ANNUAL RPT 2015-16
A Message from the Director
Dear Friends of the Poor,
Normally we write the Annual Report right at the end of the fiscal year which ends September 30th. Before we could begin to say all that had been accomplished in 2015 and 2016, Hurricane Matthew came and unleashed all of its fury, destroying much of what we had done over the past many years.
October 4th, 2016 - The Day that Mother Nature took aim on Jeremie, Haiti.
With all of the destruction wreaked by the Category 4 hurricane, we had much to be thankful for. First and foremost, no one in our communities died. The houses we built were still standing in the aftermath although most of them had lost their roofs. The school buildings in Numero Deux and Kay en Rond served as shelter for many and stood strong in the face of the onslaught. Fr. Joe’s compound was slightly damaged but stood tall as did Bec’s bakery. All fourteen of the wells which we drilled in the area were still functioning, furnishing a source of potable water and helping to prevent cholera. We had just purchased a month’s supply of food for the school so we were able to begin cooking and feeding people in the shelters. We know all these things that were in place were responsible for saving lives both during and after the storm. Although we had been building for years in preparation for such an event, no one anticipated receiving a direct hit from a hurricane of this magnitude.
So with all this being said, we are now regrouping and rebuilding using the following two statements as our mottos and clarion calls.
“Great works are not accomplished by strength but by perseverance – We will persevere!” (Samuel Johnson)
“Even though everything you build is destroyed, continue building.” (statement on the wall of one of Mother Teresa’s orphanages in Calcutta, India)
So our annual report for 2015- 2016 will be based upon the theme of “a picture is worth a thousand words”. Below are pictures of the destruction rained on all the work HMI had done for the past sixteen years. May God Bless us, bless our work and bless the people of Jeremie Haiti and its environs.
Peace and God’s choicest blessings be upon you and your families,
Deacon Lloyd and Faie Duplantis
Feeding the Children, Developing the Economy, Sheltering the Needy
Bec’s Bakery continues to fulfil its mission of delivering a meal everyday to each of the children in the schools which we support. We began with one hot meal per month. Although it sounds almost ridiculous to say that was a feeding program, we came to realize that once a month was better than none at all. Now into its fifth year of operation, Bec’s bakery has greatly reduced the cost of feeding each child. This bakery also supplies jobs and economic development to the community, further stimulating the growth of the area which means help for the families.
At the close of our fiscal year September, 2015, we have built sixty houses in the area. This is a substantial and an incredible number of families that now have lovely, durable and dignified homes and no longer have to live in mud and squalor. The four room houses with porches now afford safe shelter for them and for friends and family. Our unique Kobonal-Haiti Mission home design and matching fund concept has allowed us to be able to construct an 800 square foot home for a donation of $3750 which has skyrocketed our construction hopes past any projections for which we had hoped. Our new design has dramatically reduced the cost of building houses to $7,500 and our matching fund developed through our Silent Auction has been an incredible blessing, allowing us to raise enough funds to match these $3750 gifts) We are estimating that we will build at least twenty-four homes this construction year – an incredible feat that would never have been possible without your help and the current construction protocol.
As you may or may not recall, the costs of building homes had continued to escalate after the earthquake. In order to attempt to reduce the cost of construction so that more people could be moved out of these deplorable living conditions, a team from HMI began researching other options. We were introduced to Fr. Glenn Meaux’s Kobonal Model home in March 2013. Fr. Glenn had been working in the Central Plateau area of Haiti about a mile outside of the city of Hinche for twenty-three years at the time and had been building this type home for thirteen of those years. He had built over 200 at the time of our visit.
Fr. Meaux’s model was unique in so far as each house was exactly the same. They had cement slabs but used a floating slab design which had more rebar but did not require very much excavation or special masonry work. This structural pattern utilizes only a six inch (6”) footing around the perimeter and an average of four (4) inches throughout the foundation. Fr. Meaux was gracious enough to send his crew to Numero Deux for two weeks to train the HMI team and actually build three of the Kobonal model homes. The process went very well with the HMI team building the third house by themselves after working on the first two with the Kobonal team. The end result was that the cost of the houses dropped from $12,500 to $7,500. We now have a design and a plan that untold numbers of people are hoping and praying that we can continue to help them move from desperate and despicable misery to a dignified poverty with the promise of a better life.
