Born in Port-au-Prince, almost six decades ago, I, Nancy Laroche, am the second children of a family of 4. From my father, Clermont Laroche, a devoted pediatrician, I learned strong ethics values as a professional and as a citizen, from my mother, Josette Décastro, a well cultured former primary school teacher turned accountant, I got a sense of beauty and attention to details and from both my parents, a passion for excellence.
Very early on during my childhood, I had to learn about responsibility as my mother became paralyzed and could no longer carry her full motherly duties without assistance.
Through my childhood and adolescence, my sense of responsibility further awakened and extended into social issues from Scouting activities and other charity and leadership associations.
I was also involved in adult literacy programs and was a volunteer kids tutor.
As a Catholic school student, I and all the pupils were ‘strongly encouraged’ to contribute in raising funds towards the various community projects the school was involved in through the daily sparing of our allowance money, through raffle selling, through active participation in cultural fundraising events (acting, dancing, or other talents, etc.).
As a result, I learned to feel empathy towards those in needs.
As a teenager, I already knew I wanted to work in Design, but because of the strict family principles, I opted for the least liberal option in the field: Architecture.
After my classical studies, in January 1982, I traveled to New York to pursue my studies in Architecture.
In the early 1990’s, I came back to Haiti after more than a decade abroad, to pursue a career as an Architect and to raise my 2 children.
Since then, I have developed a solid experience and reputation in the field, developing and building residential (mostly) and commercial projects and have raised my kids. With my husband, I enjoy discovering beautiful new places at home and abroad. Alone I enjoy reading while developing my painting skills, which I intend to use as my main retirement occupation.
Today, I am ready for more.
As I am witnessing the deterioration in the quality of life and education in Haiti, the loss of values, and my people’s despair, it’s time to put my life-long sense of responsibility to serve my people. As a privileged woman and a concern citizen, I want to get involved, to help and inspire Haitian kids, by contributing in giving them a strong sense of ethics, teaching them the value of responsibility, respect and honesty.
I want to contribute socially in a more active manner and give back.
Emily is a veteran educator and has taught multiple subjects in various K-12 settings around the US (Georgia, Indiana, New Mexico, California, and Washington) and internationally (Jamaica, Japan, and Canada). She is currently finishing her doctorate at Northeastern University with a research focus on post-crisis educational journeys in a global context; Japan, Haiti, Saint Martin, Syria, France, Taiwan and the USA. In the summer of 2019, Emily collaborated with the teaching staff of TeacHaiti to conduct a workshop on teaching and learning learning strategies. Inspired by the TeacHaiti teachers and leadership, she set out to continue involvement in education-related projects and initiatives in Haiti which led her to Helping Hands Noramise and deep interest in their school garden related projects for food security and sustainability. Emily is currently living inTaipei where she is collaborating with garden educators to build international youth leadership opportunities connected to HHN’s school garden projects in Haiti and elsewhere.
Despite the numerous challenges and setbacks brought on by COVID 19 and political unrest, we’re happy to say that both our school gardens at(with) TeacHaiti in Port-au-Prince and St Michel de L’Atalaye are “growing”.
The garden committee in P-a-P, (comprised of InterAct members) spent most of the months working to expand the garden and improve soil quality while the school was closed.
The students alongside Agronomist Norderne Charles, worked tirelessly to beautify the garden as well. The garden provide not only worthwhile work, but also a place of solace among the chaos of 2020. The addition of chicken and rabbits to the garden gave much needed manure for the new compost bins built by the committee. Students are served eggs twice a week and the additional eggs are sold to help defray the cost of feed for the chickens. The committee also tried it’s hands at producing homemade feed as well.
We had an opportunity to hold a garden usage training session with some of the teachers. It was gratifying to see the “light bulb” go off for some as they realized the learning possibilities which the garden classroom provides.
