HOW YOU CAN HELP:
US$400 supports a child's education and books for a year including uniforms necessary to attend school
We will be traveling to Port-au-Prince in August and will donate money directly to relief.
Donations can be made through our website:
Tax-receipts available upon request.
Who Are We and What is Our Goal?
Monday, June 28, 2010
Thursday, January 21, 2010
We are excited to have all types of professionals involved--people wanting to help with establishing the 501c-3 status, fundraising, and traveling to Haiti.
I am optimistic that we are going to be able to make a good contribution in May.
Bonswa. Our hearts are broken to see the recent devastation that took place in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and the resulting suffering of a people we know and love. Haiti has been struggling for a long time, and this last horrendous natural disaster follows a series of hurricanes, mudslides, and preceding natural and political struggles. Many people are wondering how to reach out, and we would like to make you aware of some opportunities and projects we are involved with.
We last had the occasion to be in Haiti in May 2009, where we saw much of this daily suffering and witnessed the aftermath of the large hurricane in Gonaives in 2008. Before the damaging hurricane, a Haitian colleague, Herby Dalencourt, and his associates have had a dream NGO "Les Enfants de Sion" with the aim of providing education for children who can’t afford it (sponsoring tuition and supplies costing approximately $400 per child per year). We've been blessed with an outpouring of generosity since joining with Herby, allowing us to support 10 children in 2009. In striving to continue their education, we are formalizing a route for donations and have partnered with the Saint James Lutheran Church in Southbury, Connecticut.
Before the earthquake, we had planned a return visit for May 2010 to further our support of this education project in Gonaives. The purpose of this trip is to deliver additional funds raised and to complete a major needs assessment with the volunteers in Gonaives. Now, with the recent devastation, we would now also like to focus part of our trip offering assistance to those suffering in Port-au-Prince. We would anticipate spending a week in Port-au-Prince helping out in whatever way we can. At this point, it is very hard to anticipate where our efforts will be most needed, however it will likely be through our contacts with Healing Hands for Haiti (www.healinghandsforhaiti.org) , a project to give physical rehabilitation to the handicapped people in Haiti.
We need to go to Haiti in May armed to help. Originally, we wanted to take 6 people to Gonaives, but that number may increase as we know more from the current relief efforts. The exact scope of work, details of travel and specific needs will take shape in the coming weeks to months but we wanted to take this opportunity to survey your interest in joining us. The estimated cost of a 7-10 day trip would run approximately $950-1400 per person including airfare, lodging, meals, water, and in-country transportation. This is a rough estimate and subject to change, as prices and flow of goods in Haiti all depended on a functioning economy in Port-au-Prince.
WE NEED YOUR INVOLVEMENT!!!
A preliminary meeting for any individuals interested in assisting, either in the US or abroad, will be held January 28, 2010 at 7 p.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Building in Woodbridge, Connecticut (990 Racebrook Road, Woodbridge; which is also Route 114; signs will be on the door telling the room of the meeting).
Areas of need include:
Help with fundraising
Assist with standardizing communications, newsletters etc.
Individuals interested in traveling to Haiti in May
Individuals with long-term interest who may like to serve on our board
Helping apply for non-governmental organization (NGO) 501-C3 status
Help with US based organization and management planning
Many of you have asked where to send financial support. While there are larger humanitarian organization involved in the relief efforts and doing great work, several Haitian-based organizations that we have connections with include:
Thank you for your support of Zion’s children and Haiti – without your prayers, encouragement and financial support none of this would be possible. Haiti’s need is great and will only continue to grow in the coming months, not only in Port au Prince, but throughout the country. Please contact us if you are interested or would like more information, firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We must be the change we wish to see in the world” Mahatma Ghandi
“Men anpil chay pa lou” “With many hands, the load is light”
Mesi Anpil – many thanks,
Jeffrey and Alexis Bigelow
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Our ride shed up bright and early to take us to Gonaive. The morning is bright and clear after the rains of last night and the mountains and fields are beautiful in the morning light. It’s market day and there are people everywhere along the roads. The strength and grace of these women is amazing – the volume and weight of what they carry on their heads is incredible. They make it looks effortless and beautiful. The roads where markets are set up are incredible. People crowding their wares and produce onto blanket and in baskets and then sit in hopes of selling. The mountains give way to dessert and we drive past amazing eeks at existence – houses made of scraps and tin, some with refuge tents still in the yard. Families in their yards with children running naked toward the roads as we pass. Children appear out of their homes and spill out along the streets as they had to school. Dressed neat as a pin in their uniforms from their homes in the dust. The roads bumps along for the last hour of the trip – full of potholes and washouts and ditches in the gravel, reminders of the recent hurricanes and the repair work yet to be started. We meet up with Jeff’s friend Herby, his co-founder Harry and his wife Isabelle when we get to the city. They have gathered the board and supporters of their organization – Zion’s Children (Organisation des Enfants De Sion) and host a meeting to share with the work the work they’ve done and their vision for the future – supporting school education for the families in the city who can’t afford to pay for it (they’ve identified already 20 children for the 2009-2010 year), a rebuilding of the orphanage that was destroyed in the latest hurricane and a community center with job and language training. We were touched when they hosted a small reception to welcome us and they took us on a tour of the city so we could see firsthand the devastation of the hurricane last year. The roads are disastrous at best, there is no sewage or garbage system and the public schools have no teachers. We are able to visit one of the private schools that the orphanage partners with to support children’s education. They currently have supported the education of 10 students. US$250 is able to provide a year’s education and books, US$350 includes uniforms as well (students will be sent home if they are not in uniform), US$500 adds 3 hot meals a week and US$700 includes an annual medical visit (most children have never seen a doctor). We are thrilled to be able to support 10 children’s education for a year thanks to the generosity of donations received toward our trip. It is incredible to see the hope that is possible within a community so devastated by disaster. Harry recounts the experience of climbing to the rooftop of his third floor home with about 50 other people from the community who didn’t have homes high enough to escape the flood and waiting for 3 days with no food or water until the waters receded enough to be able to swim for the higher grounds. We explored with them further to continue to support their work from the states – still a bit of work to be done on that end. We said goodbye and headed back across the ruined roads – a famous Haitian storm brewed ahead. The rain and wind came sideways and the side roads, yards and home started to flood as fast as it began. With this evidence of the power of just an average afternoon storm it is terrifying to imagine what the hurricanes must have been like. We stopped to say goodbye to Karen and Ti Luk Nyen, though we can only hope our paths will cross again. The work she does at the orphanage and school she has created is another noble example of hope in a desperate country. Without education, the children have no hope of a future. We are so grateful to all whose generous donations made their support possible.
EOS Board of Directors in Gonaives with Jeff, Lauren and Alexis
Some of the children supported 2009/2010 school year
The view from the office of EOS- still so much devastation from the hurricane. The lower level of the building is ultimately going to be the orphanage EOS would like to establish for abandoned children living on the street.
Lauren and Herby walking through the garbage ridden beach which is used for defecation and putting waste.
Another lovely view of the beach in Gonaives.
Our sponsered children's school in downtown Gonaives
Students in math class
Building hit by the last hurricane
Turned over truck from the last hurricane