As we work to send Christmas Gifts to kids in Haiti, they themselves are pre-occupied with a multitude of things and activity. A short month after Hurricane Matthew ravaged the country side there remains significant damage to many parts of Haiti. At Good Neighbor Orphanage it is simple things like buildings that are deteriorated to the point where they no longer block out wind and rain, or bathroom facilities that have worn to the point of not being suitable. The orphanage has been living in a short term facility since the Earthquake in 2010. As we look towards moving into a new facility in Arcahaie we have decisions to make. Can we make the move yet or will we need to conduct some repairs on the existing facilitites to continue working on the facility in Arcahaie?
Arcahaie Progress: Progressing, with significant projects to go!
The facility has continued to move forward however it has been hindered by some delays due to contractor sickness, breadth of projects being completed, recent constraints on getting sand and other building materials, always with a shortage in funds and some of it just being a pace that is common in Haiti. The girls dorm is significantly complete at the funding and driving of the Grove Church AZ. The facility looks great outside and in. This will be a really great addition to the orphanage site.
This building will easily house 25 kids plus have room for nannies, a bathroom, a living / gathering area, sports a long front and side porch for resting in the shade, makes use of tall walls and concrete to provide thermal mass that makes for a cool spot out of the sun and is rugged to combat the impact of time and weather. While still using some wood in its construction, the wood is limited to areas where it does not impact structure. Most recently the orphanage has been able to install door frames and does have the doors that will be able to finish out this building. There will be a twin to this building used for the boys dorm. It has been placed across the way from the girls dormitory to create separation between boys and girls!
From the landing in the eating area (shown left) one can take view of the countryside out to the ocean. The eating area is elevated about 3 feet giving it the benefit of a cool breeze and a long view of the Caribbean countryside. There is a mix of trees on the property which John has passionately defended and even planted. Shortly after getting the property John planted several mango trees which in many cases have grown to 7 feet tall with about a 4 foot diameter spread. Someday these will be grand trees loaded with mangos shading a host of children eating a fresh mango (fun illustration isn't it!). This eating area vangate has the benefit of seeing the breadth of the property and beyond the property into neighboring areas.
While progressing the property has a ways to go with nearly $100,000 in remaining capital projects to finish the site into a solar driven, durable facility that will house 50 orphans.
Bon Repos: A site that is past useful life, but likely needs an update for now and continued use.
The Bon Repos site has served GNO well, but the reaility is that facility was intended to be a temporary house and it became a 6 year home. Much of the plywood on the primary dorm is weathered to the point where it blocks neither peeking eyes, driving rain, or fierce winds. When the orphanage started the kids were much smaller and could easily fit multiples to a bed. NOW there are many teens. The boys were moved into a seperate room a while ago and that is too small, they need an addition. On top of all that, the orphanage continues to get visitors to their school as Hurricane Matthew's impact is continuing to become known. Kids that are no longer able to get schooling in their Provence towns are moving to the city to attend schools such as Good Neighbor Christian School. We would love to be able to care for and educate the Children that we see. All told we expect we need $15,000 in capital plus be able to fully sponsor the 150 kids in the school at $100 per year so we can cover 1 meal per day for a year plus uniforms and books. Bottom line, we need another $30,000 to keep the Bon Repos operation going while we continue to get transition going to Arcahaie AND work to provide aid to kids coming out of the provences.
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