Meanwhile in St Michel, we were able to refence the entire garden area as well as create a closed-in forage garden for the goats. With the help of parents and some of the older students, Agronomist Gedelmy, garden keepers Wiendiuela and Arnaud planted plantain, papaya corn donated by Agronomist Gedelmy himself. They also planted okra, beans, beets and various other vegetables seeds, donated by the Orcas Island Jr Garden club.
Several students from P-a-P were fortunate to travel to St Michel to meet their counter parts and share what they had been doing at their location. They also spent a day working in the St Michel garden.
The 5th grade students from Orcas sent letters to the 5th grade students in P-a-P sharing their garden activities and personal interest. This exchange has come to a standstill for now due to the fact that students on Orcas are mostly attending classes from home. We hope to continue this collaboration in due time.
Progress was also made on the construction of the new classroom building in St Michel and our new garden classroom is now ready to be furnished and can be put to use before then end of the school year. The classroom will have a full kitchen, where the students will have an opportunity to use some of the produce they grow to learn some cooking skills and good nutrition.
A grant from the San Juan Island Rotary club will provide some funding for a water catchment system and tools for the St Michel school. The grant has also afforded us the opportunity to send two H.S graduates from St Michel to a Veterinary training school in Deschapelles. Upon completion of this program, these students will have the responsibility of caring for the school goats and provide Veterinary service to the community at large.
There’s a Haitian proverb” Piti pit zwazo fe nich” “Little by little bird builds it’s nest”. With these initiatives in place both in St Michel and P-a-P our students are building a better future for themselves and their communities.
Helping Hands Noramise wishes to thank all those who donated and continue to supporters of this work, without whose help this progress would not be possible.
We would also like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Naturopaths Without Borders, who had provided the fiduciary status so we may accept tax-deductible donations. Helping Hands Noramise is happy to announce we are now a stand alone registered 501(c) 3 non-profit organization. All donation to us are tax deductible.
FOOD, EDUCATION AND SUSTAINABILITY FOR TEENS
Helping Hands Noramise has been on the ground in Haiti since 2010. We’ve worked on nutrition education, public health and sanitation initiatives and school gardens.
As a grassroots organization it has been challenging for us to provide resources for these projects, despite the great need for them.
In the interest of making the best use of our resources and making greater impact, we’ve partnered with TeahHaiti to focus on Nutrition education and school gardens in two areas. On2e school is in the capital city Port-au-Prince, the other in the rural town of St Michel de L’atalaye.
We have also partnered with the Orcas Island Farm to Classroom program, on Orcas Island, WA
These two collaborations will provide a pathway for a cultural exchange between Haitian and American students.
The students will not only share garden practices, but also hold regular video calls to discuss the various challenges they face and work together towards their solutions.
As the end of the year approaches, we at Helping Hands Noramise are taking time to reflect on 2016 and begin planning for Moving Forward in 2017
We were happy to again host three members of ILAB in August for additional computer literacy training with our youths. ILAB is a youth group working out of Haiti Communitere in P-a-P, designing and producing medical clamps and other small products using two 3-D printers.
On their second visit to Team Noramise, they not only taught 2 days of basic computer skills but they also held in-depth discussions with our youths regarding the impact of their efforts on two of their team members, one of whom is now able to pay for schooling and another who is now able to contribute to his family. They stressed the fact that their computer skills are enabling them to earn a living in their own neighborhoods and reinforced the importance of developing these skills in order to gain access to local and international markets.
We currently have students at the computer lab who pay a token tuition. Part of the fee goes to pay the salary of the part-time instructor, a recent college graduate still looking for full-time employment.
Our sewing collective IMMI has seen much success this year. They have received orders for both the feminine
hygiene kits and diapers. They also filled an order of doll dresses for a new customer., building on success.
Following further sewing training and a health workshop in September, one of our members, Irose Joseph, traveled to Leogane along with a member of the Ranquitte sewing group, to teach another group of ladies to sew the hygiene kits. They also held a seminar on women’s reproduction for them. This was not only an opportunity for the ladies to share their knowledge, but they were also paid for their time.
