If not now, then when? If not you, then who?
When I was informed about a Haiti project Marie Fouche was working on as an administrative volunteer for CORA, I changed the “you” in the above line to “I” and volunteered my services.
After a few weeks of presenting my credentials, conversations, and discussions for the project, I was honored to be welcomed. The time table and finances for us all are tight and several deadlines have to be met by me and the organizing team here in New York. Nevertheless, please allow me to summarize the project’s mission and needs:
CORA is a Coalition pour le relevement de l’Anse-a-Veau. The translation “a coalition for the raising of Anse-a-Veau” is from French, one of the three languages spoken. This not-for-profit [501(c)3] organization was created to rally and motivate individuals that are born in Haiti and have a desire to make a difference. Currently the president of CORA is Mr. Labissiere and he works with the Salesians Sisters, who teach in Haiti and Msgr. Louis Merosne at the Catholic Church in Haiti.
To train a core group of high school seniors at a four week summer program in July on Emergency Management Preparedness. They will prepare for and how to respond to major types and phases of disasters. Preparedness, response, relief, recovery, mitigation, and pre-implementation of "sustainable" projects to prevent unwelcome issues. This initiative will enable the town’s youth to obtain the necessary knowledge and skills needed to immediately respond on the ground when an emergency occurs. With their commitment and continuing drill schedule, they will be the first line of defense to go into action to assist in evacuations, organizing volunteers, provide needed assistance to survivors, assessing damages or seeking proper help from other sources.
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Anse-a-Veau is a remote bay community in Haiti. Located on the northern edge of the southern outstretch of land. When the earthquake hit in 2010, the community was swollen by refugees from heavily afflicted areas. Some initial aid to the community was airdropped, but they did not receive significant help until six weeks after the quake hit.
The area is prone to natural disasters such as earthquakes and hurricanes. The population is not equipped to address these emergencies and have to wait extended periods of time for outside assistance. Waiting weeks or months for help creates additional safety concerns, such as sanitation, health, clean water, and food. The basic needs for living are not consistent. We all need Air, Shelter, Water, Food and Support. For the people in this remote part of Haiti a strong shelter, clean water, plentiful food, and emergency support is scarce. Even air that is clean outside, is polluted when inside, because most of the community burns charcoal for cooking and for heat. Additional, toxic kerosine would be used at night for light. Compounding the lack of electricity and means to communicate (no cell phone towers or internet) over long distances, even a small emergency situation can become a deadly one.
The curriculum I am writing up has been added to the four week syllabus. However the lessons need to be translated into the Creole language and Marie Fouche, a volunteer administrator for CORA, will be completing that major task next month. With the development of these classes, I will use my backgrounds as an Environmental Scientist, Naturalist and an Instructor of Team Building, Survival Classes, Communication Skills, along with certification for citizen preparedness and emergency services by United States Homeland security. Thus, the following three sections for the program are established:
- Communication and Team Building Skills
- Readiness, Emergency Preparedness and Survival Skills
- Solutions and Truth for a Sustainable and Resilient Tomorrow
Additionally, we will explore immediate solutions to current needs of everyday and survival modes Before, During and After an emergency. Several lessons will teach what some of my previous GoingTrueGreen.com blogs have covered: Educational data such as LED lights that run like Cuckoo clocks with gravity. No electricity needed! How to make a Bow Drill to make camp fires. How to make a Water Still for clean drinkable water. How to build a temporary shelter to stay warm and dry. Mixed in with these lessons will be field trips, hands-on work and collaborating with the surrounding communities.
Perhaps you may wish to help with a small donation to this project.
Mr. Labissiere, president of CORA, is making arrangements with the Diocese of Nippes in Haiti to receive a shipping container filled with supplies not only for this program, but also for everyday needs. Msgr. Louis Merosne in Haiti will hopefully be able to work with Mr. Labissiere again and have the container clear customs and brought to Anse-a-Veau from Port-au-Prince.
Naimoly Freight in Ozone Park has been used in the past, but the costs have increased. CORA is looking to raise rental fees for the container, U-Haul truck rental, workers to load and unload the truck, container loading fee, and tips. The total for the New York end will be approximately 8 to 9 thousand dollars.
The cost at Haiti will be for Seaboard Marine of Haiti, Veconinter, Port Lafito, Broker Fee, Transport Port-Au-Prince to Anse-a-Veau, Unloading and tips. The total cost in Haiti will be approximately 4 thousand dollars.
To help out or make a donation, please visit CORA directly for contact data at:
Thank you for reading and always looking at the complete picture with GoingTrueGreen.com.
Bill Lauto, at GoingTrueGreen.com
International Sustainability and Energy Consultant
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