, and community mobilisation.

When we include community groups in all our activities, even the smallest project can become a vehicle for building local capacity. That in turn lets us create more sustainable, self sufficient communities – and that is our ultimate goal.

Keep an eye out in the coming months for more EDV projects here on Global Giving. If you'd like to learn more about what EDV is up to in Haiti, please visit us at www.EDVolunteers.org. And of course, please give generously here on Global Giving to support community-based, sustainable recovery in Haiti.

Getting our hands dirty with sustainable building
Getting our hands dirty with sustainable building

Links:

 
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