Thursday, April 21, 2016

Building bridges--Literally!

Our small donation to our group in Haiti is definitely changing the world!

                   In the wake of a recent flood in the Bino Lapoint area of Leogane Haiti, we initiated a project to help
Haitians help other Haitians.  Lamarre and Wesley have been doing great work leading a team of people in cleaning up after the flood and working to reduce additional flooding.

To date 25 volunteers working with members of the community have:

  • Distributed 75 cleaning kits 
  • helped cleaned in and around several homes
  • dug a channel (think drainage ditch) to hopefully prevent future flooding
  • begun cleaning out the second channel to allow the water to flow and not back up causing more flooding. 
What still needs to be done:
  • finish digging the new drainage ditch
  • clean out existing channel
  • build three small bridges over the new channel
  • Install cement floors into homes that currently have dirt floors

Update from Lamarre: 

The work would make an impact on more than 100 houses,but that doesn't mean we will repair or restore 100 houses.We could just restore some of them--the most vulnerable. 
The work for the canal is also taking longer than we thought. There are two types of canals that need to be made. The one that we are digging along the road and another that has water but which is full of trash. It will need to be cleaned as well to create space and make it free for water to pass when it is raining.  
We will also need to make some small bridges on the canals side close to the houses entrance.

These improvements SHOULD reduce future flooding and make the homes safer.  There are 100 people (approximately 300 people) living in this area. 

Digging channels by hand and pouring cement in a hot climate is exhaustive and often thankless work, so additionally we do feel a need to feed the volunteers and provide water.  In a perfect world ,we would also provide BonaResponds shirts and footwear (many are working in flip flops). 

We began with a small investment.  But we will need to invest upwards of $2000 more to complete this (Roughly the cost of a ramp and a half in the US).

Approximate cost for cement is $30USD per house (we will assume $40 since costs are almost always greater than initial estimates).  Cement for the small bridges will run $70 each and some lumber and steel will be needed as well Estimated cost $250 per bridge.  

6 Homes * 40 for cement floors     $ 240
Food for two weeks of volunteers  $500

3 bridges                                         $750
Transportation                                  $60 

Tools                                                  $200 * 

Rudimentary footwear                      $100
BR Tshirts (30*5)                              $150
Estimated Total cost                         $2000 USD

*tools would be saved to used for future projects as well

 Is it worth it?  We think so!  But we want your opinion:  Do we continue?  Do we invest in the lives of these 300 people?  At a cost of less than $7 a person?  We vote yes.  But please let us know your opinion.  Vote now!   

If you do want to donate: 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Want to change the world? Improve Education!

Education wins!  Better education will lead to better govenment, better technology, better food, and longer life expectancies.  WINS all around!

Want more good news?  Money donated for scholarships goes to pay teachers in the country and not donations of goods that can ruin markets in those countries.   More WINS!

More good news?  Better education is sustainable and expanding.  Better educated parents teach their children more.  Even more WINS!

Here is an example from a recent applicant to the HaitiScholarships program (we partner with HaitiScholarships on many many projects).

In Liberia, for about $40 a year a young child can go to school (remember these are the orphans whose parents have died from Ebola).  In Haiti, the costs are a bit higher, but for less than a dollar a day ($200 for primary, $350 for High School, $800 for College)

Don't think if it as a donation (although it is a taxable donation), think of it as an investment in a better world!