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Food Supplies after Hurricaine Matthew

Hurricane Matthew hit southern Haiti last year, passing right over the heads of director Mandy Thody, volunteer Robin Bolton and the 4000 villagers in western Ile a Vache. A Category 5 storm, it destroyed much of the housing, all of the crops and many fields and small businesses. We were very lucky in being on the ground there, able to help immediately, and in the fact that our modern chicken houses survived, along with half the chickens! Funds, generously donated, were used for tools, roofing tin, cement, provision of meals and basic foodstuffs for 4 months, seed for farmers, medical care and more. Robin’s swimming program to prevent loss of life at sea amongst the islanders was unfortunately aborted but the principles will be re-instated in the future. School commenced only one week late!

We started 2017 with a bang, flying into Les Cayes (near Ile a Vache) in January by private plane (thanks to the remarkable Fiona Horne) with 350 chicks of a new breed of layer-hen, 3 large rabbits, and much other aid, plus expertise in the form of our agronomy advisor Dr Stuart Weiss, who performed miracles in a few days, inspiring many people to useful action! Our school at La Hatte benefitted enormously from the better diet we now produce, with eggs and chicken in quantity, also extended to the elderly, sick, pregnant women and victims of the storm.

This was our first year with the school under the personal charge of Phelix Joseph, our president-in Haiti, as principal, the first since we started intensive teacher training last summer, and our first year of eighth grade. The results in July were excellent, an enormous improvement to 78% passing grades! Better food and better teachers and organisation are finally paying off.

Our IMECT school nearer Port au Prince had a good year scholastically with their first year of 7th grade completed and the usual excellent marks. Sadly we lost several older members of the community including Boss Roland, the builder of the school and father of the principal, Yolande Caristyl; as well as a young teacher, Ketliane, who died very suddenly. The school lunch program was bravely supported by a group of Michigan churches and the friends of Mike and Shelly Scripps, no small undertaking! Mandy made 2 more trips with volunteers before hurricane season, including a second visit by Stuart Weiss to expand our farms.

Almost exactly a year on from Matthew, Haiti was largely spared by the hurricanes Irma and Maria - not so the Virgin Islands! Irma hit the BVI incredibly hard and will affect our fundraising and visibility in Virgin Gorda and Tortola for a long time. Founder Michael Beans may not be able to entertain any more at Leverick Bay Resort (destroyed), and his boat is badly damaged, on her side in the boatyard. Maria also devastated St Croix, where Mandy and all of GSF’s admin and day to day communications are based, passing right over the western edge where she lives. Luckily her house is intact amid a forest of fallen trees. But life goes on… (We are very grateful for the support of our friends, occasional access to wifi, the possibility of power by February, and we have not gone hungry or cold! In a sense we have a chance to experience what daily life is like for most Haitians.)

Meanwhile in Haiti - there has been considerable political upheaval when the newly elected government tried to impose a system of taxation. We are hoping that calm will be restored soon and visits can recommence.
School has started again, this year we have a 9th (and final) grade at La Hatte School, and 8th grade at IMECT, in accordance with government dictates. Our agriculture program continues much expanded, with quite a few employees and a much better diet taking hold in the district. Rabbit breeding is starting to succeed as we share our surplus young rabbits with farmers nearby, teaching them to raise another source of protein. Fruit trees and moringa are being widely established, along with a greater variety of vegetables. The 350 chicks from January began to lay in May and produce 1800+ eggs a week for the school and local sales. The observable level of malnutrition in our villages in June was effectively zero, a huge achievement after a very major hurricane - and there are far fewer skin and parasitic diseases, unexplained illnesses etc. This will translate into better concentration and results for all the school children, and better health and intelligence of the intake over the next few years, due to improved nutrition in children under 5.

Funding for the school at La Hatte has been very generously guaranteed by the usual donors for 2017-18 in spite of the terrible situation in the BVI where they are based! However we are very much in need of funding for our mainland school, IMECT, even though the lunch program is covered again by the great kindness and hard work of the Scripps family of MI.

Many other programs continue - with high school and trade school scholarships running very well. It was an unfortunate year for university education, with the political situation meaning we had some students fail, and some depart to Chile and other countries to work or study as the opportunity arises.

Sanitation and infrastructure projects continue too, in particular we are very proud of the work to stabilise the lake hastily dug by the government without any research three years ago, we have saved a large area of land from degradation, and kept many farmers from going under, as well as protecting the road and improving health concerns.

Education for Haitian childrenMandy will be returning to Haiti before Christmas to assess progress and continue development in all areas.

If you can help with support for IMECT school’s 19 staff salaries and 280 children, or with any other program that interests you, we beg you to consider our solid reputation and transparency, as little by little we help transform the small communities we aid.

Please donate by using the Donate buttons here or on our Facebook page, directly via Facebook or by check to:

Good Samaritan of Haiti
606 Little Lagrange
Frederiksted
VI 00840

 

V.I. Resident Helps Coordinate Aid for Haiti After Hurricane Matthew
Hurricaine Damage Laundry Day Haiti hurricaine Matthew

Shelter

dinnertime Hurricaine Matthew damage

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MISSION STATEMENT:

The Good Samaritan Foundation of Haiti is committed to the advance of education, health and welfare of the underprivileged children of Haiti. The Good Samaritan Foundation of Haiti does not discriminate on the basis of age, sex, race or national or religious affiliation.


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Last Updated on: November 1, 2017


Mandy Thody