Dear Friends and Partners,
It’s already the end of the 2012 and we, at Hope for Haiti Foundation, are excited to say that it was another awesome year for us as we continue to partner with you here at home and in Haiti.
Our work continues in all the initiatives we’ve undertaken. We’ve gone from one church in Zorangé to three additional churches operating in Bainet. The Zorangé church is enjoying growth encompassing all age groups. In May 2012 we celebrated the oldest couple at our church—82 year old Mr. and Mrs. Elalia. We’ve seen the launching of children’s ministry which has begun to separate the youth from the older generation. We expect to see more age groups involved in Sunday school, as we partner with you stateside and we work to move the ministry to the next level. We also held a 3-day pastor’s conference that was attended by more than 50 church leaders. Pastor Roland cannot wait to hold another conference.
We continue to make great strides in education. We’ve added one more grade to our secondary education (12th grade), which means in July 2013 we will be sending three different grades (6th, 9th and 12th grade, also known as Rheto) to take the national exams administered nationwide by the Department of Education. We achieved a 100% success rate for the third consecutive year at the 6th grade level. We have some work to do to achieve similar results at the 9th grade level, but we expect to get there. The entire community of Bainet waits to see every year how our kids fare at these exams. Our school director gets phone calls in the middle of the night from other school directors in the community, because all they want to know is “How did Unifee do?” Nothing else seems to matter to them except how our school is doing! Next year will be one of the ultimate milestones reached by Unifiee—20 students from our school will participate in the exam at the 12th grade level. Please pray for our students, our teachers and administrators, and the parents, because this is big! They all made sacrifices to get to this point. We currently have students that walk three hours one way to get to our school. The other option for these students would be to go to Port-au-Prince, but the cost is prohibitive to most parents.
From a medical standpoint, we are excited to say that in October 2012 we inaugurated a second clinic in the district of Gandou. The people of this district were ready, and they worked so hard to make this dream a reality. They provided the land, leadership, and volunteers, and today people in the community of Gandou do not have to travel five miles away to Zorangé to get care or 20 miles to go to Jacmel. They can receive basic medical care right in their own community. We cannot thank our partners enough, especially Saba Foundation, for financing the construction of the clinic and its operations. We pray for this partnership to continue for years to come.
We will take our first surgical trip to Bainet next year to collaborate with the Ministry of Health and conduct medical interventions in the government clinic in Bainet. Our US team has been working hard to raise funds to hire midwives to help reduce the high infant mortality rate that occurs in the remote villages of Haiti. We believe that we will be able to hire at least two midwives in the year 2013.
We continue to collaborate with the government and expand into other territories. HFHF received its non-governmental organization license in Haiti. This means the government of Haiti recognizes our work is important, and they want to work alongside us and move us forward. We expect the NGO status will help us in many aspects of our work, and we believe this is an important partnership because together we can have the biggest possible impact in the areas where we work.
Although it was a great year for us at Hope for Haiti Foundation, the communities in which we work did not escape the hurricane season without a scratch. Hurricanes Isaac and Sandy were big blows to our partners in the communities. After Hurricane Sandy, transportation between Bainet and Port-au-Prince and Bainet and Jacmel were cut off for weeks. In addition to this damage to our very fragile infrastructure, the farmers and the people of Bainet, and throughout the Jacmel state, will experience food scarcity, as their crops were washed out and livestock destroyed by Sandy’s surprise attack.
One thing we do know about our Haitian brothers and sisters is that they are extremely resilient. They have faced the 2010 earthquake and shown that they’ve moved on—we know they will continue to go forward and rebuild their lives. Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on the Northeastern part of the US; this industrialized world showed no match for Sandy, so imagine what she did to Haiti. Our prayers are with the victims of this hurricane, both in the US and the Caribbean.
Thank you so much for the last 12 years you’ve partnered with us, traveled with us, and experienced joy and pain together in this work. As we look forward to the next year, and the next decade, my heart is full of joy as I see the journey continues with you and our family in Haiti—it is a journey that I would not trade for any riches in this world. You have made the last year possible and I have complete confidence God will continue to take the journey with you as you take it with us. I wish you could see my smile, as I type these words. A million thanks would not be sufficient to show my gratitude, and my hope is that God will reward you for what you’ve enabled us to do in Haiti: helping Haitians change Haiti one life at a time.
This will forever be our hope.
May God bless you,
Jean Elade Eloi