Summary Report Haiti Trip – November 2018
On November 26th, The Haitian government announced that it is taking all necessary measures to resume school and work activities, after a tense week marred by violence, protests and general strike which paralyzed the capital and other important cities of the country of Haiti. They also demanded the resignation of President Jovenel Moise, Prime Minister Jean Henry Céant and his government team, whom they accuse of obstructing the investigation into the embezzlement of the public treasury.
A team of 15 volunteers from Toronto, Sault Ste. Marie and Ottawa travelled down to Saintard, Haiti from Nov 14 th – 23 rd. The purpose of the trip was to host a 3 day “Children’s Conference for Children of Hope Haiti’s sponsored children who travelled to Saintard from all over Haiti. Unfortunately, we had to cut the conference from 3 days to 2 days to ensure the children would arrive home safely the day before the country’s protests started with all the roads and highways being blocked with debris, glass, fires, gunfire. We started out to the airport on the Wed Nov 21st and came to 4 -5 road blocks with debris, glass and small fire in our village of Saintard. We returned to the safe compound to enjoy an additional 2 fun fill days with the kids. We returned home late Friday evening.
The conference was well received and enjoyed by the children and team members alike with approximately 100 children & chaperones in attendance. Our theme this year was “Building your House on a Firm Foundation”. Sessions and devotions were on the bible stories of the theme using power points, videos, songs and talented drawings. We provided computer lessons with our Instructor who teaches in our computer labs. A session on the symbol of a tree and putting down strong roots, focusing on the importance of mental and physical health, and letting your spirit soar. The importance of nutrition, adequate sleep and exercise are were emphasized. The children played games and made some beautiful crafts, building individual stick houses, a Christmas house and ornaments. The young children were in the kitchen baking some yummy muffins for one of our snack meals. “Toy Story” was the movie showed one evening. Our sponsored schools were invited to bring 3 children each and also MAEDH the handicap home in PAP came with 4 youth. What a joyful time to spend with all these children and youth, and to hear them sing from their hearts.
Our time after the Conference
The Haitian cooks treated us to some tasty meals during our visit.
The children and our team were able to attend the Church at Mahotte north of Saintard on Sunday where the children’s same theme message was presented by Bonnie and Jerry and Pastor Christine re-enforcing the theme with the adults on ‘Building your house on a Firm Foundation’.
The kids love colouring and are very proud of their accomplishments. An Art Gallery was created on the ground floor displaying colouring and cartoon characters that they learned in one of the sessions.
Unfortunately, due to the protest on the roads were we not able to get out and visit the schools we support this trip. We were happy that at the conference the sponsored schools were in attendance to receive the many school supplies and rice donated for the schools. All of our sponsored children and children from each of the schools received a Christmas gift, rice and a craft they had made.
The day before returning home to Canada, the roads north of Saintard were clear, so we took the opportunity to take all the kids from the orphanage to the beach and pool. Some started out at the beach and about 45 minutes later the 47 kids were all in the pool. They so enjoyed themselves with back flips, diving and the younger kids were so proud of putting their faces under water. For many it was definitely a highlight with us being delayed 2 days from returning home.
- Monthly sponsorship funds for last quarter 2018 and first quarter 2019 was provided along with education funds for 8 students
- Thanks to Andrew’s Scenic Acres and Longo’s Food Market for the firm and juicy apples (fresh and dehydrated) that were given to the children the evening we arrived in Saintard. They always look forward to this treat.
- Funds in January 2019 for the 4 students in the Jeff Compas Scholarship.
- 11 laptops provide – 3 Ponte Sonde School, 3 Cabaret, 1 Gonaives, 2 for Jeff Compas Scholarship students and 2 in their last year of high school (Philo). Many thanks to the donors for these laptops.
- 5 Goats for 5 deserving families
- Funds were provided for education for the Children’s Home (school) in Saintard 2018-2019
- Rice packed into individual bags and given out to sponsored children and families
- Additional $1,000 given to the school in Saintard to help the students.
- Thanks to Mary Anna Williams from the Erin Mills United Church for organizing and collecting of the much-needed school supplies given to 4 schools. Early French readers were also given to the schools.
- Many crocs thanks to Jeff Ingle were fitted and given to the children in the orphanage and other children from outside needing shoes.
- Monthly salaries until the end of June 2019 for the 6 teachers at Leveque (previously tent city) and 3 teachers at new school in Gonaives.
- Monthly salaries for our computer instructors at the 5 labs COHH are supporting.
- Family Medical Kits were handed out to families that do not have access to a drug store for over-the-counter meds and supplies. A big thank you goes out to Finch-Leslie Pharmacy and Liz Arnold.
- Conference Expenses $2,800 for food, beach, transportation home and a gift for MAEDH (the handicap home in PAP)
We are very thankful that we had the opportunity to participate in activities with the children in our program. Your prayers and very generous financial support made it all possible. It was a heartening, humbling and joyful time of our collective efforts to bring hope and joy to the children and youth in Haiti.
With Sincere Thanks and Many Blessings,
Karen Goodyear M.S.M.
COHH Executive Director