Introducing an important cause to myself, which my friend Vanesha is involved in. This will come in three parts.
Last year many of you generously donated to help me reach my goal of $5,000 which allowed me to go to Jacmel, Haiti with a charity called Random Acts.
This year I would very much like to go back and I am asking for your help again to do this. I again need to raise $5,000 to go. I know a lot poeple don’t like long e-mails so here is the link to my donation page (I can make donations on your behalf if you prefer to give me the money in person):
If you have a moment though I’d like to introduce you to some of the people I met last year.
When people see Haiti on the news it always seems to be images of people living in fear and negativity. What those images don’t show us is that even though the people of Haiti are poor, they are rich in courage and strength and hope. The kids welcomed us with open hearts and smiles and the people who wanted better lives for the children of Jacmel worked selflessly and tirelessly. It’s amazing how so many lives were changed in such a short space of time and your money helped achieve that. I wanted you to meet some of the people whose lives your money will change.
Bonite Affriany – The Jacmel Children’s Centre
Meet Bonite Affriany– building her community centre/ orphanage is the main reason we went to Haiti last year.
She is a seemingly never-ending source of love and energy and is determined to build a better future for the children of Jacmel.
Every day Bonite feeds over 250 children who will walk for hours in the blazing sun to get to her house and have what is likely to be their only meal of the day.
The children line up politely to wash their hands before sitting at the table and wait patiently until everyone has been served with food before beginning their meal (most likely rice and beans and whatever vegetables are available).
When the 2010 earthquake happened, the wall to the right of the children collapsed. Luckily this was after the children had been fed and no one was injured.
Many of these children live on the streets and in tent cities.
Several of them are orphans and Bonite’s house is full to the brim of children she has taken in. Her house isn’t very big though and the money raised through H2H is going towards building an orphanage for children she has no space for and has to turn away.
Bonite runs a scheme allowing donors to sponsor these kids’ education. $150 a year pays for the uniform, books and schooling for one child at the public school for a year, $300 a year pays for the same at a private school.
Bonite has a piece of land next to her house which she bought with her own money. It is there that the orphanage/ community centre is being built.
When we went last year it was a uneven wasteland filled with rubble, rocks and shrubbery.
Very little heavy machinery is available in Haiti. Workers toil by hand, load rocks onto lorries through brute force and mix concrete on the ground with plastic bags covering their feet. One of the first things we did there was to buy protective boots for the workers.
Nine months on, this is what the site looks like.
Building costs in Haiti are comparable to US costs, yet the average income is $270 a year. As a remote island nation with no raw materials or manufacturing facilities, everything from rebars to concrete has to be imported. Rebars are steel rods used to reinforce concrete but are rarely used because of the cost of adding them to a structure - you can see the rebars used in the construction of the orphanage in the picture. It’s one of the reasons the 2010 earthquake caused so much devastation – not having rebars meant that very few of the buildings in Haiti were strong enough to withstand its magnitude.
Random Acts are determined to build a structure that is earthquake proof and safe as possible.
I know you must get lots of requests for donations but I can promise you I can put names and faces to every person your money is helping. Every penny makes a huge difference – if you can help, please do. 100% of the money will go to Haiti, I will be covering my own travel and accommodation expenses. If you’re not in a position to help, please feel free to spread the word and forward this e-mail on.
If you are interested in learning about Hope to Haiti/ the children’s centre you can read about them here:
Go forward and read Page 2