-Despagne Felix, VHP partner in Haiti, January 12, 2012***
Post-earthquake, there are so many organizations in Haiti, fighting over turf, and spending enormous amounts of money in the name of ‘rebuilding’. It is difficult to keep track of where services are being offered. By contrast, with VHP, everything is transparent. Our programs are small, manageable and realizing progress with each passing month. We listen to our partners in Haiti, and gladly report back to our donors.
Vermont Haiti Project currently supports three primary projects. The first two have been in existence since before the earthquake:
Vocational training center in a rural mountainous region. VHP’s newest program is in direct response to the earthquake. After the initial shock wore off, our closest Haitian partner, Despagne Felix, assessed the situation and began to act on his long held desire to build and run a vocational educational school in his hometown of Duchity in the mountains of southwest Haiti.
Sadly, while Port au Prince is still very much in ruins, the capitol city provides Haitians with most of it’s educational training, and jobs. Despagne, and VHP look to reverse that trend, with a center that will train residents in woodworking, welding and mechanical skills, that can be put to use- and jobs- right in their own region. (read more HERE). Construction is under way.
“ It is too hard to describe the feeling you get driving down the main road in Port au Prince. As we drove by the crumbled palace and saw the destroyed finance building, where we meet with the minister of finance in November, we wondered how will people ever continue......... Never thought it would feel like we were on the set of M*A*S*H - the helicopters come and go”
-Kimball Butler & Donna Thomas, VHP
“I was so tormented by the photos and stories coming out of Haiti, I decided I had to go there to help in some way. Not having medical skills and not wanting to go with a large corporate organization to hammer nails for a week and then go home, I deliberately sought grass roots groups making serious impact on the communities they work with. Through networking, I found VHP and have been working with them ever since.”
- Bonnie Rubenstein, VHP
“Sitting in a room, thousands of miles away, and unable to reach out to anyone in Haiti; we felt utterly helpless. When, at last, phone service was restored in Haiti, and we could finally hear the voice of a friend, we broke into tears.”
-Tim Singer and Augusta Wilson, VHP
In comparison to many other organizations on the ground in Haiti, successful support for VHP efforts is relatively small.
Simply stated: A little will go a long way. Your contribution, however large or small, will insure that the wonderful people of Haiti continue on the road to recovery, and towards a more hopeful future.
- Marc-Henry Bourdo Pierre: VHP friend and Port au Prince resident.
- Elizabeth, Volunteer on VHP team