As part of the community service requirement for all who participate in activities at Noramise Center, IMMI visited half a dozen schools in Limbe to teach young girls about female reproduction and menstruation and women’s health. These workshops were well received by the various school administrators who have asked us to continue this program. Some of the students came to the center as well for the workshops. We plan to add a few more schools to the calendar for 2017.
The rugby team is still alive and well, although our numbers have shrunk. The reason for the loss of players is the reluctance on the part of some to fulfill our community service requirement. Those who have left the team do not value community service and do not view it as an important part of belonging to a community. Nevertheless, the remaining players have kept their commitment and have visited the sick in hospital, distributed food to the poor house and continue to clean
the streets and canals in the neighborhood. They also held an arts day for 40 younger neighborhood kids this summer. This is cause for celebration.
In August we were finally able to distribute goats to the eight steadfast members of the team. We will provide medical care for the goats and training for the boys in caring for them for one year. They will raise and return the first born to us, so we can continue to distribute goats to others. The parent is then theirs to do with as they wish. Others who have participated in similar programs have sold their goat to pay for school, continued to raise goats and then bought larger animals, or have chosen to slaughter the goat and feed their families.
During the month of August, we ran a “Causevox” (a crowd funding source for non-profits) campaign in order to raise funds to expand our learning center. Computer classes, sewing activities and community health workshops make it necessary for us to have a bit more space. Unfortunately, the owner of the property we were hoping to rent has decided to not lease the space at this time, so we have opted instead to use the funds to rebuild the outdoor classroom in our backyard. When completed, we will be able to hold our community health and literacy classes under cover once again.
In April of 2017, with the help of Engineers Without Borders from Seattle University, we will finally be able to set up a small aquaponics project at the center. The
project will be completed by a visiting Rugby team from Olympia, Wa in partnership with the Limbe Rugby club.
In keeping with our mission to empower rather than enable local Haitians, we will be purchasing seeds and goats to distribute to families on La Gonave who were effected by hurricane Matthew. Thank you to those who made donations for this.
In summary, we have had some successes and some failures along the way. Lessons have been learned that will be used to chart our course for the coming year.
Team Noramise wishes to thank all of you who have supported us through your donations, advice and time spent with our members.
Wishing you Happy Holidays and a New Year filled with good health and surrounded by loved ones.
Rosedanie’s synopsis of 2015 activities:
The year started off at a gallop. In March we welcomed four guests from Wisconsin. Veterinarians Judy Batker and Chris Olson with whom I’d worked last year at the Citadelle branding horses. (A tale for another time.) Judy and her childhood friend Amy Armstrong, had asked me how they might be of service to our organization. They were enthusiastic when they learned that a current goal was to open a computer lab at the HHN Center, they recruited Amy’s daughter, Bailey (13) and Judy’s son, Seth (9). They arrived with several gently used laptops and security cables, and within two days we managed to transform the “dining-room” into a study/work space where teachers, Bailey and Seth immediately began working on lesson plans.
Later when the rugby team arrived we were ready for introductions and our first class in computer skills. Initial timidity was soon replaced by much laughter. By the time our welcome visitors left they had been able to teach team members some basic computer skills and, perhaps best of all, they parted friends. Their addition of games and English books was a nice parting gift for our growing library. One of our team members, a second year university student, will be an instructor in the lab. In exchange HHN will help with his tuition.
We have been favored by support of the San Juan Island Rotary Club (a connection made possible by my periodic work stays on Orcas Island), which helped us to acquire solar panels for the center thereby giving us a stable power source. We were able to purchase the panels locally and have them installed by the same Haitian company. A Limbe’ electrician who worked on the installation is now employed by us doing monthly maintenance on the system.
In April we welcomed six high school students from the Good Hope Country Day School in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Their Social Studies teacher, Christopher Fletcher, had just finished teaching a segment on the Haitian Revolution. The students chose HHN and Limbe’ as a destination, where they worked alongside the Rugby team to reestablish our food growing garden at the center and also exchange culture and history with their Caribbean neighbor. When not focused on the garden, there were lively debates on the value of education and the study of history. We look forward to an ongoing exchange between these youths and envision a possible visit by our team to their home base.
