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Now that the general disaster response has transitioned from saving lives to maintaining lives, we are winding down our emergency programs in Port-au-Prince and returning to Ganthier. There, 8,000 internal refugees living in tent camps and in relatives’ homes and one of our goals is to assist them in settling permanently in the community. To that end the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) has given us a generous grant to provide work for internal refugees and their hosts to build community latrines and artesian wells in Ganthier’s villages that have welcomed them. This project is a perfect transition back into our long-term program of “Breaking the Cycle of Poverty, Ganthier, Haiti”.
Our disaster relief projects in Port-au-Prince and the environs are listed below. We will officially end them by donating an ambulance to the Bernard Mevs Hospital so that patients with broken pelvises or third degree burns will not have to squeeze in the back of our car as they had to during the immediate aftermath of the earthquake. These projects are the tangible results of your support – and without you they would not have been possible. This is why for each project we have indicated the source of funding that made it possible for us to be on the front lines of disaster relief efforts. You can proudly share this information as part of your achievement during these very trying times. Together with you, we saved lives, gave hope, and continue to support the Haitian people in their quest to improve their lives and rebuild their country.
We trust that you will continue to support us as we continue to establish our long-term Ganthier projects that will strengthen domestic food production through our egg farm, provide access to excellent education through our Montessori school and to healthcare t/phrough the Ganthier Clinic, and incorporate environmental stewardship into this overall regional program.
In the name of the Haitian communities we serve and ours: thank you!
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NB: As of July we will revert to sending quarterly reports, the next one is scheduled for September 2010.
EWI Emergency Response Projects: Completed January – July 2010
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Henryka Manès, was interviewed by Nadine Patrice of “Operation Green Leaves” on blogtalk radio. Ms. Patrice has been a voice for environmental protection in Haiti for over twenty years.
» Hear the interview
(Once on the Operation Green Leaves site, click on the “24 July” interview at the left. The interview begins after some introductory music.)
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- Hot Meal Program: EcoWorks International (EWI) provided water and 230-250 daily homemade nutritious hot meals for the Bernard Mevs Hospital (BMH) patients, staff, and families from January 20th to March 10th 2010. EWI was the first NGO to provide hot meals immediately after the earthquake. From March 10th to June 15th EWI continued to purchase hot meals from a small Haitian entrepreneur for the small number of remaining patients. Served in total 11,000 meals. Funded by a major grant from the JDC and by donations from individual donors.
- Medicines: Distributed 350 lb of medicine and medical supplies. Funds from donations by individual donors; In-kind: American Airline, Haitian League, and Ryan & Dunn, PA.
- Medical Equipment: Purchased and donated to the Bernard Mevs Hospital a brand new Zimmer dermatome to improve the hospital’s capacity to perform skin grafts. Funds from Smith & Wollinsky and South Beach partner restaurants and beverage companies*; In-kind: Zimmer Corporation (substantial price reduction).
- Medical Team: Brought an emergency response medical team to the Bernard Mevs Hospital. Funds from Smith & Wollinsky and South Beach partner restaurants and beverage companies, and individual donors’ donations; In-kind U.S. Army Southern Command, and the Phoenix Health Foundation.
- Rehabilitation Program: Renovated a space at Bernard Mevs Hospital to establish the center for physical and occupational therapy to treat patients and train Haitian nurses to become rehabilitation technicians. Funds from a major JDC grant Smith & Wollinsky and South Beach partner restaurants and beverage companies, and individual donors’ donations
- Medical Training: Invited Dr. Carl Schulman from the Burn Unit of the Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami to demonstrate and train Haitian surgeons in optimum usage of the dermatome (donated by EWI)
and the mesher (donated by Dr. Schulman) in skin grafts. Since the visit June 10th and 11th, five skin grafts have been performed at Bernard Mevs using the new equipment. Funds from Smith & Wollinsky and South Beach partner restaurants and beverage companies, and from individual donors’ donations.
- Assistance to Patients:
Provided clothes and small stipends to Bernard Mevs Hospital patients, particularly families with children who lost their homes and were being discharged to help put them back on their feet and to eat in the first few days of being on their own. Funds from Smith & Wollinsky and South Beach partner restaurants and beverage companies, and individual donors’ donations.
- Reconstruction: Contributed to the realization of the charrette at the University of Miami between the School of Architecture and the Haitian Government that focused on planning the reconstruction of Haiti; and participated in one of the urban and rural planning team that designed a rural village for the Ganthier region. Partly funded follow-up work. Funds from Smith & Wollinsky and South Beach partner restaurants and beverage companies, and individual donors’ donations.
- Earthquake Research: Attended the University of Miami Seismic Research Conference focusing on the Haitian earthquake and worked with scientists to understand the consequences of their findings for the country and for Ganthier in particular. Since the conference we know that Ganthier sits on a seismic fault line, which has serious repercussions for urban planning. Funds from individual donors’ donations.
- Communication: Restored Internet access at City Hall of Ganthier to enable official to coordinate the influx of internal refugees. Funds from individuals donors’ donations.
- Food: Provided food to a home for 450 boys in Carrefour; 280 children in an orphanage in Gressier and 67 children in an orphanage in Delmas. United Nations World Food Program; JDC grant and funds from individual donors’ donations.
