Tuesday, September 15, 2009


On July 30, 2009 I returned to Gonaives, Haiti along with twelve other Bay area residents for a humanitarian trip with Water and Education Int’l. Our team included teens, two of whom gave up their summer vacation for the second year in a row to serve in Haiti, a nurse, school teachers, an artist, a professional basketball consultant, retired Sheriff, a social worker and a couple of business owners.

In the center of the city of Gonaives, Haiti is a sculpture of a globe with hands stretched upwards to it. That is the best way to express the impact of the donations received from each donor as well as their extended circle of family and friends. While those of us that physically went to Haiti can be viewed as the hands reaching out to touch the people, you were the arms attached to those hands for we could not have done it without you. Whether you gave finances, financed a team member, donated items, prayed, transported the team to and from the airport or prepared lunch for the team to take (thanks AJ) you reached out across the globe to make a difference in the lives of youth and families in a developing country. Thank you for being part of the team.

The generosity of you and other donors, allowed us to carry 700 pounds of medical supplies, toiletries, sports equipment, school supplies, toys and clothing. We also carried donated funds, which were used to purchase 500 pounds of beans and rice for distribution to four communities, pay for the restoration of the basketball court and the creation of a volleyball court as well. The people of Haiti send their sincere thanks for all you’ve done.

In the city of Gonaives over 300 youth participated in a day camp where they did arts and crafts and played soccer. Fifty teen and young adult females participated in the volleyball clinic and 50 teen and young adult males participated in the basketball clinic. A minor injury medical clinic (see above photo) was held for two days where the nurse and another team member treated over 125 children and adults for a variety of medical problems using donated over-the-counter medicines. My 18-year-old son, Contrail, did triage. Beans, rice and toiletries were given to the mission and school there.

In the mountain community of Dechaos, over 100 youth participated in day camp doing arts, crafts and playing games. Due to limited space, donated tennis balls really came in handy allowing the children to win prizes by bouncing the balls into a plastic cup. They also received toys. About 75 adults received beans, rice and toiletries.

In the small hilly community of Bienac, the team distributed beans, rice and toiletries to over 160 youth and adults.

The small community of Chatelain also received 100 pounds of beans, rice and a variety of packs of vegetable seeds to start a community garden courtesy of a former mission team member.

PROGRESS REPORT: The city of Gonaives now has beautiful shuttle public bus transportation; the Heberson hotel has built a new addition which most of us stayed in and actually had a small new refrigerator in two of the rooms; Love and Light has begun a micro enterprise project with micro loans; The Pastor's wife from Rosemond's Ennery church/school who lost her business and livestock in the '08 flood resulting in a large debt owed to the bank reported her debt is paid in full; The Dechaos school/church has beautiful new benches courtesy of UNICEF and also has electric lights installed by Archange; electricity now stays on 16 hours daily; Pastor Robert reports that Haiti is now 55% Christian. We celebrate progress in Haiti "from poverty to paradise."

Ollie Dixon

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