First of all, a big Thanks! to those who responded so generously to the plea to help us restart the Food Distribution Program at Lakay Fondasyon in Haiti for the remainder of this school term. Because of Cindy and friends in Pennsylvania, Daniel and family, and Margaret and Kate in Canada, we have reached the halfway mark (see previous post for details).
This is very heartening, and as the rest of the needed money will surely make its way here as the universe unfolds, Auguste, Starthrower's manager in Cap-Haitien, is currently and on faith arranging to purchase, deliver, re-package and distribute basic foods for this weekend for students and families in both Cap-Haitien and the mountain village of Sen Rafayel.
The fastest and most accurate communication system in the planet (Haitien bouch-la or word of mouth) will already be sending out this most welcome news.
We've had some other good news as well. The owner of our property had asked Starthrower to pay a rent increase, an increase that we cannot afford nor can we pay. Auguste and Sister Rosemary (Sewoz) met with the rental agent yesterday, and this agent phoned the owner in the States. After explaining our plight (lack of funds), the owner/landlord is allowing us to stay on at the previous rent for the time being. We at Starthrower hope to have a place of our own some day, but in the interim, we are fortunate and grateful to have a roof over our heads.
We have also heard from the good folks in Colorado who have been looking for ways to help clean up our water supply at Lakay Fondasyon, for both potable water distribution and our washing purposes. Unfortunately, the cost of cleaning up the existing well is prohibitive, and digging a new well would result in the same tainted water. So we will continue our Potable water program as it now stands, by purchasing drinking water in 5 gallon bottles and redistributing in gallon jugs which we also supply and sterilize.
Potable water distribution is also a tentative project for Sen Rafayel for the first school trimeste of 2009/10, as so many diseases are waterborne. We have staff in place in Sen Rafayel, but we need to find a space where incoming gallon jugs can be sterilized.This has been holding us back. Anyone who has visited Sen Rafayel understands the challenge. We're working on it.
My health-enforced visit to Canada has become more lengthy than anticipated. The up side is that it has allowed me to meet people I would have otherwise missed meeting, had I not been here. Also, being in Canada has meant I am more easily accessible by telephone. To meet new people who have a passion for justice and to get to talk with some I had only known by email has been a real bonus for me.
Thanks again for supporting Starthrower's Food Distribution Program. I know we can reach our goal together, feeding one young person at a time.
Kenbe pa lage
PS Special Thanks to Animoto for a Cause, for generously donating a full membership for Starthrower Foundation to make short videos from photos to help publicize our work in Haiti. These videos are also posted on YouTube to reach a public we might otherwise not.