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November 2015 Newsletter from Haiti Micah Project
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November 2015

President's Update

Thank you! 
 
“Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 
 
During this season of Thanksgiving, I want to thank you for your continued support of HMP.  We have many challenges in Haiti.  Haiti is still coping from the devastation of the January 2010 earthquake.  In HMP, we have a project that is making a difference in the lives of many children.  It is a blessing to partner with individuals like you who believe in this mission and give so much of your time and talent to keep this project strong.  I give God thanks for you and for your contribution to this ministry.  Please continue to keep Haiti in your prayers especially during this election period, which creates political and economic instability throughout the country. 
 
Faithfully,
Fr. Joseph Murrenz Constant 

Taratibu Youth Association Raises $1,800 for HMP

Following their July 2015 trip to Haiti, the girls of Taratibu Youth Association (TYA) chose HMP as their Haiti Outreach mission.  We were initially delighted that the group included HMP on their Haiti trip schedule when they visited this summer.  Their trip from Cap-Haitien to Mirebalais was long and tiring.  And yet, once they arrived in Mirebalais, the girls visited our residences, Les Enfants de Sion and performed a dance piece.  Their performance left an indelible mark in the hearts of the children and young people of Mirebalais. 
 

On November 7th, the girls of TYA invited me to attend a performance by the group in Maryland and also to receive a check to support the Haiti Micah Project.  Through their fundraising efforts, the TYA was able present me with a check for $1,800 to support work in Haiti.  In addition to receiving this wonderful gift, I had the opportunity to see the group perform a song and dance of Choucoune, a song composed by Michel Mauleart with lyrics by Oswald Durand.  It was truly inspiring!   
 
During the performance, the girls who traveled to Haiti were given an opportunity to reflect on their experience and lessons learned.  One of the common themes was water.  The girls commented on the shortage of running water.  They had to take a shower using buckets, often having to go back outside to get more water when the water in the bucket ran low or got dirty.  They reflected on the blessing of living in the United States where water flows at all times and one can drink the tap water. I was very impressed with the depth of their reflection.   
 
The partnership between HMP and TYA makes sense in many levels.  We have two organizations that believe in empowering young girls to reach their full potential.  I am excited to work with Mrs. Arla Scott (left with me), the group’s founder and president and two key leaders in TYA, Dr. Dominique Charlot-Swilley and Dr. Yanique Edmond-Pierre (above, right), Haitians who are determined to make a difference in their homeland. I firmly believe that Haitians living outside have an important role to play in investing in the lives of children and young people in Haiti. 
 
I am grateful to the group and leadership of TYA for this life-giving partnership.  I want to offer my profound appreciation to the girls and their dedication. With the support of family and friends, this group is making a difference and is empowering strong leaders for a better tomorrow. 
 

Vocational School Update

The workers resumed their work on the Vocational Training Center following the unrest caused by the elections in Haiti.  They were able to travel to Port-au-Prince to purchase supplies to continue with their work.  We are looking forward to joining our sister organization in Mirebalais to celebrate the opening of this important training facility in January 2016. The HMP wishes to offer our heartfelt thanks to all who contributed to making this dream of building a training facility a reality.

Next Shipment to Haiti


The Haiti Micah Project is sending a shipment of supplies to Haiti on Saturday, December 19.  We are grateful to individuals and churches who have donated materials for this shipment.  The leaders in Haiti identified shoes and sneakers as the most critical for this shipment.  We are still collecting new shoes and sneakers if anyone wishes to donate.      

Your best gifts to the children in Haiti Micah Project continue to be cash that goes to their food, tuition, housing, clothing and healthcare. In addition, there are opportunities to give in-kind donations for the children.   Among the things offered are school supplies (notebooks, books, pencils, etc.), clothing, shoes, and toys.  The intent behind these donations is wonderful and generous, but there is no easy or low-cost way to send things to Haiti. 

We have sent shipments to Haiti every year in large plastic barrels which must be shipped from Virginia to a port on the Gulf of Mexico, then put aboard a ship to Haiti where it is unloaded and shipped overland to Mirebalais.  Costs are based on weight and distance traveled, and recent shipments of barrels have cost from $700 to $1300.  The cost of shipping an item might be several times its actual value.  Therefore, we encourage you not to send us gift items.

Cash gifts enable our staff in Mirebalais to purchase items locally for the children.  Not only does that save shipping costs, but it infuses money into the local economy which is very important.  We will likely continue to make occasional shipments of new expensive items like shoes, but we ask that you consider cash donations in lieu of sending gifts.  We will do our best to see that the cash is spent for its intended purposes.  