A welcome repeat, and inspiring, summer visit by Ellen Schreder helped the group she formed last year to sew cloth diapers and feminine hygiene products. She brought another sewing machine as well as over forty kits to distribute to young girls just starting to menstruate. Ellen was accompanied by a young nurse, Abigail Ahner. Abigail had produced an informative brochure explaining menstruation in clear language and illustrations. This brochure will be used for educating young girls at the local schools and church youth groups. The products we are producing have received a lackluster reception, but information and education should change that. It is our goal to make this a lucrative business for the center sewing group. The very good news is that a fair trade shop in Olympia, WA has agreed to stock them on a trial basis.
The June celebration of the 300th anniversary of the founding of Limbe’ provided an opportunity for our rugby team to further our goal of addressing the poor sanitation in town. They made eight trash cans, using recycled juice and water bottles and rebar. These were placed at various locations in our neighborhood, including the Museum of Guahaba.
On the final weekend of the festivities we hosted a rugby team from Port au Prince and played the first friendly match on our home turf. The two teams had met earlier in the year at a three-day training at the new Olympic sports center in P-a-P. This was a chance for the boys to show their friends and family that four years of being the only rugby team in Haiti has not been in vain. We plan to host a similar training for new players in the north next spring.
All in all, it’s been a productive year. We are currently discussing ideas for our annual New Year/Independence day event. We choose a theme for debate and invite community educators to come share a bowl of pumpkin soup while taking stock of the year past.
Noramise moves forward thanks to your ongoing support, which is as persistent as our goal setting. Your time and resources are essential to our survival, so here’s a shout out for your help in 2016.
P.S. We recently received word from our umbrella non-profit, A W.I.S.H., that they would be finalizing their operation at the end of 2016. Our heartfelt thanks to Michael Karp for his generous spirit and the invaluable assistance he has provided to so many very worthy causes over the years, an extraordinary accomplishment.
The power of education
Each summer, we offer a workshop. In the first year we held an art and sports camp for 40 Haitian children by using a local orphanage. Eight students from Orcas traveled to NYC, where they met 14 students who collected 40 backpacks and school supplies and delivered them to Haiti. They also helped install a garden at a Haitian school.
The second year, there were two ESL classes taught – one for 20 adults and another for 25 children. In 2012, an art workshop was created with local Limbe artists and kids. In 2013, we hosted an art workshop taught by residents of Limbe. That February 2014 we held a week-long agricultural workshop, taught by Haitians.
With each class or workshop we offer, the network of Haitians helping Haitians grows. To help it continue to grow we must expand our scope into the world of IT. Over the past year countless students have expressed the need for more computer access and literacy.
Helping Hands wants to open a center that will offer computer literacy classes, and access to the global classroom. In order for Haitian students to compete with their peers abroad, they must be given the same opportunities. As traveling outside of the country is not an option for most, the computer provides that link. In a country that has no regular electric service, many students use the glow of the street lamps as their night study hall. Our center would also provide an evening study space for them. The center would generate a revenue stream for Helping Hands. We will be able to offer copy services and document typing for students and professionals alike.
Helping Hands currently has a small garden and those using the computers could also learn to grow vegetables. We want not to only help fill their minds but also their stomachs.
We currently have 3 refurbished laptops, a router, and printer for the computer lab. We need funds to purchase batteries, a new inverter and solar panels, as our small generator cannot provide the power necessary to run the computers, etc..
Our team on Orcas is busy putting on bake sale this summer to help raise part of the money needed. we are also researching grants to make this a reality.
Letter from Rosedanie
Last Fall, I made the commitment to remain in Haiti long term at the center in Limbe. This is a decision I’ve been struggling with since my return in January. Along with the many difficulties encountered when working with a community who doesn’t welcome change, there are personal ones as well.
