Cindy Schmehl who runs ToLoveAChild.net, a member of the Empire Haiti Coalition sent this e-mail upon her return from Haiti this week.
I'm just back as of 3:00 a.m. this morning. We had long delays leaving Port au Prince due to airport problems with flooding from yesterday's rainstorm.
I'm a bit overwhelmed with mail and such as well as the Haiti experience. I'll bring photos to share. The celebration on Sunday was at Rantlamouaie and folks from all the parishes came. Franz from Lahoye played the guitar. Samuel from Corosse was there and said they need bibles too! (we purchased bibles for Rantlamouaie and presented them during mass). It was a wonderful showing of solidarity among the missions and worship.
HOT and HUMID was the key word on this trip. This was the first time I actually had to change shirts during the day as I was completely drenched from sweat. Cholera numbers are way down for now, but could go up at any time. Our friends the cockroaches and tarantulas made a great appearance for our benefit!
The Episcopal flags were proudly displayed and I heard that church membership is on the rise because people see HOPE for the future at our churches. Thank to our efforts, there is solar power, there are supplies, there will be clean water, there is love and friendship.....this is huge dear friends.
As we struggle with the upcoming Action H2O event
, raising money for our sites, etc. know that your efforts are not in vain--we are doing God's work.
By attracting more people to the churches we bring more children to school. Those children are educated so that they can make better decisions in life ahead. There is a need to get young people to understand the importance of protected sex, family planning, and marriage. All these things can be taught through the church and the church schools. It's important.
Right now, there are too many women trying to give their children away because they cannot care for them. (We witnesses this while there) The fathers of the children have simply walked away with no responsibility leaving the mother and the child or children in many cases to fend for themselves.
Ah, there is so much to say. Please know how important your work is to the people of Haiti and how grateful they are for your help.
Please stay tuned to this website, attend our event and give what you can.
To donate or attend and event click here.
Empire Haiti Coalition Team Heads to Haiti after Hurricane Emily to Assess Needs
On Monday August, 7 a small Empire Haiti Coalition team, lead by Cindy Schmehl, the Director of To Love A Child, Inc. and David J. Collum, Dean of All Saints Cathedral in Albany, will head to Haiti’s Central Plateau region to assess the needs of the six communities the Empire Haiti Coalition serves.
The trip will focus on bringing clean potable water to help prevent the spread of cholera in the villages, school and parishes that the Coalition serves. These communities include the villages of, Lascahobas, Lahoye, Corosse, Flande, Rantlamouaie and Poully.
Prior to the earthquake in Haiti in 2010 not one single case of Cholera had been seen in the country for over a century. By March of 2011, some 4,672 people had died and another 252,640 cases were reported. The United Nations projected that the total number infected would likely rise to 400,000 but researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, say this is a gross underestimate. They believe the toll could reach 779,000, with 11,100 deaths by the end of November 2011.
Haiti, the poorest country in the western hemisphere, needs our help to bring clean water to its people. The Empire Haiti Coalition (EHC) consisting of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, St. George’s Episcopal Church, St. John’s Episcopal Church, The Cathedral of All Saints and To Love a Child, Inc. form a local partnership that assists 4 communities on the Central Plateau of Haiti reaching over 1,000 children and touching the lives of thousands of other adults. To combat the lack of potable drinking water at the partnership locations, the EHC has adopted a mission to provide a dependable water supply by the end of 2012. Each location will have an individual water project implemented to serve the specific needs of the community. Each system will also include a solar-powered filtration system to remove any bacterial contamination such as cholera.
To help raise funds for this endeavor the Empire Haiti Coalition will host on August 30, 2011 at The Cathedral of All Saints, in Albany, NY, “Rhythms of Hope—Working in Harmony to Help Haiti—ACTION: H2O” beginning at 5:00 p.m. The evening is filled with a wide variety of family fun to include Latin music, incredible food stations, auctions, entertainment and great activities for people of all ages. We even have a dunking booth where guests can try to plunge the clergy! Upon registration, each adult ticket holder will be given wine tumbler hand painted by a local artist.
