My good friend Doug asks:
Hey Seani – excellent blog. I’ll advertise it soon. My immediate question was how will you feed and water yourself given that both seem to be in extreme shortage? I’d also be interested to hear something about where you will be going. Do you have contacts there?
This is a good question – as far as I’m being told by my contacts on the ground in Haiti, and through the blog network, there is food and water there – but the people who need it most are not getting it… In particular, a large number of Vodouisants are being denied food and being forced to convert to Christianity… (see previous article). This outrages me and is the reason that first compelled me to go… What I’m being told is food distribution is the biggest issue now and it scares me that some are being forced to convert in order to be fed. See another article about that situation here.
I have several contacts there, but the plan is to be working with Gro’ Manbo Paula Wédo a founder of The Danthor Foundation. The Foundation was set up over a year before the earthquakes (January 2009). Read towards the bottom of that page to see what was needed a year ago. I quote:
And so, The Danto Foundation was born in Haiti on New Year’s Day- Haitian Independance Day, January 2009
In this spirit D’Jhonny and I set out, spending time looking at various organizations and how we could assist.
Eventually we decided upon a school in Auban, on the south-east coast. Fifty children attended here, but hurricanes and floods June through September 2008, destroyed the school, leaving only the walls standing.
The school needs a new roof and to be refurbished for the children and the requirements are really very modest.
When I first met Msr.Loucite and Msr.Alerte, they didn’t have a blackboard or chalk left, everything is gone.
…. [ visit her site to see details of school enrolment ]
The budget to rebuild and refurbish the school is $6,272.37….Not really a huge amount to aid 45 or so families and 50 kids.
Once the school is up and running, it can be registered with the Haitian Government. This in turn means that our school will be able to apply to PAM, the French World Food Organization that distributes food in the Carribbean, for a food allocation. PAM will supply our school with food & the children will get fed everyday.
If this school needed so much a year ago, then it needs it so much more now… And really, it is so easy for me to give it: collect it here, take it over, make sure it gets there as best as I can. I feel a certain kinship with Vodou anyway (which I’ll write about shortly) and feel ready to step into this world.
Manbo Paula’s contacts in Jacmel know I’m coming and I think there’s no reason to not go now… Funding is a slight issue. I have taken a small loan to get there and am asking for sponsors to help out if it is possible and I’ll take whatever I can.
Having said all that, if it appears that my being there is in any way creating a burden on an already over-burdened country then I shall leave immediately…