Our team for January 2015 is still in Haiti. . . but if you are thinking of joining us in July 2015, the dates are July 12-19. Our new policy is that you buy your own airline tickets. We recommend flying direct on American Airlines into Cap Haitian. We’ve seen deals as good as $430 from DC. Then the trip costs are $100 per day. So doing that math, we are looking at a cost of $1130 rather than the $1600 of the past. The $100 per day covers: your hotel room (double occupancy), food in Haiti (a pretty nice dinner and breakfast, and a simple packed lunch), access to clean water (bring a canteen for the day), transportation while in Haiti, and translators at your job site. You will need a little extra cash to bring down with you for incidentals, beverages or snacks, souvenirs and the exit tax ($40). We plan to work Monday – Friday building a house, doing a water project and running a vacation bible school. Then we will take off on Saturday as a fun day either seeing the sights or enjoying the beach.
It’s raining in Manassas, but sunny in Cap Haitian. I wish I was there, but I’m holding down the fort here. Michael sent some great photos of the first day packing food for VBS and the kids playing at the newly refurbished Hotel Beck. I’m not doing a good job figuring out how to attach them to this blog post.
We’d like to thank all of the Empowering Haitians’ friends and donors for all your support in 2014. Without you the Empowering Haitians would not have been able to feed so many hungry people and build much-needed infrastructures. We had a very productive year thanks to you! We know many of you are looking to make end of year donations and have many choices. Empowering Haitians needs your help now, please make your donation today.
It still feels like winter here in Virginia, but the seasons are changing! And I’m making plans for our July Haiti trip. We have often been blessed to bring big teams with us in July. Last year, we brought our 7 and 9 year old children. That was an amazing trip. I wish we could do that every year, but as you know the trip cost is $1600 (and that can add up quickly). They did tell me that going to Haiti was better than Disney world. That was a win.
Our general plan for the July trip includes another water project, a home building project, and a vacation bible school. We really do believe that we can find meaningful work for anyone who joins us on this trip. So some logistics, if you are interesting in coming with us this summer: the dates are July 12-19, 2014. Please let me know by May 15 if you plan to join us.
Our early trip dates have been set. There is some potential flexibility by a day on either side of these, but the timeframe for the week we are in Haiti is firm.
January 11-18 2014
July 12-19 2014
Please consider traveling with us on one of these trips
We just returned from a very successful trip to Haiti. We had 17 people travel with us this last trip and it was a true joy to get to know everyone and to work with each person over the 7 days we were in Haiti. The most exciting part of the trip is that we actually left two people in Haiti for an extended stay. While I am sure it is quite a culture shock for them, they are really following their hearts and the call of God to be in Haiti. Please have a look around the site to see the projects we are working on and the activities that we completed over the last several years.
Goals for 2012:
- Begin a food distribution program to feed desperate families ($40,000 feeds 250 people for 177 days; less than $1 per person per day)
- Install another community well ($8,000 each well)
- Continue improvements to the Espoir Haitian office (enabling food and tool storage, meeting space for micro lending, and community projects, and medical clinic)
- Reinvigorate the youth baseball program (two teams, coaches and more US commitment)
- Create a community farming area so local youth can be productive and offset food costs for their families
- Continue work on a medical clinic to treat minor injuries in the Bel Aire Community
- Develop a strong relationship with a certified school to more effectively support education
- Continue and improve the micro loan program to groups of entrepreneurial women
We started the year by canceling the January 2011 trip due to the political instability. Because we are such a small organization, the lost money on flights could have put us under. But the ever surprising faith and generosity of our friends and supporters enabled us to cut our losses and continue our work.
In March, MaryLu and I traveled to Cap Haitian for a quick trip to check on the micro loans and the new well project. An emergency nearly had us back on a plane the next day. My mother, who was watching our three children, broke her leg. But the church community of Sudley United Methodist rallied to support us in our time of need. The compassion, hospitality and love showered on my mother and our children enabled us to continue our brief trip and accomplish our work. The greatest success of our trip was the new well installation in the community providing hundreds with clean water. We also authorized the funds for the continuation of the successful microloans.
July brought us back to Haiti with a small team for a very successful trip. Anna Goldston practiced dentistry with Dr. Ray’s medical team. Michael Goldston, my father and I worked on getting the electrical wiring done for the Espoir Haiti office and installing eight street lights on the hill in Bel Aire. Street lights make a community safer from traffic and crime as well as providing a gathering place for visiting and work at night. MaryLu interviewed several schools and entrepreneurial women to continue growing our efforts for school improvement and the micro lending program.
The year came to a close with the planning of the January 2012 trip. MaryLu is about to deliver our 4th child. We changed the dates of the January trip so that I could be home for the birth. It is a great joy to have another child but it does mean that MaryLu will be putting some of the micro loan work on hold until she can return to Haiti in 2013.
Micro lending, education, clean water, and hope . . .
You can find at this site:
– information about the 501c3 Empowering Haitians and the Haitian NGO Espoire Haitian
– history on our groups past Haiti trips as teams from Sudley UMC, Lynhaven UMC, the Haiti Mission, Helping Haitians Angels and Park Valley Church
– photos and stories from the most recent trip to Haiti January 2012
– information about the next trip to Haiti July 2011 (you may need to register with us to see this information)