Animal Husbandry – Hope for the future
For the past five years, HMI has been working with several men from the Jeremie region to develop an experimental farm where they could earn a living, produce vegetables, poultry and other livestock products and serve as a model to encourage and help others in the community become more proficient in agronomy skills. Their efforts have born much fruit. We now have three poultry houses that are producing almost 200 eggs daily as well as producing a considerable number of broiler chickens. We began with 100 laying hens which immediately began laying an average of 90 eggs a day. This year we were able to acquire funding for a submersible pump to install in a 300 ft deep well on the property. The well now assures a constant source of water for the chickens, other animals, irrigation of the vegetable crops and the families of the community for the drought-prone area. HMI has always intended that as many of the projects which we initiate can one day be turned over to local supervision and become self-sustaining. Our farm has reached that point. HMI turned over the day to day operations to Fr. Joe and his team.
They are very excited about what they have been able to achieve. The villagers are very appreciative to find fresh produce and eggs readily available as well as to find a source of other forms of livestock and especially water in times of drought. Chickens and eggs are vital to the economy of the area. Our persistence and continued commitment to this area of our mission work is making a big difference.
From the very beginning of our mission efforts in Haiti, we have tried to follow some basic W.H.O. guidelines which recommend making parasite eradication medication and vitamins available to all the populace in developing nations. Again this past year we have promoted and implemented Albendazole and multivitamin distribution several times a year. Haiti Mission pays a nurse to look over the health needs of the school children and the families of the several villages where we work. She has continued to coordinate the distribution process. Haiti Mission has been responsible for distributing thousands of Albendazole and multivitamin tablets. The impact on the children and adults has been remarkable. It has allowed them to thrive and develop by the removal of parasites from their system and has also increased the general wellbeing enhanced by multivitamin supplementation.
Our drill truck has continued to stay busy this past year drilling several more wells, while facing relentless and never ending challenges in our quest to bring the best medicine in the world - potable water - to everyone in the region. We are thankful to Almighty God to have allowed us the vision and foresight to do everything necessary to bring this rig to Haiti and keep it functioning. We are going to systematically continue drilling wells in one community after the other in order to provide water that can protect people from disease and pestilence and improve their health. Most importantly, we are committed to keeping these wells repaired and in working order. Thanks to all who have continued to support and encourage this very difficult but vital work.
From the humble beginning of one school with about 200 children, the St. Bridget Haiti Mission School System now affords a basic education to over 350 children in buildings constructed by Haiti Mission in partnership with friends, foundations and Rotary groups. Twenty teachers are being paid monthly. Auxiliary aides and cooks are also receiving stipends which will help their children and families. Because of this basic elementary education, secondary and some vocational training which is now being made available through your generosity, these children and adults have hope and promise of a much brighter tomorrow. The school buildings are being used in the morning for elementary grades – preschool to sixth and in the afternoons for secondary grades - seventh to ninth – and in the evenings for various forms of vocational and life-skills training. We are so proud that the Haitian Government achievement testing in 2014 to gauge the effectiveness of the national and private schools in Haiti resulted in our sixth graders scoring in the 90 percentile group and the secondary kids scored 100%! Quite remarkable and a powerful indicator of the level of dedication of our teachers, administrators and the parents of the children to education.
Bringing water to within 500 feet of every person in the region is still a major and primary focus of Haiti Mission, Inc. No development in any area is possible without sufficient, clean water. At the close of the Fiscal year, September 2015, our unique and highly effective Cable Tool drilling program has now completed forty-four wells. This rig is run exclusively by an American trained Haitian team. This process has resulted in efficiently drilling wells in this rocky Haitian environment down to 500 feet, bringing life-giving water to remote areas which could before only dream of having water. Even though the challenges never cease and the wear and tear on the men and equipment is relentless, HMI and the drill team continue to find more successes than failures. Your participation in our annual golf tournament/silent auction fundraiser and continued support throughout the year gives us the financing we need to continue to drill and maintain wells in the area. God bless you for helping us focus on this vital project. God bless our Haitian Drill team and my God bless and protect our precious equipment!