We ask those in the Capital Region to please consider showing their support for our projects in Haiti’s Central Plateau.
The partnership’s goal is to build relationships throughout Haiti’s Central Plateau and provide services and resources that will assist in creating self-sustaining programs to improve family environments and communities.
To Donate Visit <a href="http://www.Rhythmsofhope.org">www.Rhythmsofhope.org</a>
The first case of cholera has been diagnosed at Lahoye today. This afternoon we heard that a 30 year old woman from Christ the King (Lahoye),our partner has contracted cholera. They are trying to get her to the hospital. At this point we don't know the source of the cholera.
We have been gathering funds and supplies in order to get them to our partners in Lahoye before cholera could start there. The news today means that the need to help our partners has gone from immediate to critical.
This is time of sadness. This the time when we must act swiftly. We must get supplies to Lahoye now to provide a means of safe water and education. We must also quicken our efforts to provide a sustainable means of safe water. We will be in contact with medical providers in the Lahoye area to coordinate our efforts.
To donate click here.
Albany – St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 10 North Main Ave, is pleased to announce that on Friday, November 5, at 6 p.m. they will host a dinner to benefit the people of Central Haiti. The proceeds of the dinner will be used to purchase supplies to help fight the spread of cholera in Haiti’s Central Plateau.
Currently, 3,600 people are affected by the sudden outbreak of cholera, which has claimed hundreds of lives and as of this date has not yet reached its peak. This week we were able to speak with our partners who live in Lascahobas. They have two identified cases there. They believe that Lahoye, which is near the area where most recent cases have been reported, is vulnerable. St. Andrew’s has a partnership with St. Jacques School and Christ the King parish in Lahoye.
St. Andrew’s is working with To Love a Child, Inc., St. George’s Episcopal Church in Clifton Park, and St. John’s Episcopal Church in Troy to assists an orphanage, five schools and churches in Haiti. They reach over 1,000 children and touching thousands of other adults. The partnership’s goal is to build relationships throughout Haiti’s Central Plateau and provide services and resources that will assist in creating self-sustaining programs to improve family environments and communities.
The evening will feature a simple meal created from a number of commonly served Haitian recipes. Children will be able to make Haitian themed craft items. In addition, a limited number of Haitian hand-painted crafts will be available for purchase during the event.
Although dinner is free to the public, a good will offering will be requested from those who attend and all proceeds will be used to purchase and send water purification supplies to Haiti.
The dinner is part of a long-term effort by the St. Andrew’s Haiti partnership to help the people of Haiti’s central plateau. The key component of that effort is the “$1 A Day for Haiti” program. We cannot exaggerate the scope of last year’s earthquake in an already fragile place like Haiti.
To learn more about the St. Andrew’s Haiti Partnership visit our website at www.stashaitipartners.org or http://www.adollarforhaitifund.org
For more information about the dinner or about how you can help the people of Central Haiti call (518) 489 4747 or e-mail us at ParishOffice@StAndrewsAlbany.org.
Media Contact: Rob Lillpopp
Phone: 518-937-8206 E-mail: email@example.com
Jennifer Browning writes on the Project Medishare blog
about the latest efforts to fight the spreed of Cholera
in Haiti's Central Plateau - "Forty community health agents gathered at the Project Medishare office in Thomonde today to hand out water purification tablets and oral rehydration solution to community health agents. The health agents will distribute these items to those in their community reminding them how important it is they follow specific prevention guidelines.
Project Medishare doctors, like Dr. Malou Phanord, reinforced the prevention guidelines.
Federick Fanel, a health agent with Partner’s In Health’s sister organization, Zanmi Lasante, was also invited to attend to help spread the word in the community. Fanel, who is also a teacher in Thomonde, said he learned much at the meeting.
“They not only reinforced the importance of boiling and treating water, but also how important it is to disinfect the latrines. In rural Haiti, there are many people without latrines, so it is important that we instruct them how to properly build a pit latrine by digging a deep hole, and more importantly covering it properly after use.”
