It’s difficult to believe, but it’s been almost three years since a powerful earthquake rattled Haiti. More than a million people were left homeless, and the country’s capital was quickly peppered with tent cites as far as the eye could see. But since that fateful day, the wheels of progress have been turning, and more than half of those in tents have been relocated out of Port-au-Prince. Unfortunately, a reported 400,000 remain in desperate need of permanent housing.
Thanks to the caring support of the Boca Grande Hope for Haitians Committee and Food For The Poor’s dedicated donors, funding for the Boca Grande Friendship Village II has been completed. Forty families have been relocated from the tents in Port-au-Prince, to their very own homes in Michaud. To date, Boca Grande’s committee members have helped with the construction of 115 homes and several schools and community centers.
“After the earthquake in Haiti, my wife and I had the opportunity to see what these tent cities are like first-hand, and after that experience we knew we had to help,” said Ben Scott, chair of the Boca Grande Hope for Haitians Committee. “We met with the committee and decided that our second village would be designated for families living in the tents. We are very grateful for the opportunity to help these families to get a new start in life.”
Friendship Village II is a community of 40 two-room houses and each house is equipped with a sanitation unit and kitchenette. Each family was given two solar-powered lanterns. Four solar-powered street lamps were also installed for added security. The village also has a community center, 200 fruit trees, 80 goats and a water filtration unit.
“It’s hard to find the words to describe how thankful we are for this new village in Michaud, Haiti,” said Angel Aloma, executive director of Food For The Poor. “Forty families with safe homes became 40 families who are given a hand up towards self-sustainability. Forty self-sustaining families will give hope to many others living in deplorable conditions, while inspiring many compassionate people here to help them in the same way.”
Scott feels it is important for donors to see for themselves how their donations are being used to change the lives of families in Haiti. There will be an inauguration of the Boca Grande Friendship Village II in Michaud, Haiti, Jan. 14 to 17. Committee members and anyone who has a desire to experience this joyous celebration are being invited to join Scott on the three-day trip with Food For The Poor.
Scott also will address the Boca Grande Committee at a reception on Feb. 21 at the historic Gasparilla Inn Beach Club, located at 445 Gilchrist Ave. in Boca Grande, Fla., where he will announce plans for Boca Grande Friendship Village III in Manneville, Haiti.
Manneville is a small town near Thomazeau in the community of Croix-des-Bouquets, and is surrounded by two lakes: Etang Saumatre and Lac Azuei. It has an estimated population of 52,000. People of Manneville mainly make a living from farming, although it is seasonal. The most common crops cultivated in this area are millet, sugar cane, and onions. However, many do not have the proper farming tools or methods to establish a successful farm. There is a local market and a few small boutiques, but not enough to create employment opportunities for the masses.
Boca Grande Friendship Village III will have the following:
• 35 two-room houses with sanitation. Each house will be built with a guttering system on the roof that will be connected to a water cistern, which will provide families with immediate access to rain water. • 2,000 trees will be planted around the community to reforest the land and also increase fruit-bearing trees. • 100 goats will be distributed to residents in the community. The residents will be properly trained on how to care for the animals. • 50 residents will receive agricultural tools to help them become more productive farmers.
The Boca Grande Hope for Haitians Committee has been working through Food For The Poor to build homes since 2009.
The first community built by Boca Grande through Food For The Poor was the Friendship Village in Pierre Payen, in the Artibonite Region of the country. In 2010, 40 double-unit homes equipped with kitchenettes, sanitation and 200-gallon plastic water cisterns to collect rain water were constructed. In 2011, they completed a school there, added 22 double-unit homes, fruit trees, solar-powered street lights, and added more than 20 cows. In addition, 16 women were given the opportunity for small business ventures.
Committee members include: Ben and Louise Scott, the Rev. Gary Beatty, the Rev. Brian Brightly, the Rev. Jerome Carosella, the Rev. Read Heydt, George and Lois Castrucci, Patricia Chapman, Ray and Iliene Corcoran, Charlie and Florita Field, Evelyn Finnegan, Lou and Corie Fusz, Stephen and Susan Jansen, Tom and Nancy Lorden, Colvin and Madelaine McCrady, and Peter and Elsa Soderberg.Food For The Poor, named by The Chronicle of Philanthropy as the largest international relief and development organization in the nation, does much more than feed millions of the hungry poor in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicines, educational materials, homes, support for orphans and the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance, with more than 96 percent of all donations going directly to programs that help the poor.
Wanda Wrightpublic relationsFood for the Poor
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