Saturday, January 19, 2013
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Wow! It is almost finished! After 4 trips to Haiti and 2 years of planning and building, Dan Hildebrand was able to put the finishing touches on the EcoShell for our new Youth Development Academy in Maniche! More than 2 years ago I met Dan, and we started working towards our goal of using 21st century building techniques to create earthquake, hurricane, fire and infestation proof housing for the orphans of Haiti. Out of that came the EcoShell, a low-cost, secure and safe building, that could be built using materials found in Haiti. Last week we spent 4 days painting, putting in the windows and doors, and finishing the cementing of the inside of the Multi-Purpose room that will be used for a variety of events and programs at H.E.R.O. This week was not easy for many reasons, including: Driving through 3 demonstrations where more than 100 armed police officers and UN soldiers were trying to keep the peace; Running out of paint half-way through the process; 2 days of me having fever and diarrhea after more than 10 hours of driving back and forth between Maniche and Port-au-Prince!
But that’s what makes this work fun! Over the next week, in addition to finishing the EcoShell, the wall and grand front gate will be finished so that the entire property can be properly secured. I am so proud of Dan, Jonathan, Preswa, and Evens who worked so hard to make sure that the finished product was of the highest quality. The wall and the EcoShell are just the beginning for continuing with the construction of 4 additional buildings that will eventually house 24 Haitian orphans. I want to thank everyone that believes in the work that we do on the ground here in Haiti and has supported our efforts to continue to grow and thrive for the sake of the children we serve. Thank you!
Wednesday, January 2, 2013
I am truly grateful to God for another year and another opportunity to help provide life opportunities for the orphans of Haiti. For nearly 2 years H.E.R.O. has been housing, educating and rehabilitating orphans from some of the most destitute communities in Haiti, and I am proud to say that each and every one is taking advantage of the opportunities we provide, and accelerating their lives to places that no one expected they could ever reach. As we look forward to another great year, I want to take this moment to thank all of the H.E.R.O family – donors, supporters, board, staff, and most importantly the children, for making H.E.R.O. an amazing success.
Our holidays were unbelievable and thanks to the generosity of some great H.E.R.O. supporters, each child was able to receive many gifts including clothes, shoes, toys, and even a guitar! In addition to eating Christmas dinner, opening our gifts, and taking some time to enjoy a brief vacation from school, we were also able to participate in 2 chess tournaments and 1 tennis tournament during December! As a result of our amazing chess coach, who is currently Haiti’s top ranked chess player, our children have begun to beat much of the competition they have faced. In tennis, despite only having 6 months of quality and consistent instruction, our kids have been able to compete and even beat other tennis players that have been practicing for 3 or more years! As our kids return to school on January 7th, we are happy and thankful for such wonderful holidays!
|Our Kids Are Smiling Because They Won The Chess Tournament!|
Coincidentally, the same day the kids return to school, I will be returning with Dan Hildebrand to the land in Maniche to continue construction on the H.E.R.O. Youth Development Academy! By the end of January both the EcoShell and perimeter wall will be finished, with plans to start building the first dormitory during the month of June! We look forward to finishing this project and providing housing, education, and rehabilitation for additional orphans in need. Thank you for making 2012 a great year for H.E.R.O. and we are looking for an even better and productive 2013. Happy New Year!
|The Wall and Ecoshell of the H.E.R.O. Youth Development Academy!|