Children's Hope Solidarity Team at MABE Orphanage -- Gressier, Haiti

Children's Hope Solidarity Team at MABE Orphanage -- Gressier, Haiti

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Leisa's Haiti Journal #2 - The Sun Set Backwards

June 22, 2011 - Fort Lauderdale, Florida
We watched the sun set backwards in Florida last night on our way to Haiti. (As born and raised Californians, we know  the sun is supposed to set over  the ocean). Tomorrow before the sun has a chance to come up again, we'll be off to Haiti with thousands of dollars worth of supplies that we are not sure we can pay for when the bill comes due. Somehow, though, we have confidence. 
Florida's opulent beauty and abundance stand in such stark contrast to what we know we will experience tomorrow. More than the sun setting seems backward today. Tourist's drippy plastic bottles of icy water remind me of the day last year when we helped fill water buckets from a truck we flagged down in Cite Soleil. A long line of dust-dry children and their desperate mothers patiently waited for their portion of water. We hadn't budgeted for a truck load of water, but what could we do? Normally scrubbed Haitian children had grime and bugs sticking to them with equal determination. Their mother’s eyes which normally both confront and comfort me with their centuries old wisdom, strength, and determination were for once, downcast. Post quake, mid-cholera has left nearly everyone in Port au Prince suffering either loss or illness at the start of this new hurricane season. 
It’s not too late to help. This trip, we purchased all the medicine, tarps, toys and books we could pack up to our weight limit of 100 pounds per person (not sure how many more trips Paul’s chronically sore lower back has in it). We printed and carry 20 copies of the 200 page research project from last trip, and some of my new children’s book, “Children of the Coup.” We have committed to visit three amputee sites, a few clinics, orphanages, a boy’s home, and the new site for Sopudep School, yet we never really know where need will take us. What we do know is that we cannot meet these needs without your support.
In short, it will take us a few months to get back to a balanced budget. We trust, though, that it will happen, as it always has.

So, if you planned on making a pledge and just haven’t done it yet, write back now.

If you have pledged, and not sent your check, now is a good time.

If you ever wondered how you could make genuine difference in someone’s life, be part our team. Our most valued team members often never come to Haiti . They may help with funding, write grants, throw concerts or organize collection drives. (Thanks to Karen B., Jessica D., and Will L.)  

Three ways to contribute:
1. Go to the blog:
2. Send a check to Children's Hope, 3025A Cambridge Rd., Cameron Park, CA 95682
3. Reply to this email with a pledge of any amount (Please follow up with a check).
Peace, all ways and always, 

Leisa's Haiti Journal #1 (Saturday, June 4th, 2011)

Dear Friends,

Today, little Emma (age 8) is lugging duffel bags and counting bottles of children's vitamins bound for Haiti. Trouble is, there is not enough medicine to fill up all the bags she set out. After paying off the last Children's Hope trip to Haiti in January this year, (aside from the $1,350 earmarked for amputee services) we have only $350 remaining for our pharmaceutical supply order. (We usually order $1,000 to $4,000 in new medicines).

We are fortunate to have five student interns this time to help carry supplies. They will also assist in the distribution of the $1,000 they raised that will be spent locally in Haiti to address needs at Mabe Orphanage primarily, and perhaps some at Sopudep School, The Lamp Clinic (Cite Soleil) and St. Joseph's Home for Boys (Port au Prince).

Each intern also raised their own expenses for the trip. We are very proud and grateful to the Peace and Conflict Resolution Club at Sac State for taking the lead on the fund raising on campus.

Once again, I have faith that the rest of us can match their dedication to service. I will order meds this Tuesday, depending on how many pledges we get. Please remember that the cholera epidemic is not going away. Over 5,300 people have died from cholera in Haiti since October (mostly from a lack of clean water). Hurricane season is just starting (June to Nov), as the earthquake induced homeless are now facing bull-dozers plowing down their tent city camps with little or no warning.

Like many of you, little Emma cannot come join our team going to Haiti this month, but she is doing her part. If you find you have a bit to share, it will certainly go far to help those in need who are still suffering. Help us give Haiti a chance to heal.

Ways to donate:

1) Go to:
2) Send a check to Children's Hope, 3025A Cambridge Road, Cameron Park, CA 95682
3) Reply to this email with a note to me pledging to send any amount, and I will order that amount of meds in your name, (Please remember to mail a check the address below).
4) Forward this email to a friend who has always wanted to support a small, local non-profit that works in solidarity with local community leaders in Haiti, and who hand delivers those supplies and services to the most needy.
5) Collect things we always need, such as:
*children's vitamins, infant tylenol, children's tylenol, children's advil (generic from Costco is the best buy)
*adult generic advil or tylenol (large bottles from Costco are the best value)
*Mary Jane style black girls shoes (needed to attend school - any size - nearly new are fine)
*used cell phones
*web worthy new or used lap tops
*graphing calculators for Haitian high school students (have any in your drawer?)
*light weight rubber sandals (Flip-flops - new only but dollar store is ok)
*children's calculators (dollar store is ok - we need about 300 of these)
*sponsor a child's tuition and uniform/supply costs ($450 per child a year)
*Condoms (we have had a great team working on getting these, and they exceeded their commitment, but it is coming to a close)

6) Activate your own church, club, reading group or service organization - you never know what may come of it. I had three children decide to help Haiti by selling brownies and they raised over $300 dollars, came by and packed up supplies with me. Donations from the above list may be delivered to my address below anytime (but to have them included in this trip they must be here by June 16th).

peace, all ways and always, Leisa

p.s. I just finished my thesis on acutely impoverished children in Cite Soleil. If you want a copy of the PDF file, just write me at and I will be more than happy to send you a free copy.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Father Roy Bourgeois on Democracy Now!

Human rights group sues mayor in Haiti for terrorizing earthquake victims during unlawful evictions

For Imme­di­ate Release:
May 31, 2011

Mario Joseph, Av., Managing Attorney, Bureau des Avocats Internationaux,, +509-3701-9879/ +509-3554-4284 (in Port-au-Prince) (French)
Jeena Shah, Esq., Legal Fellow, Bureau des Avocats Internationaux,, +509-3610-2781 (in Port-au-Prince) (English)

Human rights group sues mayor in Haiti for terrorizing earthquake victims during unlawful evictions

On Wednesday, June 1, 2011, the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) will file a complaint with Haiti’s National Prosecutor against Delmas Mayor Wilson Jeudy for his recent spree of illegal evictions in displacement camps created after the January 12, 2010 earthquake. Grassroots human rights organizations and tent camp residents also plan to stage a protest at 10 am at the Ministry of Justice, while the complaint is being filed, to draw attention to their grievances. The protest will end before the nation’s Parliament.

At least three camps housing approximately 1,000 displaced persons in the Port-au-Prince suburb were destroyed last week by Mayor Jeudy, his armed security personnel and units from the Haitian National Police, as a part of the Mayor’s declared mission to remove camps from public lands. The police came with little to no warning and raided the camps under the pretext of searching for criminals, slashing tents with machetes and assaulting residents trying to protest the raids.