With your support, our work in Haiti just keeps growing. We’re continuing to focus on long-term change for disaster survivors by repairing damaged infrastructure and increasing the capacity of our local partners to act even once we leave.Our most recent new projects will achieve these goals and more. At the Foyer d’Orelph Orphanage, we’re building roofs over four classrooms. These roofs will provide safe, dry space for the 53 children who live and attend school at the orphanage, as well as space for the free school to accept more children from the area who would not otherwise receive an education.Once the classrooms and other improvements to the property are finished we’ll provide financial support for the school, allowing at least 50 more children to enroll.We’ll also soon start work at another local school, Institution Classique . The school is attended by more than 200 children and already provides scholarships for ten community children who would not otherwise be able to attend school.However, because the earthquake destroyed the school’s security wall and several roofs, the children are often in class without proper protection, and the entire property is insecure. Adding to the school’s problems, the entire property is very prone to flooding.We’re planning to reconstruct the security wall, install a drainage system, and build roofs over three classrooms. While this project is not yet fully funded, we wouldn’t even be able to consider it without your support. Thanks so much for making our work here in Port au Prince possible!Until May 20th, it’s even easier than usual to support our projects. During Global Giving’s Recurring Donation Challenge, the group that gets the most distinct recurring donors is eligible for $2,500! That means that simply by committing to donate $10 a month, you could help us win more than $2,000.
Please consider becoming a monthly donor – and ask your friends to do the same! Thanks so much for all your help, and our warmest regards from Haiti.
Following Global Giving’s visit in January, our work in Haiti continues to grow. We’ve recently begun providing scholarships to children in our community who would otherwise be unable to attend school.As education is the key to long-term recovery, we’ve coupled these scholarships with reconstruction and transitional classroom construction in high achieving schools. As the rainy season approaches, these reconstruction projects become even more essential. Unsafe roofs and walls are difficult in the dry season, but deadly in the rainy season when high winds and flooding affect all of Haiti.We’ve also begun a new programme with our partners Medical Relief and Education International to address the urgent health needs in Haiti. This health education programme combines clinics with health education with the ultimate of giving Haitians the information they need to place their health firmly in their control.We launched our health programme with work in several orphanages as well as a cholera and a disease prevention programme in the rural community of Fond de Negres. Combined with our on-going work in English education and community development, our reach in Haiti continues to expand, and it would have been impossible without your support. We hope you’ll continue to follow our work in Haiti and support us in any way you can.Thanks so much for all you’ve done, and our warmest regards from Haiti.
From the minute Britt and I walked into EDV’s house/office on January 10, 2011, it was obvious how involved in and on top of their many projects Emma Taylor, the organization’s logistical coordinator, was. Between questions from us about their work, she’d alternately answer a phone call about where and what time six of EDV’s current 8 volunteers were to be that afternoon, how many copies of their educational materials they needed for the next day’s teacher training – to teach Haitian teachers how to instruct on health topics such as cholera prevention - and when they would pick up their left-over wood and tin from the classroom they’d finished building that day. All of these are examples of the community-based work EDV has implemented since arriving in Haiti last summer.
A true community-based disaster recovery organization, EDV entered Haiti in June 2010 to assess the country’s post-emergency recovery needs. Their first step was to organize a community meeting, in which people were invited to discuss what was needed most to improve life and livelihoods in their communities. That one meeting was pretty much all it took for EDV to be flooded with a long list of projects, some of which I referred to above. EDV's t-shirts state that they are “changing the lives of survivors and volunteers worldwide,” which explains their model well. In a given week, they have anywhere from five to twenty volunteers staying in their house. While many are medical workers choosing to donate their services and supplies in Haiti, others are what they consider “strong hearts and strong backs” (i.e. non-medical volunteers) who are equally welcome and appreciated. The needs and wants of the community will determine how long they stay in Haiti, but for now they think they’ll be there for at least another year. In general, they’re trying to help the community find necessary resources and become self-sufficient. Their biggest objectives are healthcare, education, and jobs, so there is no shortage of projects to work on.
Emma and crew showed us a few examples of their work that day, the first of which was an orphanage called Le Main Tendre. Operating on the site of a former voodoo church, whose giant domed ceiling collapsed (in one piece) during the earthquake, it’s amazing they are able to house and teach all thirty-three of the children, from one-month-old to ten-years-old, who stay there. The community decided they wanted education first and foremost, so they’ve established transitional classrooms, where they hold regular classes and health clinics. And now that the classrooms are in place and functioning with volunteer teachers, their focus is on shelter. They are currently in tents and tin-roofed huts next to the collapsed church. They have city power and water but their current living situation is not a viable long-term arrangement for the orphans and caretakers. They say they have seen consistent improvement in the children’s health since they started working with them, and we hope that will only continue when the shelter situation is improved.
As we mark the one year anniversary of the earthquake, you’re likely to hear many stories about how aid has been diverted, delayed, and how survivors are not getting what they need despite the big promises made.
It can all seem very disheartening and, after reading these reports, some have asked us if their donation has mattered – if there is still hope for Haiti.
While we certainly won’t make light of the issues in the aid effort for Haiti, the hopeless situation presented in some media outlets doesn’t match the situation we see on the ground every day. Survivors continue to make progress step by step. They’ve not lost hope, and neither should we.
So tomorrow, we’ll be marking the anniversary with our friends and community contacts helping those most in need, and maybe even taking a few orphaned children for a swim.
In the face of the many hurdles facing Haiti as recovery continues, we’d like to leave you with the words of a good friend as he talked about EDV, the anniversary, and Haiti.
I am progressing forward, now helping myself and other people become better – become stronger. It was our blessing to have EDV in Haiti to keep our faith strong. Now I think that together, “yes we can!”
Thanks for all you’ve done for Haitian survivors, and take care.
Hello all,As we begin a new year, EDV continues to grow rapidly in Haiti. We have built transitional classrooms, supplied school supplies to more than 700 children, housed 47 orphaned children, and secured the free education of more than 30 further orphans.But what we’re most excited about is the enthusiasm of the community leaders with whom we work. They have gone from simply asking us for help to proposing new projects themselves and pushing us to do more. Our language exchange is a prime example. The community has now taken the lead and is transforming our informal exchange into a proper class. It’s this sense of purpose – this empowerment – of earthquake survivors that keeps us hopeful and excited about the future.To bring home what your donations have meant in the past year, we’ve prepared a report detailing EDV’s success in Haiti during our first five months on the ground. It’s in the links section of this update. We hope you’ll take a moment to read it and consider what your donations have meant. We also wanted to send you a recent profile of one of EDV’s founders who has been featured as part of Fast Company’s new series: Change Generation. It's also in the links section of this update.EDV wouldn’t be making changes in the world without your inspiring support. With your help, 2011 will be even better than 2010.Thanks so much for all you’ve given, and we hope you had a Happy New Year!
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