For example, there are very few people with which I can have a heartfelt discussion with regarding my life here. Most people think that I’m rolling in money and am simply too stingy to not have a housekeeper and other domestic help. It’s also difficult to know who I can trust, so I spend most of
my time not working alone. Living and working in the same place comes with it’s own challenges. One being that that I never really leave work. Coupled with a bar next door that is open seven days a week, sometimes until 2 a.m., means that if I get five hours sleep a night I feel blessed. Earplugs only muffle the sound and do nothing for the vibration of the bass that shakes my bed. The neighbors don’t seem
to be bothered by the noise, so the local authorities refuse to do anything about it, despite my numerous complaints and the nuisance law in country. I must be the only person in the Haiti who groans in misery when the town power comes on, which means the bar will also play the music during the day, which is what is
happening right now at 8:30 a.m. as I write this. Despite these difficulties there are encouraging moments as well. Yesterday we held a nutrition work- shop at the center. After some coaxing, some
of the younger students posed some very
important questions regarding their diet. There was a young man who had attend- ed the class the previous day and I asked him to help field some of the questions. Hearing him share what
he had learned and seeing how attentive the younger ones were to his response, strengthened my resolve to be here. The youths here are hungry for information, and are willing to share that information with their peers and family. If our country
is to move in the direction of healthier lifestyle and justice for all, there needs to be more places where the people feel comfortable to ask questions and find the answers they seek.
As for me, there are days when it feels like I’m wasting my time and nothing can be done to help shift the deep apathy that most people live with, and I should pack my bags and head back to the idyllic life of Orcas Island. However today is not one of those days!!!
So, I hope the town powers goes off sometime today so I can take a nap midday. Since it’s Friday and the bar is sure to be open late and the rugby team will be over early tomorrow for us do some work in the garden.
2013 has been a year of progress and retrospection for Team Noramise.
January found us in the mountains of Ravine des Roches, launching our pilot reforestation work. With funding from an Indiegogo campaign, the participation of three international volunteers and 13 residents of Ravine des Roches residents, we built several terraces and reinforced them with vertiver. On these terraces we planted, pidgeon peas, black beans, sweet potatoes and yam. The first of the pidgeon peas are being harvested and space to plant elsewhere. We also started a small tree nursery. Some of which have been transplanted to the hillside.
Due to the opening of a bar next door to our center in Limbe, we are looking for a new for location. Helping Hands Noramise(HHN) Director, Rosedanie Cadet has spent the past three months is Haiti looking for a new location. The search continues and we are certain that our new home is just around the corner.
In the meantime, we are continuing activities at the center and elsewhere in the North.
On May 18th, HHN joined with the College St. Joseph, the members of the Women’s Baptist Association and other schools in Limbe for the parade commemorating Haitian Flag Day. This is an annual event that fosters civic pride in the community. We also hosted the youth group Nouvelle Vision. Nouvelle Vision a youth group from the town of Borgne, participated in our pilot reforestation project at Ravine des Roches in January. The partnership with this youth group is building friendships between Limbe and Borgne youths. The Limbe Rugby club then visited Borgne in late July and took part in a rally hosted by Nouvelle Vision. We are looking forward to future collaborations between our two groups.
In June we met with several women’s groups in the city of Quartier Morin and held a compost making workshop. These groups have small plots of land and seeds to start community gardens. We will be returning to Quartier Morin in the Fall for further agriculture workshops with them. This work is in keeping with our goal of supporting food security in the North.
In July, we held a three day Arts and Crafts camp for 20 children, coupled with one day of leadership training at the center. Since we began our work in Limbe, this was the first year that all workshops were taught by local Haitians. Sister Irose Joseph and Donalson Louis, who have been involved with us since February 2010, were two of the instructors and we were able to pay them for their work.
On the final day, we received a visit from 13 youths from Brotherhood/Sister Sol organization. These youths from Harlem were traveling through the Dominican Republic and Haiti visiting various organizations. The purpose of the trip was to connect with their peers in the two countries. The two groups shared and hour or so exchanging questions and songs. HHN and Brotherhood/Sister Sol will be working to establish a future collaboration.
