APRIL 2015 STATUS UPDATE
With funds donated in memory of Fr. Dick Martin, and the proceeds of Nativity’s 2014 Operation Starfish® Lenten Campaign, Food For The Poor began development of Good Shepherd Village in Haiti. On April 27, 2015 I visited the project site with Delane Bailey-Herd (FFP Florida) and Kate Evarts, and Kender from FFP-Haiti. My last site inspection was in October 2014.
On this latest trip I found 40 houses completed and occupied. The dirt road from Grand Boulage to Dalon has been improved, although it is still very steep and rough; we got stuck for a while until we could add weight to the vehicle and gain traction. The primary school (L’Ecole Nationale de la Ferriere) is completed and now accommodates over 600 students. Work on the regional marketplace is completed, with most of the stalls occupied on market day (Monday) and the abbatoir nearly finished. The administration and warehouse buildings still need finishing work. While in Good Shepherd Village on April 27, we broke ground for the community center, which is part of the Phase 2 development in 2015.
Phase I of the construction program called for building 40 houses, with solar lighting, sanitation and rainwater storage; building a primary school for 650 students (with funds from another donor); implementing an “after-school program” for those children who failed the national exams and cannot continue their education; training adults in sanitation and good health practices; building a 150-stall regional market; and supporting the community with social development services. This work is now completed. A drinking water distribution system (with funds from another donor), originally planned for 2015, has been completed ahead of schedule.
In 2015 and 2016, 80 more houses will be built, along with a community center, a pre-school/kindergarten facility, health clinic, and agricultural assistance program. The 2014 work was fully funded and funding for the 2015 work will be at FFP the end of May, 2015. The Haitian government is covering the operating and maintenance costs for the school. In 2015 and 2016, we anticipate that Nativity’s Operation Starfish will provide sufficient funds to complete the project. There are also four additional churches involved in supporting home building with Nativity (St. Joseph in Crescent Springs, KY; St. Joseph in Hope Valley, RI; St. Joseph Catholic Daughters in Sykesville, MD; and St. Mary of Sorrows in Fairfax, VA)