Highlights of Dr Nancy’s Trip to Haiti, Sept 29-Oct 4, 2011

Posted by on Oct 23, 2011 in featured | Comments Off on Highlights of Dr Nancy’s Trip to Haiti, Sept 29-Oct 4, 2011

Highlights of Dr Nancy’s Trip to Haiti, Sept 29-Oct 4, 2011

EDUCATE

G.A.P. kids in school

Josianne and Joselyn: all smiles at school!

This time of year, all over Haiti, parents make their way to school to register their children for the new academic year.  Global Adolescent Project has about ten different schools that we deal with and they are dispersed throughout the city.  It is no small feat to wind our way over the ever present rubble in the sweltering heat and human chaos of Port Au Prince and complete what is known as inscription.    For most of our kids, their school schedules were gravely interrupted by the losses they suffered from the earthquake.  We are deeply grateful that your support helped to get each of our kids registered so that they can start school on time this year and have a “normal” schedule.

As you may be aware, there is almost no free schooling in Haiti. Not only must we pay for tuition, but also the cost of registration and supplies including textbooks, math sets, notebooks, pens and other supplies. These “materials” fees run upwards of $100.00 per student.  Additionally, each school has a uniform and many of these have to be tailor-made for the students costing approximately $95.00 for two uniforms per child.

Most importantly, across the board, I heard from their teachers and principals, about the vast improvement each of our G.A.P. Kids has made in the past year demonstrating that  your support is creating hope in their lives!  One of the most memorable moments of this trip was when I handed twelfth grader Jean Woody his beautiful aqua school bag filled with books for the new year and told him he could actually start on time.  His eyes were the size of  saucers and the hug must have lasted ten minutes.

Our total costs for tuition alone is $19,031.09 and we have made partial payments so far totaling $5541.45 leaving a remaining tuition balance of $13,489.64.  I am happy to say that we were able to negotiate tuition discounts at almost every school by bringing the G.A.P. Brochure and telling the story of our program.  This helps us afford the additional costs of materials and uniforms for our kids totaling $5237.00 for which we have also made partial payments of about $1045.00 leaving a bill of $4192.00.  Our total outstanding education costs are $17, 681.64.

We know you want to help. Please donate by check or online at out website, www.globaladolescentproject.org and thanks so much for your support.

ENCOURAGE

Steeve Edouard

G.A.P's Haitian ground liaison, Steeve Edouard

Steeve, our ground liaison, has been keeping up the kids spirits and tracking their needs as they arise.  The kids feel very safe with him and he is a good nurturing role model.  He is excellent at being available to them by phone and visits with each of the kids frequently.

Trips to Haiti always start weeks before departure as we gather supplies and donations to bring down to the kids. Each day, I would find packages at my doorstep or in the mail with knapsacks and school supplies. Several visits to thrift stores and big box stores and soon our bags were stuffed.  We brought good strong knapsacks, used polo shirts (part of the uniform for a number of our kids), underwear, socks and t-shirts as well as vitamins, simple medicines and basic school supplies. I had the generous support of a volunteer named Julie Orosz joining me on this trip so we were able to bring extra suitcases filled with  goods.  Although it is our strong desire to buy supplies locally in Haiti, it is not always possible to find the right quality or quantity and your donations are a wonderful way to supplement the needs of our kids.

Junior and Sinilove

Junior and Sinilove Seguy and their new American friend

Once in Haiti, we were able to have several meetings in which the kids were able to communicate their concerns about their living situation and their material and emotional needs and hopes for the future. Some of this was recorded on flip cams and we’ll get those on the website as soon as possible. With regard to the little apartment now housing 8-10 kids, I have some serious concerns and hope that we can raise the money to move them into a house with a gate as soon as possible.  The kids have been harrassed by some local men who have been looking in windows, banging on their door and are otherwise threatening.  I was able to enlist the help of the current landlord and some other local neighbors to form a sort of neighborhood watch but am worried about their ongoing safety.    A house that would fit our needs in a neighborhood closer to school costs approximately $6500.00 per year.  It is not a lot of money to create a  safer living environment that would be walking distance to school.

Another impactful meeting was when I met with only the girls and we were able to speak very frankly about dating, relationships and sex.  Global Adolescent Project is lucky to have a nice  partner relationship with another nonprofit in Citee Soleil called We Advance (nap vanse).  It is a women’s clinic and they kindly donated a generous supply of condoms. We have a number of kids age 18-20, so it is important to deal directly with this very natural developmental process.

EMPOWER

Dr Nancy and Kids

Dr Nancy, enjoying quality time

On the plane to Port Au Prince, as often happens, I told my seat mate about Global Adolescent Project.  It turns out that he became very enthusiastic about our program and handed me some cash from his wallet in honor of his two daughters.  He promised to send additional support upon his return to the states. He is developing a large hotel in Port Au Prince. His partner who was traveling with him had a great idea as we spoke. They had an extra bolt of cloth to make blankets and he decided to donate it to us. He also offered to transform the cloth into blankets and deliver them to our kids through his company. Once they arrive, the kids can sell them.  When I got to Haiti, the kids organized into teams and it was decided that Carreca will be the manager of sales.  Josianne who is turning into quite the math whiz will keep track of the money.  There will be a contest for who sells the most among the kids. They are super excited!

Three of our kids, Junior, Eder (best friend) and Flowring will spend the fall preparing for their SAT’s and TOFL (English as a second language exams). These are necessities as they approach high school graduation and college prep.  They are very excited and eager to prove themselves.  Their school will provide a training program to prepare them for these tests and the principal told me that he feels very confident in their ability to do well already on the TOFL.

Also while I was down there, I coincidentally heard from a fellow surfer from my home break who was volunteering at an ecological project called Give Love.  I was able to take a carload of our kids over to their center where they learned about mulch, conservation and reforestation. The director said that he would be happy to have our kids intern with them which provides another opportunity for them to be exposed to an alternative career path as well as learn about preserving their country.  We will make arrangements for this project on school breaks and particularly in the summer.

There is so much to tell and so many precious moments with each of our talented and highly motivated kids that it is impossible to cover it all.  I hope this brief summary and a few photos will help you feel connected.  Again, you can become a monthly donor through our website or just send a check made out to GHR with G.A.P. written on the memo line.  No donation is too small.