“Most of us take for granted our basic human needs like clean water, homes, food, schools, medical supplies. Those basics need to be sustainable by the Haitian people themselves,” Said The Road To Hope Board member Ray Berrouet.
Denver, Colorado (PRWEB) November 24, 2014
The Road to Hope, a nonprofit foundation, announces new fundraising efforts and showcases new school and sustainability successes in Haiti on eve of 5th anniversary of the devastating 7.0 earthquake, when 4,992 schools were destroyed and 1.5 million people left homeless. Partnering with famed American Photographer/Naturalist John Fielder and U.S. schools and students, the foundation aims to reach goal of $90,000 to complete school, clinic and community center project and to prove that philanthropy can overpower poverty.
Eighth grade student Rachel Harris, daughter of The Road to Hope founders Rich and Lisa Harris and sister to two Haitian siblings adopted in Port-au-Prince in 2010, travelled with Fielder to Haiti to write a new children’s book featuring illustrations by local Haitian children. ALL profits from Nadia’s Good Deed: A Story about Haiti,” available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble, go to build new schools and provide water. The story is about Nadia the goat and her journey to the city, replete with insight into Haitian culture. Combining Rachel’s tale, Fielder’s photography and local illustrations, the picture book aims to inspire, educate and entertain while benefitting one of the poorest countries in the world.
The Road To Hope operates one public school today, serving a daily meal plus clean water to 120 students in Mathone near Cap Haitien. (61% of Haiti schools are without potable water; children often work instead of attend school.) The second school, near Port-au-Prince, in Nordette, will open soon providing water, sustainable garden and education to 300 students. Development is underway at both sites for medical clinics and community centers. Both sites are open to tour with students.
Edmida Jacob, a 13-year-old Haitian who lost both parents in the quake, now attends Mathone school, said: “I am proud of my school because they teach mathematics, French, Creole, Natural Sciences, Geography, Haitian and General History…. Like other Haitian kids, life is not easy for me. I am grateful to The Road to Hope, which provides food to my school. Without that, I could spend days without eating….my grandma cannot afford to take care of us. I want to finish high school and go to university to become an agriculturist. Thank you….May God be with you all.”
The Road to Hope partnered with Colorado Academy, “Sister School” to new Haiti school, who sent 100 goats, non-GMO seeds, and students to help Haiti. The school, participating in the Global Water Challenge competition, is dedicating two sustainable crop gardens, one in the U.S. in January and one in Haiti, and making annual visits.
“Our goal is to build sustainable communities focused on education,” said Rich Harris. “Haitians want to give their kids opportunities to attend school…things we take for granted.” The Harrises also founded The Harris Law Firm, practicing family law.
January 12 marks the 5th anniversary of the earthquake. An estimated 316,000 were killed; 1,000 orphans adopted in the U.S. (USAID). Haiti still lacks basic infrastructure, water, schools and suffers from Restavek -- modern child slavery affecting 300,000-500,000 children who are sent away work for other families, paid only in food and shelter. About 75% of children live in poverty.
Roger Bowen, Director of US-Haiti Partnership Program, Colorado Academy, Fielder, the Harris family (who adopted two malnourished Haitian children on eve of earthquake to add to their clan of 9 children), and TRTH board members in Denver, New York, South Carolina including Haitian-American Ray Berrouet, contribute to Haiti efforts and are available to discuss projects and needs.
Nearly half of Haitian children do not attend school. 60% of children who attend school will drop out before the 6th grade. (UNICEF.)
The Road To Hope and Haitian dignitaries offer tours in Haiti, JANUARY 2-9, at schools and agricultural sites, with students. Tours of Haiti’s famous sites, including UN World Heritage and the University Hospital co-established by Boston-based Partners in Health included.
The Road to Hope Foundation is a 501c(3) whose mission is a Haiti where children grow up strong and healthy, free from the trauma of abandonment. By providing water and meals, TRTH enables children to attend school while providing for their families’ needs. Projects are designed to meet the basic needs outlined by the 1989 UNICEF Bill of Rights’ principles: “Non-discrimination, devotion to best interests of the child, the right to life, survival and development, and respect for the views of the child.”