Fanel said that he also learned how to instruct others on how to make their own oral rehydration solution, if they did not have any of the ready-made packets on hand.
During the meeting Dr. Phanord also stressed to the health agents how important home visits were at this time.
“Home visits are even more important today, because there may be some who have symptoms and stay at home,” she said.
Should a health agent notice a person with cholera symptoms, Dr. Phanord gave specific instructions on what the health agent should do. Because cholera severely dehydrates its victim, it can kill within hours.
“If someone has diarrhea as a symptom, before you take them to the hospital, it is important to immediately start giving them the rehydration solution,” Dr. Phanord told the health agents. “This will help them stay hydrated on their way to the hospital. Many of the deaths in Artibonite were on the way to the hospital, because they were not able to hydrate before leaving for the hospital.”
She then talked about how it was necessary for all the water people used to be purified.
“It is important to tell them to use these purification tablets to not only purify the water they drink, but all water,” she said. “They must treat the water they bathe in, the water where they wash their dishes and their clothes. It is a lot of effort, but it is very necessary!”
To find out more click here
. To donate click here.
This from reporter Steven Pacer of WTEN TV-10 Albany - "It's a race against time in Haiti to stop a cholera outbreak from killing any more people. Currently, nearly 300 people are dead and thousands more are infected.
"Every time we turn around, something else happens," said Robert Lillpopp, who works with St. Andrews Mission for Haiti and the group "$1 a Day for Haiti."
Local organizations have spent years helping Haiti, that help only magnified by January's massive earthquake. Scott Underhill, who works with "To Love a Child" went to Haiti, and tested the water back in April. He says even then it was contaminated and puts things in perspective for us living in the U.S.
"There hasn't been a case of cholera in America in 100 years," said Underhill.
The waterborne disease can be deadly within hours, but can be stopped with simple fixes like iodine and chlorine tablets. It's just one small gesture for thousands in a country who have faced one devastating setback after another.
"There's a lot of joy. Despite all the tragedy you see," said Underhill. "There's a lot of joy on the kids faces, the people's faces when they see us coming down they're very grateful for the help."
Both "To Help a Child" and "St. Andrew's Haiti Mission" plan on raising funds to get water decontamination supplies to Haiti within the next 2 weeks.
"We're really hoping that people in the Capital District can help us help them get these much needed water purification tablets to them as soon as possible," said Lillpopp.
If you'd like to help you have an opportunity on Friday, November 5th. A dinner is being held at St. Andrew's church on Madison Avenue in Albany from 6 to 8 pm. All the proceeds will go to Haiti to help fight cholera. You can find all the info here
. To donate click here.
The following is part of an e-mail sent to Steve Ammerman of WTEN -TV 10 News in Albany.
Dear Mr. Ammerman,
Anyone with a connection to Haiti is on pins and needles. We frequently check the websites of the medical organizations who work in the area to get the latest news of where cholera has been diagnosed. We look for reports such as, “Cholera has been identified on the road to Thormonde, south of the United Nations camp.” Then we go to the maps to pinpoint the area. Up until now it has generally remained west of where our partners live.
Late this afternoon we were able to speak with our contact in Haiti. He lives in Lascahobas one area where we have a partnership. He has heard that that there are two identified cases there. He also let us know that another of the areas where we have a partner, LaHoye, is vulnerable but he has not yet heard of any identified cases. LaHoye is a very rural area and communication is intermittent, so this is not a true gauge.
Our contact let us know that the biggest needs are water purification tablets and chlorine bleach to sanitize dishes and the like. Given the situation these are in very short supply. Rob Lillpopp can be more specific.
Sending supplies sounds routine, but since there is no post office or package delivery service it is a complicated and very expensive process. Members of our team will be on the phone tomorrow trying to identify how to ship these supplies to him.
I hope that this is helpful.
If you would like to donate to help us get supplies to Haiti click here.