Put Haiti Micah on Your Wishlist!


Planning some online shopping for the holidays? Please consider signing your Amazon.com account on to their AmazonSmile program. Shopping on AmazonSmile is just like using regular Amazon, only the Amazon Foundation will give 0.5% of your purchase to HMP. That can add up to significant donations for furthering the great work you've been supporting. And it's easy--you get to shop as you normally would. 

Add a few more smiles to your shopping list this season!
 


New Faces on the HMP Board!


The HMP Board is happy and honored to welcome two new members this month. Dr. Dominique Charlot-Swilley (left) is a board-certified clinical child psychologist and has three daughters who are affiliated with Taratibu Youth Association (TYA), the youth performing arts company that went on a cross-cultural exchange tour of Haiti in July of this year and inspired our SAES children with their performance. In her work, Dr. Charlot-Swilley explores the systemic issues that impact children’s emotional, social, and academic functioning. As a clinician of Haitian descent, she also considers the impact of ethnic and cultural issues when exploring positive pathways to promote transformative change in the lives of children, adolescents, and adults.

Crystal Green (right) is a Software Test Engineer at Planned Systems International in Arlington, VA. She has a Master’s Degree in Public Health from Benedictine University in Lisle, Illinois and is currently pursuing a PhD in International Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Washington DC Campus. With an area of interest deeply rooted in Disaster Psychology, Crystal’s doctoral research has led her to highlight the resilience embedded within Haitian culture as it pertains to healing, hope and happiness. She became interested in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake and wanted to be a part of the global response helping those impacted by the disaster.    

Crystal met Rev. Joseph Constant through her church, St. John's Episcopal in Beltsville, and she began volunteering with the Haiti Micah Project. "The mission of the Haiti Micah project is important to me because its investment in helping, feeding, educating, nurturing and fostering positivity in healing and wholeness of the children of Haiti aligns with my own desires of helping to make a difference in the world."   

A Dollar-a-Day Will Sponsor a Child

Beginning in January 2016 the cost of Sponsoring a Child at Haiti Micah Project will be an annual contribution of a dollar-a-day ($365).  To feed, clothe and educate a child at HMP will be less than the price of your regular coffee at Starbucks.   Over the past 10 years, the contribution to sponsor a child has been $300, but as costs continue to rise in Haiti that amount is no longer sufficient to meet the needs of our children. Almost half of our revenue is derived from our sponsorship program, which provides our daily feeding program, educational support, health care, and 24 hour care for those living in the SAES Home. 

Actually, $365 is an estimated average of the costs of sustaining a child because the cost varies according to each child’s needs.  For example, the annual cost per child in the SAES home is well over $1000 yearly, whereas augmenting food and educational expenses for a child of unemployed parents might be well below $365 annually.  

We hope that you will continue to support the sponsorship program by donating the equivalent of a dollar every day.  The sponsorship program is the backbone of our work and has only been made possible by your continued generosity these past 10 years.  

For more information on donating and sponsorship, please visit our website.  








 
 

Last chance to contribute to $10 for 10!


We're celebrating our 10th anniversary with the $10 for 10 Campaign, where you can set up 10recurring payments of $10 each to go toward feeding children in our program. More than 400 children of all ages in Mirebalais join us each day for a hot, nutritious meal. We started providing meals for 150 children in 2005, and the need continues to grow. Find out more about the campaign and how to give here.
 

Just a few more weeks: Combined Federal Campaign!

Since 2008, HMP has been proud to take part in the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC). The CFC is the largest and most successful annual workplace charity campaign in the world. It consists of hundreds of local campaigns throughout the United States and overseas, and raises millions of dollars each year. Pledges made by Federal civilian, postal and military donors are collected through direct payroll deduction. These funds support eligible non-profit organizations that provide health and human service benefits throughout the world.

CFC for this year ends December 15th. For how to donate, check out our CFC page
 

HMP Haiti Updates

 
If you would like to learn even more about what is happening in Haiti, go to our HMP Twitter feed where you will find daily updates from Haitian, US and international media.  

Recent stories include:

Why Haiti Deserves Visitors--A British journalist travels to Haiti as a tourist and discovers that "this place deserves time, and it deserves visitors who want more than a beach."

Why We are Still Fighting Cholera--Five years after cholera first appeared in Haiti, over 9,000 people have died, and thousands continue to fall ill. But international attention has waned so "progress has stalled." What can be done?

 
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