Dear Friends of Thriving Villages International,
I'm writing to bring you up to date on our activities, and inform you of some significant changes in our current level of activity. As you may know we had initiated and carried on both advisory and operational responsibilities for several important activities in Pestel, Haiti, over the last five years. Many of the details can be found on our website: www.thrivingvillages.org.
First, let me give you an update on TVI's activities.
* APPAS – the Community Health Program which employed local Haitians to deliver basic health care, vitamins, and health screening to children in more than 200 remote villages – began in 2010 just after the terrible earthquake in Haiti. This program operated under a multi-year grant from Variety International, The Children's Charity.
Status – We have successfully completed the multi-year grant commitment under which we had established and operated a network of community health workers providing various children's health initiatives in the greater Pestel region, reaching over 10,000 children and young women. This program is dependent upon substantial financial support and also significant operational oversight.
Upon this grant completion we are seeking other in-country organizations interested in providing the required financial and operational responsibilities. As this develops we will keep you updated.
* Water Project & Well Drilling Initiative - Our primary role has been advisory, with projects funded under various gifts.
Status: After much effort by many individuals and organizations, four unproductive wells were drilled. Our in-country partner, Water Missions International, determined that the Pestel area was not conducive for further drilling until significant resources become available in Haiti which do not currently exist.
GOOD NEWS – An alternative means in providing clean water to families was found in an existing program through the distribution of household ceramic water filters, and we have helped make the connections between the generosity of the Miss World Organization's charity, Beauty With A Purpose, with work being done by Mr. John Ball and his team in the Duchity area of Pestel.
* Educational Development in Pestel - Advisory and various support roles.
Status: From the very beginning of our engagement in Pestel, we have supported various important educational initiatives, from supplementing teacher salaries to more recent fund-raising to assist with the completion of a new wing of Pestel's high school. In fact, our very first fund-raising activity was to purchase doors for a school room and pay a local carpenter to build benches for the children. Over the years we have found Father Parnel to be an effective educator and leader, and we will continue to provide annual financial support for his efforts as our resources allow. We view this as a wise and effective investment in the long-term health of Pestel.
Second, I'll mention the significant changes in TVI's operational activity.
Being responsible for the operations of the Child Health Campaigns in Haiti and several other related projects has required substantial personal time and commitments over the years, with corresponding pressures on family and professional responsibilities. With completion of the several grant projects listed above, it is an appropriate time to re-evaluate the "role" that I and TVI should play as we look ahead. We plan to take a break from program involvement, except for the educational support mentioned above, as we discern our next steps together.
We invite your interest and prayers. Contributions can be directed towards our educational support efforts.
This has been a most productive and intense period of my and TVI's activities, and the remarkable opportunities presented bear testimony to God's grace and blessing. We are deeply grateful for your prayers and support in the past, and request continued prayer as we look to the future.
While the numbers have been jaw-dropping (10,000 children and young women reached, 23% anticipated reduction in child death from Vitamin A supplementation, hundreds of children with opportunity to continue their education, thousands of households to have clean water), the individual stories have always held the most sway for us.
● The teacher who continues to work, both inspiring and educating his classes, and providing financially for his family
● The APPAS worker who is now living in the house he built for his young family with the earnings from the Child Health Campaigns
● The child who drinks clean, safe water in front of us from a ceramic water filter bucket system
Yet, for the 70,000 in Pestel who still live in the grip of extreme poverty and deprivation, our prayers continue for them. For those of you whose hearts and minds continue to attend to the people of Pestel, we are deeply grateful and encouraged. For those who live in and travel to Pestel to bring a hope and some relief to a neglected region, we pray for your safety and your success.
For love of God and our neighbors in Pestel, we press on with the work ahead. May God give us His grace and wisdom.