Reaching for the Stars:
To bring a moment of heartfelt laughter to children who have been highly traumatized, EWI invited two Miami-based performance artists / mimes, Natasha Tsakos and Lucky Bruno, to come to Port-au-Prince and bring joy to children in street camps, schools and hospital. (June 2010). Funds from individual donors’ donations.*In response to the earthquake in Haiti, Smith & Wollinsky spearheaded the establishment of a partnership with South Beach restaurants and beverage companies, and together organized a major fundraiser that benefitted EcoWorks International’s and University of Miami Medishare’s disaster response programs. Partner companies included:
Joe’s Stone Crab
Red, The Steakhouse
Smith and Wollensky
Ketel One Vodka
EWI Long-Term Development Program In Ganthier:work has resumed as of June 2010
Refocusing on the most important part of EWI’s “Breaking the Cycle of Poverty” project in Ganthier, EWI established a working agreement with the University of Arkansas to write a business plan and financial model for the egg farm. A first draft should be available end of August- beginning of September. EWI has launched a campaign to raise $50,000 in the next 2-3 months to complete the Planning and Development phase of the farm and prepare for implementation.
[/cmsms_text][/cmsms_column][/cmsms_row][cmsms_row data_padding_bottom=”50″ data_padding_top=”0″ data_overlay_opacity=”50″ data_color_overlay=”#000000″ data_bg_parallax_ratio=”0.5″ data_bg_size=”cover” data_bg_attachment=”scroll” data_bg_repeat=”no-repeat” data_bg_position=”top center” data_bg_color=”#ffffff” data_color=”default” data_padding_right=”3″ data_padding_left=”3″ data_width=”boxed”][cmsms_column data_width=”1/1″][cmsms_text animation_delay=”0″]EWI is ready to start the teachers’ training program this September. Four candidates have been selected. They will be trained at the Boucledart Montessori School of Port-au-Prince and will become the trainers of future teachers as the school expands. In terms of space, EWI is looking into a temporary structure to get started on time.[/cmsms_text][cmsms_text animation_delay=”0″]
Latrines, Wells and a Fruit Nursery
We have received an $80,000 grant from the JDC for cash for work for internal refugees and their hosts in Ganthier. This is our third grant from the JDC. We are using these funds to build 16 latrines that will serve 4000-5000 residents of four villages, and two artesian wells that will serve about 4,000 residents in two villages. The latrines will be completed in July.
The project will also create a fruit tree nursery which is part of EWI’s long-term plan of reforestation.
In June, EWI’s Executive Director, Henryka Manès, was interviewed by Radio Melody, and by Radio Metropole. The latter also posted an article about EWI on its website, and Le Nouvelliste published a short article about EWI.
Regularly, our field team sends a report on the general context in which we work to convey some of the challenges and concerns we have while working in Haiti. We share a summary of this report with you – let us know if you find it helpful. Thank you.
After the earthquake, there was the reality of the tremendous loss of 250,000 lives and the everyday, pervasive images all around us of collapsed buildings with human remains and the rubble mixed with personal possessions of people who lived there. They were a constant reminder of the pain that hung heavily in the air. Those of us who worked in the trenches, focused obsessively on how to help saving lives and how to respond to the overwhelming basic needs.
We also felt a tremendous hope that this tragedy could be transformative and usher in a new era for Haiti, one that would bring a quality of life we felt Haitians so rightly deserve after so many decades of hardship caused by manmade and natural disasters. In the aftermath of the earthquake that sentiment was heightened if for no other reason than to believe that the massive deaths, maiming and destruction that afflicted millions would not have been in vain. That hope is fraying at the edges as time passes by and not much is happening. Some individuals and private businesses are rebuilding on their own, but there is not yet a much needed massive urban and rural plan that has been communicated to the public, and no visible major reconstruction efforts. There is a palpable sense of restlessness among the public.
And yet, temporary government offices and schools are being built where the former buildings stood, the latter far from the number needed since according to the government’s own tally 4,000 schools were destroyed in the earthquake. The ministries function as best they can, businesses as well, we have Internet connections almost every day, and during the World Soccer Cup we had electricity almost all day and every evening – a miracle! This is because there are two official religions in Haiti Christianity and Soccer and no politician in his right mind would take the risk of cutting off power when a soccer match is on.
Nature also presents challenges: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts a harsh hurricane season for our region. Many of the makeshift street camps are in the flooding areas and their inhabitants will suffer tremendously if they are not moved rapidly into safer grounds.
Three major issues are threatening peace: (1) land grabbing by speculators who sell land that is not theirs. EWI has been touched directly by this in Ganthier where since last May the situation is heating up. EWI team was in Ganthier Sunday, June 20th and had to turn around and return to Port-au-Prince because of unrest due to outrage at land grabbing. (See article in Le Nouvelliste, June 21st.) (2) Many prisoners escaped during the earthquake and some were violent gang members who have since regrouped and are committing crimes that range from abduction for ransom, to murder in botched robberies such as the one that claimed the lives of Yves Clement and Michele Jumelle on June 26th. (3) Political parties that are not allowed to present a candidate are agitating and this could degenerate into more serious incidents. The government must take charge in all three areas to ensure security and peace.
Funds pledged by the international community are not forthcoming. Some believe it is due to the normal approval process within each country, others think it is due to the concerns donors have about the lack of transparency.
And yet, there are also positive developments: The Interim Commission for Reconstruction in Haiti (CIRH) had its first meeting and is charged with expediting the approval process for large reconstruction projects, and to ensure transparency. Former President Bill Clinton and Haiti’s Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive are co-Presidents. A few projects have already been vetted and approved. Bill Clinton also brought to Haiti two billionaires who donated altogether $20 million to start a much needed fund for small and medium size businesses. EWI has been advocating for the creation of such a fund a year. The next crucial need is to create a well-thought out business center to help these small and medium size businesses establish themselves on solid grounds and grow into larger companies. To spur economic growth in Haiti is vital.
This mixed result is part of the normal process in a post disaster reconstruction period but cannot last for much longer. Discontent and frustration are permeating many places, especially because this is a presidential election period. The elections are scheduled for November 28th and until then Haiti is a particularly vulnerable place.
These are just a few highlights of the complexities that form the context in which EWI is working in Haiti.