In the next few months, we will be assessing this year’s activities. Our findings will be guide us in writing the budget and schedule for the coming year.
Please accept a heartfelt thank you from Team Noramise for your continued support.
Three years ago last month, as I tried to find news of my friends and family in Port-au-Prince after the earthquake, my life changed overnight.
Not being able to find a non-profit organization that would accept me and the funds raised by my Orcas community, I decided to start my own. Upon sending out a mass e-mail to friends across the globe, the response was overwhelming. During theses past three years, the Encouragement, Love and Support you have all given has been humbling to me.
We at Helping Hands Noramise, have been steadily doing what we can to help empower Haitian citizens in Limbé and elsewhere in the country. We have produced and distributed chlorine and other water purifying agents to more than 100 families during the cholera epidemic, Your financial and emotional support has been invaluable in that work. We ave produced chlorine and distributed other water purifying resources to over 100 families, during the cholera epidemic. We’ve held Art, English and Nutrition classes at our center in Limbé. Our center is also home to a small library, several models of fuel efficient and healthier cooking stoves . These stoves are healthier for the women who use them by burning cleaner, healthy for the environment by reducing the need to cut trees for charcoal production. We planted a garden at our center, one with the Masabiel farmers association and most recently, have begun a reforestation and food growing garden in the moutains of Ravine de Roche. A community located about a mile outside of Limbe.Your financial and emotional support has been invaluable in that work.
The latest work in Ravine des Roches has been the the most rewarding and encouraging by far. The residents of this area are mostly peasant farmers who receive very little aid from outsiders. They have been the most responsive to the idea of working the land in order to provide for themselves and their families. They also understand that as long as they can effect some positive change in their lives, no matter how small, there is hope for tomorrow.
The first day I climbed the mountain to start the work, many asked me what it was I and the “blans” had brought for them. My standard answer to this question is : “knowledge”. Usually those hearing this tell me it’s not knowledge they need but rather money. It was refreshing to find a group of people who were hungry for the knowledge and willing to come see what they could learn.
We started each morning with coffee at Con’s coffee shop beside the river. We then continued up the mountain and sat in a circle to introduce ourselves, tell each other how we were feeling and make plans for the day’s work. The common threads in all the morning talks were hunger and illness. Many Haitian suffer from high blood pressure, diabetes, and intestinal problems. The children usually have some sort of pulmonary disorder and a constant runny nose. These issues stem from the overwhelming fact that they are all malnourished. There are many factors leading to malnutrition in Haiti. The main factor being that Haiti currently imports some 95% of all the food it consumes. This is an island nation that was dubbed “the Pearl” of the Antilles and produced more revenue for France than any of it’s other colonies. The Arawak and Taino who lived on the island before it’s “discovery” by Columbus were farmers and cultivators. The African slaves brought to the island by both the Spanish and French were also farmers. They valued the land and its products so much, that they hid seed in their clothing, hair and belongings and brought them along. So you may ask “what happened to destroy the agriCULTURE of the island?”. That is a question too vast to fully address here in this post. Suffice to say it is the same that has happened to many small farmers worldwide: think “AGRO BUSINESS”. I encourage you all reading this to do some research of your own to find other answers. Also feel free to comment on this post via our Facebook page and we can begin a conversation.
Back to what is going on back in Limbé and Ravine de Roches.
We spent about 10 days working on the hillside with 15-20 members of the community, mostly women and young boys. A few men came by each day and didn’t return a second day, all except Orkel who is the caretaker and main farmer of this particular hillside. Orkel is a gentle giant. He has been cultivating the land for over 60yrs. When Jim had any questions regarding plant species of the region, Orkel was the go to guy. He wakes up early every day and is either tilling, planting or going to help a neighbor build a house. His calm presence during our time on the mountain was inspirational and reassuring.
