Our October Trip to Cap Haitien, Haiti

Well, we are back from an eventful trip to Cap Haitien. Jack Bickel and I spent a week in Haiti and were busy from sun up to sun down each day. The purpose of this trip was four fold:

First to check on the progress of a building effort of a church school in Marmalade about 3 hours drive from Cap Haitien. Help for Haiti donors had given $500 to buy cement to begin repairing the walls of a church school where 130 kids go to school every day. I wanted to see if the work was complete and it was. The picture posted here is of the corner that was rebuilt with the cement and blocks donated and sent in April. It was good to see that the work had been completed. I estimate an additional $10,000 will be needed to put this school in good order by Haiti standards. Someday I hope we will build only earthquake proof buildings, but today these kids need a building with a cement floor, strong walls, and a good tin roof.

Second, we carried with us 50 hand knitted dolls made by Mary Tohill who lives in Hampton, NH. Mary is affectionately called “Mary Sunshine” because of the love she shares through the dolls she knits. She makes a couple every day and donates them to school kids and she made 50 with black faces just for the girls at Bon Secours Orphanage in Madelaine, just outside Cap Haitien. The girls were beaming with the first gift they ever received that was just for them. Go to the photo section on our web site and view the pictures. We bought little cars and trucks for the boys too.

Third, we needed to pay some teachers and leaders. It has been a practice of mine for some time to visit the schools and personally meet the teachers and then give them a payroll stipend. Help for Haiti paid 13 teachers $40 each and each of them signed for the money. It isn’t much and needs to be a lot more, but $40 is a month’s pay for a rural teacher. We also provided some money for the leadership of these schools; the total was $220 for 4 leaders. The total of $740 to 17 educators is a part of our vision to educate children in rural Haiti.

Fourth, we met with a group of 8 to 10 local Christian business owners who recently formed an association called “Christian Entrepreneurs In Action”. This group of business owners employ about 120 people and each of the companies want to grow. We hosted Partners World Wide and Christian Entrepreneurs In Action for a very interesting evening. Together I believe we may be able to create lots of new employment opportunities in the Cap Haitien area next year.

In addition to the efforts above we did a lot of running around between the mayor of Cap Haitien’s office, the office of the local Senator, the Custom’s office, and the port dock where a container of food had been held for over 6 months, for a variety of reasons. Paperwork was incomplete, storage charges on the dock were unpaid, and the US Non Governmental Agency that shipped it had given up on getting it released. They asked me to try and get it released while I was in Haiti. Too long a story for here, but the food is now ready to be released to a charity in Haiti and should be given to them shortly. This is almost $10,000 in prepackaged meals for Christian schools and orphanages, much like the ones we serve. I believe it is important that we cooperate and help other charities in Haiti who are working to feed children just as we are. The needs are tremendous.

This is it for today. I want to leave you all with an open invitation to come with me on a trip to Haiti. It will change you forever and you will be amazed at the courage and resilience of these wonderful and beautiful people.

May God bless your day.



  1. Nice blog Jim! Great things are happening! Thanks for the plug for Partners Worldwide.

    We are excited to share the Samaritans Purse is partnering with us to build 9 schools north of Pap with the Dynabloc machinen. They also committed to help us promote the Dynabloc machine and Partners Worldwide on the world stage. God is so good!

    We are eager to get a machine in a businessman in Cap Haitian for future building projects and jobs created!

  2. Hi Jim,

    I am very happy to see what you’re doing in Haiti! There are a lot of folks from Haiti in metro Boston—a second generation has grown up here and is taking an active part in our communities as U.S. citizens. I have contributed to Paul Farmer’s effort in the past and gladly contribute to yours now. God bless you and your work!

  3. Jim,

    I share your dream to build only earthquake proof structures… I also have a passion for helping Haitian entrepreneurs to reap the benefit from the huge investment in the rebuilding efforts.

    I am blogging about building better and creating jobs in the concrete industry of Haiti. If you have a minute you could read some of my thoughts: http://www.cementtrust.wordpress.com

    Keep up the great work!

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