Friday, April 27, 2012

Profile: Evens Lanot

We are pleased to provide you with the first (of what we hope will be many) profiles of individuals with whom Thriving Villages International interacts.  The purpose of these profiles is to provide a very personal perspective on the work that we are doing.  We are incredibly grateful to Jim Bishop who is volunteering his time and talents to develop these wonderful write-ups. 

This first profile features Mr. Evens Lanot.  As of this April, Thriving Villages International (TVI) welcomed Evens as Project Manager in Haiti. 

The profiles will be posted on our website as well as our blog & Facebook.

Getting Personal

We at TVI are a small organization with a big mission. We go to small villages in a small country, and we save lives. Here are a few stories of the men and women in Haiti serving in vital roles across the Pestel region and the people whose lives they touch...

Name: Evens Lanot

Hometown: Port-Au-Prince, Haiti

Job: Project Manager for TVI

Favorite food: Everything made with vegetable and fruits.

Favorite Bible Verse: When it comes to the Bible you can call me a lover. I fall in love with that book every day I wake up. I don't have a favorite verse, but I have favorite books: the proverbs, the ecclesiast and the apocalypse.

Hobbies: Depending on my mood, I do arts, dance, and read. I enjoy the gym as well, and I'm into sports a lot like basketball, tennis and swimming (even when I don't know how to swim yet).

If you could teach English speakers one phrase in Haitian Creole, what would it be? Viv la vi. (Live life.) I love this phrase so much.

In Brief
Evens Lanot, 27, serves as TVI's Haiti Project Manager. He travels from Port-Au-Prince to Pestel to oversee projects, train workers, meet with stakeholders,
translate, arrange in-country travel, and perform many other duties. Current projects include supplying the children of Pestel with vitamin A and the deworming medicine albendazole. He's fluent in English and enjoys teaching Kreyol to non-native speakers.
(First lesson: Kijan fanmi ou ye? How is your family?)

Mr. Evens met Dr. Ben Fredrick in Port-Au-Prince when he attended L'eglise Bethel de Clercine. Evens offered to translate the church service, which was in Creole. Inconversation afterwards, Ben realized he'd found the ideal project manager candidate.  They exchanged contact information, and before long, Ben asked Evens to join the TVI team to help provide water and health care to the people of Pestel. "I was surprised by Dr. Ben's determination  the way he handles problems when they come, and that he is open to hear what others think," Evens said.

Three years ago, Evens fell sick and was close to death. "The doctors didn't understand the symptoms at all. After I healed, I realized how much my past life wasn't very fruitful. That is when I took the decision to be more productive, to focus more on what I want to do." Working at TVI, he said, gives him the chance to see a project from beginning to end.

In His Own Words:
"I've dedicated myself to helping others because of my mother. I didn't have the opportunity to know my mother. She died when I was two years old. I'm 27 now and when I meet someone who knew my mother they always cry and start telling me how wonderful my mother was. She was dedicated to helping others. I've seen people making big sacrifices to help educate me. I have always wanted to be a son that my mother would be proud of if she was still alive. I wanted to continue the love and compassion she would have shown to the world."

-- Evens Lanot (left) with Dr. Seneque (right) at training session for APPAS in Pestel, Haiti

Ben Fredrick, MD
President, Thriving Villages International

Thriving Villages website

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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Water in the Time of Cholera

Hi all,

This is a very well-done report on the issue of cholera, but really more focused on the problems that bring cholera about:  lack of safe, clean water and good sanitation.
I thought the photo slide show was worth watching while listening to the report:

One note:  the report mentions Water Missions International, and then soon after talks about a failed water treatment system.  It appears, from the text, that the one that broke down is from a different (un-named organization):

Another international aid group put in a similar water purifier in 2009. But it broke down just before the cholera outbreak.

Silencier Bonhomme, a member of the local water committee, says all it would take to fix the system is a couple of new batteries and a new pipe. But when villagers tried to reach the aid group, they didn't get a response.

"We don't have anyone who can fix it," Bonhomme says. "People now are using water from the river, and they get sick. We're getting close to two years since it broke down."


President, Thriving Villages International

Thriving Villages website

Thriving Villages blog

Monday, April 9, 2012

Donation opportunity for Haitian surgery patient

Hello everyone,

I want to write to you on behalf of a local organization, Haitian Connection Network (HCN), that we met recently at a local library event that focused on Haiti.  Their executive director, Kristen Hertzog, is working with Angel Missions Haiti (Vanessa's organization) to try to bring a Haitian man named Daniel to the US for surgical removal of a bone tumor from his jaw (adamantinoma).  Daniel met with Kristen July 2010 and is a student at HCN in Haiti. He is earning his international equivalency AA degree in Computer Science with University of the People. He is a reserved and quiet young man, VP of his YoGroup at his local church. He has been struggling with these tumors since 1997. 

As his tumor has grown he has also had his share of social hardships because of it. People hurl insults at him in the streets and he has handled it with a quiet dignity and grace. At 30 years old, he is excited about the future of being gainfully employed in his field and eventually getting married to a strong Christian woman. 

Angel Missions has arranged for the surgery to be performed at Jefferson Hospital in Philly, and they have a host family all set up.   At this point the need is for air transportation and passport/visa expenses.  

If you are interested in helping with this we believe there are a couple of options:
  • Donations are gratefully received online now at: Click Get Involved/Financial! You may choose automatic one time or monthly deductions online to help defray some of the expenses associated with the time and expertise needed to make this dream for Daniel become a reality.
  • Donations of frequent flyer miles (e.g. American Airlines, Delta) to help defray the costs.   While you are not able to deduct the gift from your taxes, it is a good way to make a difference.

For further questions please contact Kristen Hertzog at


President, Thriving Villages International

Thriving Villages website

Thriving Villages blog

Monday, April 2, 2012

NY Times article...Pestel

Hi everyone,

This article about cholera in Haiti was in the NYT and released last week.  On p.8 you'll see comments from Dr. Seneque Philippe, the physician with whom I work in Pestel. 

It also mentions Dr. John Carroll and Miriam Frederick (though not by name) who have been working diligently with the response teams to stem the tide.  

The massive problem of cholera affects the rural areas in often dramatic ways because they do not have basic healthcare, clean safe water, good sanitation.  When you learn of a place where cholera is raging you must think:  this is a place with great problems.  What it boils down to is that they can't keep their sewage out of their water.  In this day and age this should not happen.  South America essentially eliminated Cholera from the continent through protecting their water and providing good sanitary practices (e.g. toilets/latrines, hygiene).  

Cholera is an ancient disease and there is no reason that people should die from cholera today....except that they do not have access to basic IV fluids, or even more basic oral rehydration therapy, or even more basic:  providing clean, safe water and good sanitation so that the two do not mix.

The well-drilling project will be very important toward this end.  There is a need for emergency response now and, with the rainy season, cholera will likely proliferate and spread again in the months ahead.  

Please pray for wisdom with the well-drilling project, as this is heavy on my heart & mind. We also need a workable approach to sanitation for Pestel.  


Thriving Villages website

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