Saturday, April 25, 2009

Rice, Beans, Oil Budget Food Distribution Cap-Haitien and Sen Rafayel Haiti

Hello Everyone,

Here is the current food price list from Cap-Haitien, Haiti, for foods needed to relaunch the food distribution program at Lakay Fondasyon. Starthrower hopes to be able to run this program from now until the end of Haiti school exams, roughly the second week in July.

Here are the amounts need so that we would be able to distribute one sack of food with enough rice and beans for 2 days to each student. (They receive only enough for these two days. To receive food for one week, triple the amounts.) Students in turn are responsible for finding a cooking pot, fuel and fire starter. Total amounts are doubled to include distribution in Sen Rafayel as well as in Cap-Haitien.

Starthrower helps support 51 students in Cap-Haitien and 51 in Sen Rafayel. These students, in turn, will share their food with another 3 or 4 people each. So this food distribution means these 102 young people and approximately 300 neighbors/relatives will eat. These numbers are conservative compared to the survey we took last year.

Conversion rates for the gud (gourde) fluctuate between 35 and 39, I have used the median of 37 to $1 USD [See HTG-USD conversion post; NB Today: $1.00 USD = 39.6650 HTG.]

Using the figures below, for the initial start-up week of the food distribution program, we need $212 USD for the students in Cap-Haitien and another $212 USD for students in Sen Rafael ($424 USD total). A case of oil lasts for two weeks; we buy the bags needed for distribution in the first week and they last for months, so startup costs a bit more.

For each consecutive week of the program, we need $150 USD each for Cap-Haitien and Sen Rafayel ($300 USD total).

Additional costs to distribute/manage the food distribution will be about $10-$15 USD / week for staff to travel to/from the market in Cap-Haitien, and $40 USD per week for Sen Rafayel staff to travel down/up the mountain to Cap-Haitien to pick up and deliver the foods prepackaged in Cap-Haitien.

Also, we will hire a student part time, if necessary, to help with this food packaging and distribution. Travel and extra staff salary will be paid for out of the general fund; donated funds for food will be used for the food program only. As the duration of the program will be brief, and we have the space, it is economically more feasible to purchase/package everything in Cap-Haitien.

Total for 10-week food distribution program:
May 4, 11, 18, 25 and June 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, and July 6 is estimated $3,124 USD. If donating through the web site, please specify Food Distribution Program.

We usually stop the food distribution program over the summer months, when school is out, and we direct resources to the text book restoration/distribution program that provides summer jobs for about 25 students in Cap-Haitien.

Prices will fluctuate but this is a good ballpark estimate. Thanks to those who have swiftly responded to my plea on behalf of the students in Haiti. I hope these figures help you in your fundraising efforts. Please contact us if you need anything explained, or more information.

Below find the original message from Auguste, Lakay Fondasyon manager in Haiti; I have translated for those interested in Kreyol.

* * *
Bonswa, Manmi
Good Afternoon, My mother

A-Mwen kontan tande ou. Nou pa pi mal.
I'm happy to hear from you. We are not too bad.

Jacques te gen fyev semen pase. Nou gen kek jen ki malad mwen voye yo nan lopital Justien et nan klinik lan.
Jack had a fever last week. We have several sick youth whom I sent to Justinien Hospital and the clinic.

Tisab te gen parasite mwa pase. Sanble Joli vle malad osi l'ap grate anba kou li komanse fe blese. Nou va tcheke veterine.
Tisab (our smallest dog) picked up parasites last month. It seems Jolie (our big sister dog although they are the same age) is also sick as she has been scratching under her chin and it bleeds. We will check with the vet. (This will take place when Jack is well and the vet is in Cap)

Kisa / pri inite / kantite chak semen
Item / price unit/ weekly amount
Gwo sak Jumbo :1850 Gdes 1 sak edmi =2775 gdes
Mamit pwa nwa : 180 Gdes 10 manit =1800 gdes
Kes lwil :1500 gdes 1 kes =1500 gdes
Sache nwa et blan :1525 gdes (sa pou 12 mwa) =1525 gdes
Taxi 250 gdes
Total : premye semen = 7850 Gdes
NB: n'ap bezwen achte pou : 5575gdes chak semen

Nou te itilize chak semen :1sak edmi diri/ 10 mamit pwa/ 3 galon lwil.
Each week in Cap-Haitien we used 1 1/2 sacks rice (100 pounds), 10 marmites beans (approx. one quart each) and 3 gallons cooking oil.

