Newsletter Winter 2016/17

The Great Iftar

In this period of terrorist attacks we  wish to identify and give our support to the Great Iftar, along with other efforts to bring people together in our society, please see details of the event here

The aftermath of Hurricane Matthew

Yet again Haiti has been attacked by extreme weather conditions that have caused chaos and destruction. Pazapa is in Jacmel, in the south of the island, which was slightly less hit by hurricane Matthew. It took a while before we heard anything from Haiti, then the first news came from Charles Scholes, President of the board of Siloe, the American charity that support Pazapa.

Charles Scholes was able to tell us: “The main new PAZAPA Center structure survived well, and compared to other parts of Haiti further west, there was less damage in Jacmel. We, like you, are waiting for a more detailed assessment of damage and also more details of the five villages where PAZAPA outreach reaches out to children with disabilities in rural areas.

I am not surprised that the building where the students have their meals was beat up. It was a temporary wooden building constructed in 2011 just after the earthquake, as is the charcoal-fired kitchen where the meals are prepared. These buildings were already dilapidated. There were not funds to rebuild these structures, unlike the rest of the PAZAPA centre that includes classrooms, offices and therapy facilities. The eating area, the kitchen and also a guard’s quarter constitute a Phase 111 of rebuilding for which Siloe has architectural plans and a budget, but as yet, no funding,”

Later Marika, director of Pazapa, emailed to explain not only what damage had been done to the Pazapa building and what losses the student’s families had suffered, but also to explain the plan that Pazapa had put in place to support the families through this difficult time.

Marika said: To date 43 families were touched by the damaging winds and heavy rains of Matthew. These are parents of children attending the Pazapa school in Jacmel. (out of 160 families using the centre) The most important information is that there were no deaths to report. However many parents lost their crops and animals. One family had their home destroyed and 4 had damage to their homes. Over 200 animals were lost and 33 of the families lost crops. These crops and animals are the sustenance and livelihood of these families. Marika estimated the financial cost of the losses to be 216700 gourds. (approx £2700)

She also recommended what could be done to support these families:

  1. Distribution of food and hygiene kits for 2 months for all 160 students at Pazapa for 3000 HTG per family/month.
  2. Recapitalize or help victims start over with a certain minimum donation.

“Our outreach centers did not fair so well however. For example the "Club Timoun" in La Voute had its roof blown off. Pictured are Outreach Director Pierre-Paul Exilus and local monitor Nicole Bernard inspecting the damage. These centers are essential for providing medications and connecting villagers to the resources in Jacmel. Unfortunately the hurricane has struck a blow to our Outreach program, but the resilience of our kids and their families keep us optimistic! “

Co-incidentally Pazapa Church Stretton had just held our annual fundraising ceilidh where people had been very generous in light of the hurricane and therefore we had funds available to immediately send £1700 to Pazapa to support them in their recovery.

Cooking Classes

Pazapa cooking classes are underway! Students are taking great pride in the results of their first efforts. They are learning professional cooking skills alongside community peers. Eight students learned to make classics of the local cuisine such as potato salad and Haitian Chicken!