1,000 people living in the C3 Children's Village (Gonaives)Rich Stigall
By God’s grace and at his mercy, we made some progress, today. We’re a bit tired and I’ll keep this short.
We got food delivered to Gonaive by helicopters today. There are now more than 1,000 people living in the children’s village in Gonaive. All, and many more, were fed there today – many for the first time since Hannah hit. Our children are doing well. They have food. Dony is keeping them inside for the most part to try and keep them safe.
We have 2 trucks with a combined total of about 13,000 lbs of food. Cross Int’l filled one truck (a huge “thanks” to Cross). Mission of Hope filled the other. You’ve read about how Gonaive aid is cut off by ground from all directions. That’s not true if you equip partners as motivated and selfless as Dony and Louis St. Germain, DouDou, and the entire ESMI team. Here’s what they’ve organized to get food trucks to Gonaive. Step 1: load truck at Mission of Hope near PAP. Step 2: drive it about an hour to a town where the bridge is washed out, and stop. Step 3: organize a “box brigade” of workers who move the boxes across the river into Vehicle # 2, an empty bus on the other side. Step 4: drive bus to area near Gonaive where there’s a large lake blocking the way. Step 5: drive off the road and around the perimeter of the lake to an area where the lake is crossable by foot. Step 5: mobilize another “box brigade” and transfer the food from the bus to Vehicle # 3, a truck on the other side. Step 6: drive the truck into the children’s village. Step 7: distribute the food.
If all goes well, this system will deliver about 68,000 lbs of food to Gonaive this week.
Here were a couple of highlights of the day…
1. Bringing in the children from Caberet I told you about yesterday. We got mattresses for them. I don’t think they have any idea what’s going on, other than they know it’s really, really good. They’ve gone from narrowly escaping death as the river raged through their homes, to homelessness (again), to a hot meal and a new place to live and learn they never imagined possible – all in a span of about 36 hours.
2. While the children were walking, single file and ever so quietly, through a muddy field to get into vehicles to take them to their new homes, one of the helicopters full of food raced overhead towards Gonaives. That may not seem like much of an image to you, but to us, amidst this mess in Haiti, this image melts our hearts.
3. In addition to getting the food aid flowing, we managed to secure a water purification product developed by the CDC. This product will purify filthy water to about 95% pure – very drinkable. We got enough to clean about 7 million liters of water. We sent some ahead by helicopter. The bulk of the rest will be headed to Gonaives via the trucks.
Here are a couple thoughts before getting a little sleep…
1. We still have a lot of work to do to get ample food to our children and the communities where they live.
2. We have a LOT more children’s homes to build, and we want to do so quickly. There are another 300-400 children in the Gonaives children’s village who have no care whatsoever. That’s in addition to the 250 currently in our homes and the 200 who were waiting for their homes before those homes under construction got wiped out. And this isn’t scratching the surface. If we had the resources to build homes as needed in the higher ground near our village, we could have 2,000 plus children there in a flash. In fact, we plan to do exactly that. We want to take care of these children, and not wait around to do so.
Please, keep spreading the word and giving to the C3 Haiti Relief Fund.
By the way, I forwarded some pics from Caberet. If they’re not attached, you’ll get them soon.
Caberet, Gonaives and other footage on the way…
Joe & Mike