In response to Hurricane Matthew, many relief efforts have been focused on solving the dangers posed by contaminated water and broken water supply lines. Hundreds of NGOs and large corporations have gotten on board with the cause to provide Haiti with clean water supplies to offset this acute water shortage. Nestlé Waters North America, for example, pledged to donate $1 million in bottled water products to support disaster relief efforts following the Hurricane.
Special Project #1: Girls’ Campus Well
While it is wonderful to be supporting the immediate need for those hit hardest by the Hurricane, bringing in purified bottled water will be a short term fix for a long term problem. We are all too aware of this, as our girls’ campus has been without a consistent source of running water for quite some time now. Our well is currently powered by a submersible pump which is subject to corrosion from the hard water supply and is no longer functioning. It is our hope to dig a deeper well to 220ft, which would reach the water table where the water is safe for consumption. The pumping mechanism for this well would be manual and will allow the girls campus to have safe and consistent access to water long term. The total estimated cost to dig the well and purchase the pump would be $15,000.
Our existing water pump, covered in hard deposits and rust.
Proposed manual pump example.
We are very excited to share that we have recently received confirmation that a wonderful donor will be helping to cover the costs of this project! We will be bringing in a professional plumber the week of Thanksgiving to assess the situation of the existing well set-up and assess the long-term sustainability of various options.
Another risk factor we must keep an eye on following Hurricane Matthew is the spread of waterborne illnesses. Cholera is back in Haiti and it is something we address every day. Right now, we have an American Doctor staying at the campus and he is monitoring our children for symptoms. He is also looking into the possibility of vaccines being sent to Haiti by Partners in Health. Dr. Robinson is a welcomed asset to our campus and we are very grateful for his time residing at the general hospital here in Hinche. Our very own doctor for the children, Dr. Charles, also works tirelessly to ensure that the children are kept in good health and we are taking preventative measures to be able to recognize cholera early.
Special Project #2: Boys’ Campus Landscaping & Kitchen Upgrade
Our dining and kitchen area is the oldest building on the boys’ campus, and sadly it has begun to show its age. The roof has holes and other structural damage which prevents the children from safely gathering here. They use this space to eat, read, study, do homework, play games and attend mass. We need immediate upgrades to this structure so it can be underway now during the dry season.
In addition to upgrading the structure of the pavilion and kitchen building, we will begin the conversion from coal to gas cooking for our kitchen this fall as well! This change will be cleaner for our staff and children, as well as for the Haitian environment on a bigger scale. We are very excited to have received funding to make this move toward clean propane cooking a reality!
We also have a proposal to help reduce the standing water around the boys campus during the rainy season as well as address the amount of dirt and dust during the dry season through paving more parts of the boys’ campus. We will accomplish this by bringing in concrete to the campus to provide for proper drainage and safer areas for play and study. This landscaping plan is needed to help make our campus safer from mosquito borne illnesses as well as to ensure we can keep our trees healthy to provide shade from hot sun. The concrete will also help reduce the dust and dirt that leads to many respiratory problems with our children during the dry season. The plan for the concrete landscaping and kitchen improvement will cost approximately $26K, and we still need additional funding to cover the costs of this special project.
Dirt entryway to the boys’ campus, showing where erosion occurs due to high traffic and lack of a paved concrete path.
We could not provide for these sorts of larger improvement projects around our two campuses without the constant support of our amazing donors. Your tax-deductible donation will make a direct impact to better the lives of the boys and girls of the Maison Fortuné orphanage. We operate our non-profit organization with minimal overhead costs to maximize the funds that are able to go directly to the food, shelter, education and programs for these children. Please consider giving to support these special projects online or by mailing a check to:
Maison Fortuné Orphanage Foundation
P.O. Box 3092
Chesapeake, VA 23327-3092