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Supporting the lives of the elderly poor by providing shelter, food, medical
services, and care in Jeremie, Haiti.

 

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"I Will Go"

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January 2010

Aid workers are pouring in from all over the world to Port Au Prince (PAP). The crises are being met as they can. The news is making it clear every hour what those crises are. I am going to focus on what is happening outside of PAP as there is a growing crisis there as well. My focus is on Jeremie as that is where most of my contacts becaasue that is where the orphanage and senior home are that I am intimately involved with.

Almost all food to Jeremie is shipped from PAP. They are running out. The buildings in Jeremie are fine as they are 120 miles from the epicenter. Nothing collapsed. There are no injuries. Most people can get water from the river….dirty. Fresh fruits and vegetables are available for those with money. Fishing is continuing on a limited basis. No fuel for boats to set out into the deep ocean where most of the fish are. No more rice or beans….which is the staple…is coming in. LOTM wired the Methodist Church in Haiti $5600 two weeks ago. I don’t know how much beans and rice they purchased prior to the earthquake but they are using it now. The seniors, thanks to LOTM, Rotary and numerous donors, have a brand new water tank. They are good for the immediate future but refilling it may be a problem.

We have supplies in the Bahamas but cannot ship directly from the Bahamas, either by boat or plane, as all water and air traffic not permitted by the US, which has taken over all communication and shipping and air traffic and boat traffic, has been shut down. This was necessary in order to coordinate international relief efforts. Besides, a boat or plane landing in Jeremie with supplies would be mobbed.
All of this is true for all of Haiti. PAP is the bottleneck and anything going into Haiti is going to be first required to meet the crisis in PAP. What is happening in the rest of the country is being given less attention.

Due to the huge homelessness in PAP ferries are being secured and people are being taken back to their hometowns in the countryside. The problem is there is no food in the countryside! The roads in PAP leading from the airport are impassable from rubble and damage. Any vehicle that is suspected of having food on it is mobbed. There is no way for food to be shipped overland.

The USS Bentsen has just arrived in PAP with a deck full of helicopters. The helicopters are being assigned to take the waiting containers of relief supplies out to the towns and countryside as well as within PAP. Security is being set up in the individual towns, such as Jeremie, to protect the relief container as it is dropped as it will be mobbed.

We, Jeremie Relief and Haiti Children Fund, have tentatively arranged for a helicopter to be assigned to Jeremie. We have used what funds we have to purchase a limited amount of food and supplies. Our supplies are in PAP at the airport now. It is hoped that we will begin to ferry some of the supplies to Jeremie by mid week.

The problem is that prices have skyrocketed! Funds are desperately needed to get supplies purchased and delivered to PAP where we can helicopter them in to Jeremie. The more food and supplies that can be delivered to the countryside the less likely people will desperately surge toward the capital in hopes of finding food and obtaining some of the aid that is clearly going there. Haitians need to stay where they are. The people in the countryside do not even know, due to disrupted communications, that relatives they have not seen in forever are suddenly being ferried back to their villages and homes…..without food.

The country is on the brink of anarchy.

The need in PAP is great. Many organizations are working there. Governments, Doctors with out Borders, Red Cross, United Nations, etc. However, the need in the countryside is also dire and there is no international organization able to hear the cries of growing hunger. Funds are needed immediately to open a pipeline to Jeremie.

Please send checks to Lord of the Mountains, PO Box 1059, Dillon, Co 80435. Mark the check with Haiti relief.

If you prefer to donate to an international organization I strongly suggest you send checks to Shelter Box www.shelterbox.org

The shelter box will be given directly to a family made homeless by the earthquake. I am very concerned that due to the internal structural issues in Haiti a great deal of the funds being donated are going to further fuel corruption. The injured will be tended, the rubble cleared away and the families will still have nothing to sustain them. Giving a family a tent with food, water, cooking supplies, beds, bedding, etc bypasses the large organizations that have corruption hidden with in them and aids one family directly in a sustainable way. One box, equipped to house 10 people, costs $1000 delivered. When I was in Ica, Peru, a month after the earthquake in August 2008 Shelter Box tents were everywhere, housing thousands of the population. Summit County Rotary will be purchasing one and possibly two Shelter Boxes.

If you wish to donate to that effort you may either send checks to Shelter Box or to me at Summit County Rotary, PO Box 42, Silverthorne, CO 80498. We are working with several different restaurants to have a fund raiser for Shelter Boxes in the next couple of weeks. Some of the funds raised will be matched. I will get word to you as the time and location are decided.

DEB

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