Sunday, April 29, 2007

Photos of Students Who Now Have Eyeglasses

Here are photos of four students who received eyeglasses. All have received glasses since January 2007. We have several more being treated for eye infections . We will pay for vision checks post infection.

Othanes D., age 20, 3eme secondaire (4th year high school)

Edwina S., age 16, 9eme sec. (3rd yr.)

Paulaine C., age21, 9eme

Marlene D. . age 25, completed Philo last summer, and is currently taking a computer course. She wants to enter medicine and specialize in Orthopedics.

Lakay Fondasyon :: Online in Cap-Haitien!

Hello Everyone,

Thanks to the hard work of several supporters, we at Lakay Fondasyon, Starthrower Foundation's 'home' in Cap-Haitien, are now online! This is my first email using the new system.

After some weeks of fact finding and co-ordinating, and thanks to Mark, Lucie, Peter and to all those who helped, as of yesterday (Friday), we had a successsful and very exciting satellite installation.

The team arrived shortly after 1:30 p.m. and the electricity departed at 2 p.m. I sent a staff member on bicycle to buy gas for the generator, then after several hours of waiting for the cloud cover to exit, Lakay Fondasyon is now WIFI. We were ready to go by 5:30 p.m., but had to wait for electricity.

This morning we have electricity so I am test driving the system. Mark, you and yours are truly guardian angels. [Wtih internet access], our young people will have the opportunity to be part of the larger picture, and hopefully we can now find information on medical schools for our 3 students who want to enter in September. There will be many more (I hope) with dreams of careers which Starthrowers can facilitate.

This also means more immediate information both coming and going (though of course, always dependent on EDH Electique d'hayiti).

Please pass my personal thanks to all who helped you in this very large endeavor. We are very grateful.

We had visitors this week, too. Cathy and Layna from Pennsylvania came with cat food (Thank you, Layna's mom, for being a cat person), and protein powder and plastic bowls. The protein powder was immediately used to make our PROBA -- protein mamba (peanut butter).

Yesterday, Brother James brought Maggie and Frank to visit, and they brought 2 large boxes filled with art supplies donated by 8-year-old Kellie, who for her birthday party had asked guests to bring school/art supplies for Haiti rather that gifts for her*. Thank you, Kellie!!

I leave for Ft. Lauderdale tomorrow, and Toronto the following day. I will be in Orangeville until the end of June. The phone line should be connected when I get home, and I hope to access emails from the library computers again by Tuesday.

Bon dye va beni w,
* With a similar sentiment, a teacher in western Canada, in lieu of a Mother's Day / 92nd birthday gift for her (former teacher) mom, sponsored a student. A truly meaningful gift!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Francilien's Successful Half Marathon in London

Hello Everyone,

Here's a message from Francilien to let us know that he successfully completed his fundraising half marathon in London on April 21. Thanks to all who supported his efforts!


"Thank you for your update regarding Starthrower Foundation development in Haiti. I am sorry to hear about the accident of this young boy. I hope they take good care of him in the hospital and hope he recovers from his injuries.

I would like to inform you about the half-marathon I organised from the 21st of this month in order to raise funds for the youth in Haiti. I am pleased to say it went well and I was the only one who ran it from Crystal Palace Park to Battersea Park in London. I had some few sponsors and some few spectators who were willing to pass me some water while I was running. I thank them for that.

I started at 7 o'clock in the morning and in total it took me two hours to complete it. It was pretty hot and it was a good day. I am pleased I achieved it and at the moment I am collecting the funds from my sponsors. Therefore, pretty soon I will be able to forward some funds to Starthrower Foundation for the Haitian youth. A big thank you to everybody who pray for me and support me spiritually. All praises are for God. We are only the vessels He uses."
Thank you once more.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

April a busy time for hospital visits

Hello Everyone,

I am at Roi Christophe to access email for the first time in a week.

I spent last night at Hospital Justinien. One of our boys, Jean Ricot, was in a motor bike accident and suffered head trauma. He really does not look good. Throughout the night, about half of our kids showed up as the news went out about Jean's accident. I asked if all Lakay Fondasyon had showed up, and they said they were changing the name to Fanmi Fondasyon (family foundation). How amazing that these young people have grown into a family.

I am going back to the hospital again and will be there much of the time, as there are no beds and each item needed (syringes, IV tubing, meds, etc.) must be purchased by us at a pharmacy and delivered to the hospital. Jean's sister, Louisens, who works for us in Sen Rafayel, arrived by bus this morning and will sleep at the hospital. The kids will take turns taking in food for her and spelling her for rest breaks.

As I am typing this, I received a call that the hospital is sending Jean Ricot home due to lack of space and that he needs to travel to Carrefourmoustique on Monday for radiogaphie (x-ray). He is in great pain and 'home' is a small shack with no toilet or water and he sleeps on the dirt floor. We do not have the facilities to care for him at the house, but will arrange transit and company for Monday.

