Below are some of the great ways our parish community has helped our brothers and sisters in Haiti:
Benches and Tables
The benches that some of our team built and shipped down in 2010 are at the parish in storage. They have been able to use them because they need tables to go with the benches. We were able to go out and purchase enough lumber to built 9 tables to go with the benches.
|10||16x2x4 ($14.87 each)||$148.70|
|4||16x1x12 (24.78 each)||$99.12|
|1||Box of Nails||$9.66|
|Labor to build tables (9 @ $6.20)||$55.75|
There are around 40 benches remaining from our shipment last year. For $35 each we can have them built into sorely needed tables. While we haven’t done a full financial evaluation, it seems clear for future projects that we are better off to purchase lumber and labor in Haiti instead of shipping materials from Michigan.
We brought down a bunch of spiral school notebooks for the St. Montfort school. Two problems – paper is quite heavy to ship, and (much more importantly) they use a pretty specific type of graph paper notebook in Haitian schools. We went to a local shop (Fernando’s) and bought notebooks and pens:
(2 cases of 96 each @ $49.56/case)
(Cost per notebook 52 cents each)
(2 gross of 144 each @ $16.35 per gross)
(Cost per pen 11 cents each)
|Soccer Balls||$11.51 each|
St. Monfort Parish Clinic
The roof on the St. Montfort parish medical clinic was leaking badly. The picture below is above the infirmary. The pressboard that is the inside surface is rotting. It was replaced for approximately $900.
St. Monfort Guest House
When Don Harmon, Chris Kestner and Mark Bonnema visited Fr. Ronald at St. Montfort parish in Port de Paix, we met with Fr. Ronald and the parish council to discuss their top needs. One of the major needs that they agreed on was the roof on the parish guest house. The people who work at the rectory and guests from other parishes stay in the guest house, and the roof (typical tin panel construction) had many holes in it and the inside of the house got pretty wet whenever it rained.
Here’s what it looked like:
The rusted and pitted guest house roof panels.
That’s some pretty rotten wood!
There shouldn’t be this much light through!
The total cost to replace the roof was estimated to be approximately $8,000 US (or 340,000 Haiti Gourdes).
The St. Paul’s Haiti committee agreed to fund this project, and the roof was rebuilt. Now parish guests and workers can sleep and live without getting soaked every time it rains!
The new roof:
As always, we get receipts for our projects to provide accountability and transparency:
In Port de Paix, as in other large Haitian cities, there is some centrally generated electrical power distributed through the city. It is on only sporadically, and for a few hours at a time. Occasionally at night we would stand up on the roof of the guest house, which had a nice view of the city, and realize that there are lights on scattered through the houses and shops. What we take for granted is an unreliable luxury.
In order to make the best use of this period of electrical power, the Haitians will run the city power through an inverter and then to a bank of batteries. When the city power is on, they charge these batteries. Then when the power is off, they can use the battery power for lighting or other needs (such as the fans that we need to even hope to sleep!).
Fr. Ronald needs the electricity the most for evening church services, for lighting and to power the microphones and instruments of the music ministry. Since the batteries were no longer functional, he had to run the big diesel generator during church services, which is expensive given the cost of diesel fuel.
To fix this problem and stop running the generator for all electrical needs, the parish needed replacement batteries, 8 for the rectory and 8 for the church. These batteries are bigger than a car battery and cost $150 each.
Total project cost = $2400
One of St. Paul’s parishioners stepped forward to provide the funds for the new batteries. We wired the money down, and the new batteries are in place and functioning well! As with all of our projects, we require that pictures of the purchased goods and receipts for their purchase be sent to us to close out the project.
These new batteries provide electricity for lighting and other light duty uses without having to run the generator, which burns expensive diesel fuel.