Elorge et Marlene antre Okap jodia.
Elorge and Marlene came home (from university in the Dominican Republic) today.

Mwen te pale ak M.Britus, men nou gen randevou demen pou-n pale ansanm ak Sewoz paske M.Britus prale Ozetazini premye semen Mai.
I spoke with M. Brutus ( rental agent) and Sister Rosemary and I have a meeting with him tomorrow as he goes to the US the first week of May.

God bless you. Later




Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day Call to Re-Launch Starthrower's Feeding and Nutrition Program

Happy Earth Day!

Earth Day / Earth week is the perfect time to stop and reflect on one's place and role on this planet. As well, this Saturday, April 25, is Malaria Awareness Day. From the perspective of those who live in absolute poverty, every day is Earth Day and Malaria Awareness Day.

Perhaps those of us on this planet who live in comparative luxury need these designated days to jog our complacency and renew our commitments to do what we can to listen to the poor and work with them to make this Earth a healthier place for all.

[Perhaps we should advocate for an International Starthrowers Day, or a Starfish Day when we put names and stories on as many faces as possible, adding to and updating the information every year.]

On this Earth Day, I want to tell you about an email I received last week from Amy, a Canadian university student who visited us in Haiti several years ago. Amy continues to maintain an email relationship with several Starthrower Foundation staff and students in Haiti.

Several of these students have emailed her recently, telling her how hungry they are, and Amy, concerned, has passed this information to me. Sadly, the situation is not news to me, and has been causing the staff and me a lot of concern these past months.

I told her I know that our students are all hungry, and have been for some time, since last summer, when we were forced to discontinue the food distribution program due to lack of funds.

As you know, due to my health situation, I am currently unable to actively fundraise. Believe me, I would if I could. I value the time I spend talking with school and church groups, and with clubs and associations, sharing my experiences of Haiti.

Since I am unable to do this at this time, I am asking you to please do this in my stead. I am making a special plea to everyone who reads this to please help raise money so we can relaunch the feeding program. [See fundraiser ideas on the web site and a note at bottom of this update.]

Last trimeste (Christmas to Easter), staff reports that fewer students were able to get to Starthrower's centre in Cap-Haitien because they were, and are, weak from hunger. Most students seem to be eating, on average, about once a week, and often, what they eat are just scraps and leftovers that they have begged from a neighbor or relative.

Malnutrition and hunger translate directly into infections and poor school attendance. We all worked so hard to find the money to pay their tuition, set up a tutoring program and the text book program, and we gave them vitamins and clean drinking water. How sad, and frustrating, to have them not pass their year just because they are hungry and getting sick.

But, since the third trimeste has just started, and runs into mid-July, there is still time to help salvage their school year. We need to relaunch the feeding and nutrition program, then continue this program until mid July when exams finish.

On this Earth day, please take a little time to really think of these courageous young people. They are trying so hard to make their way in the world. Any amount you can part with, any amount you can raise, will make a difference.

We can transfer the donations to Jack and Auguste, our staff in Haiti, so they can purchase what is needed -- oil, rice, beans, etc. -- in the market in Cap-Haitien. And by buying what we can locally in Haiti, we give a small boost to the local economy; those shopkeepers can then earn money to feed their own families. Please help us feed them.

Pause for a moment and think: Could you eat once a week, and get up and off to school each day, often walking many miles to get there? Could your children? These young Haitians do it every day: Claudy, Fabiola, Kesner, Rose Youdeline, Severe, Bania, Rosenie, Christemene, Dieugrand, Alland, Jhennie, Jon-Charlee, and a hundred or more others.

On their behalf, thank you for taking the time.

Let's start with food, then we can tackle malaria!

Happy Earth Day

Note: (that accepts online donations on our behalf), advises us that Canadians can set up their own Giving Page with Starthrower designated as beneficiary. See Giving Pages for information and create your own fundraiser page for your friends, family, Facebookers to donate to Starthrower.


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