This is similar to what happened to me when I broke my wrist -- no x-ray of the broken wrist for 2 days then I had to travel over the worst roads in the world, and sit and wait for 6-8 hours. After seeing my wrist deformity after my cast came off, and after doing physio with me every other day and seeing the pain I am in as a result of an inept doctor, Marlene is now exploring the possibility of becoming an orthopedic surgeon rather than entering nursing as she planned.

I believe anything is possible and hope that the Starthrower community will continue to help these young people as they enter post secondary careers. Haiti has such a need for doctors!

Modeline, who has been living at the house following her surgery, goes back to the hospital at Milot for her post-op check this week. Marlene will go with her. It seems we need 2 vehicles, not one, if the universe is listening. We also need student housing, beds, potable water, mosquito nets etc.

I will return to Canada on Sunday, Apr. 29 to begin intensive therapy, as my wrist was not set correctly. I will also let you know what supplies are needed for the summer, and how best to send them to Haiti. Summer is the busiest time, as we get the students ready for school in September.

Thanks to everyone who has sent supplies, sponsored students, and otherwise helped support these young people. Helping out in Haiti can seem a daunting task. So many need a helping hand. It's easy to become overwhelmed. But, we can do it! Working together, like we have been: One child at a time; One day at a time.

Pi Ta
Scientific calculators arrived safely in Cap-Haitien and are much apprpeciated by the students who never expected to have them at all, much less in time for their exams.

Supplies list will be updated when Sharon returns to Canada for May and June following a very busy few months of rapidly changing needs. (See Things We Need
on the website for general guidelines)

Sponsorships (See Waiting List) :: Several more students were sponsored this month. Many, many thanks! With the school year coming to an end, now we start it all again. Funds are needed for the students' tuition, uniforms, supplies, etc. for September, and for food and medical help all the time.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Calculators, Malaria, and More Rain in Cap-Haitien

Hello Everyone,

I spoke with Sharon this morning. Though the signal was very poor, I was able to tell her to check with Lynx Air in a few days for the arrival of some scientific calculators. (Thanks, Jeff!)

Sharon said that the girl who was removed from an abusive situation, then placed in a safe home (see March 26 post) now has malaria. Sharon has arranged for medical treatment.

The poor phone signal is likely due to the heavy rains today in Cap-Haitien, she says, and also means that internet uplinks are likely down as well. Anyone waiting for emails from her will have to keep waiting a bit longer, as she won't even bother trying to use it today.


Thursday, April 12, 2007

Modeline, Travel Notes, Supplies

(This is Karen)

I spoke to Sharon yesterday: Modeline has had her operation and seems to be doing well.

She left for her surgery at 6:30 a.m. the day before and finally went into the OR at 4:30 p.m. The doctor removed a 'bowel cycst', and sent her 'home'. One of the girls comes in during the day, and one in the night, to stay with Modeline. Sharon takes her to the clinic in a cab every two days to get her dressing changed. She will have a followup appointment with the doctor while Sharon is still there.

Other news: The intern who arrived on Easter Sunday left on Tuesday morning to go scuba diving at Cormier, so Sharon and the kids can still use help rebuilding the wall. The staff is back at the house after the Easter break.

For those of you traveling to Haiti: Sharon says she has had reports that the usually abysmal roads outside of Cap-Haitien are in even more abysmal condition following the rains and washouts.

Thanks to all who are sending or have sent supplies. Sharon will try and send an update before she leaves for Canada the end of April.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Good Friday in Cap-Haitien

Hello Everyone!

The rain has stopped after 3 weeks. Our drainage canal at the side of the house could not process the quantity so we had to empty it with buckets, wheel barrow etc as the maringwen (mosquitos) were starting to breed.

We await repairs on our roof as the patching Jack did was not sufficient, Still haven't heard fron our kids living in Petit Anse. They live in wood shacks located in the salt water swamps.

Claudy and Lousena came down from Sen Rafayel last Friday. The village is still feeling the impact of the flooding that occurred the week before Christmas. Many more are dying daily, no gardens yet so food scarce and expensive. Still no animals.

On the good news front, our tutoring program in Sen Rafayel seems to be a success. We will know when reports come out after Easter. Deles will take the month of April off, and commence tutoring again May 1st to prepare them for finals.

We are again in desperate need of 24 scientific calculators for the final trimeste.

Many thanks to those who have and continue to help. We could not do it without you.

beni tou (blessings to all)



From Karen: I just got off the phone with Sharon and have a bit more information: When she got back from sending the update yesterday, the supplies from Mme Cindy, family and friends had arrived. Sharon said, "Bless Cindy, she always seems to hit the nail on the head ! She knows exactly what we need, and it arrives just when we need it! And the kids really liked the picture she sent."

Sharon also said the rains had crumbled the retaining wall at the house, and they will be working to repair it next week. Aaron, a volunteer from the U.S., is arriving on Easter Sunday (she will meet you at the airport, Aaron), and she is glad of the help with the 'heavy labor'.

This morning, six girls arrived at the house. It seems they were walking the Stations of the Cross through Cap-Haitien, and stopped in for bread, cheese and water, then continued on their way.


See news reports floods in Haiti


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