The women and youth who joined us, Celamise, Clothide, Mercilia, Miralta, Sonya, Dieulans, Macenson, and Milton all shared with us their hopes and aspirations. The women, most of whom had little or no formal education work hard to make sure that their children can go to school in town in order to have a better future. The young boys all have animals they take care of, before and after school. Milton sold one of his goats last year to pay for school and also bought a couple of chickens and now has eggs to eat. Dieulans was not able to attend school for a while – even though his mother had paid the tuition – because he had no shoes. So at the end of the week, we provided him with a new pair of hiking shoes and now he’s back in school. Macenson told me what leaves he feeds his goats when they are sick and also when they are milking. When I asked him how he knew these things, he said his mother taught him.
All these people are not lazy nor are they looking for a handout. Rather, they are in need of support, they need to know how to replenish the soil in order to raise their crop yields. So we taught them how to make compost piles and also held a bio-char workshop for them. They need pumps to get bring water up from the river to irrigate their crops. We started a small nursery along the river. These trees will be transplanted to the hillside once the yams, peas and sweet manioc have been harvested.
They want to provide for their families the basic necessities that many of us take for granted each day. Nutritious food, shelter and education for themselves and their families. What we at Helping Hands Noramise are providing resources and the knowledge that Celamise needs in order to make the right choices for her family, a better breed of goat for Macenson and Milton, so they can get a higher price at the market when they sell their next goat.
The chance for them to share their knowledge with others and understand that they can effect positive change in their community equals empowerment. Being empowered gives them the confidence to continue making decisions for themselves.
Rosedanie is currently in Limbé, helping to upgrade the center to serve as an emergency shelter.
This summer she attended a seminar hosted by several governmental departments, to talk about contingency plans in case of an earthquake in the north. The center for seismic studies in Colorado has predicted an earthquake for the northern region of Haiti sometime in the next month. There is a great possibility of this quake being followed by a tsunami. News reports cite other sources also predicting an increased chance of local earthquakes.
We at Helping Hands Noramise are currently filling gallons with water, stocking dried foods, hygiene and medical supplies in order for us to be able to provide initial aid to the community.
Contact us for more information or to find out how you can help.
My first week with SOIL has been tiring and exciting. It started with the weekly staff meeting, which was followed by visits to Shadda(a slum of Cap-Haitien), where we have several public toilets in use. Later it was back to the office to meet with our Stanford University partners. We will be installing 150 household Ecosan toilets in Shadda, starting Tuesday. This is part of a three month pilot project. At the end of this period the maintenance,management and removal of the materials will be transferred to 9 local organizations. During the pilot we will monitor usage, cover material efficacy and health conditions in the area.
On Thursday, I met with the local OXFAM director who has asked me to help write a proposal for a project to address acute malnutrition in the North.
Schools were closed Thursday and Friday in preparation for “Sandy”. Fortunately for us in the north, there were no major damages.
I am currently in Port-au-Prince at our SOIL office to pick up some supplies.
Will be heading to Limbe tomorrow to help with post SANDY cleanup at the center. We lost several trees in the backyard and we will also be rebuilding the raised beds. On Tuesday, I will wear two hats and represent both HHN and SOIL at a meeting with the Mayor, MINUSTAH(UN), OXFAM and other organizations, as we plan to celebrate Int’l children’s day (10/20) in Limbe, on November 17th.
November 17th is an historical date for Limbe. On that date in 1791, a group of slaves met at Bois-Caiman a crossroads of Limbe, and marched on to Cap-Haitien, thereby begin the fight for our independence. The final victory for independence was fought on November 18th in Vertieres in 1803.
Dear Friends & Supporters of Carbon Roots International,
It’s my pleasure to invite you to our Second Annual Bon Lavni Art Auction and Fundraiser on Friday, November 23rd at EM Fine Art Studio in Seattle.
Bon Lavni means “Good Future” in Haitian Creole, and working towards a better, more equitable, sustainable future is really what Carbon Roots International is all about.
Last year’s event was a blast, and this year’s party is shaping up to be even better. More art for sale, more libations, more friends, and more to share about our biochar and green charcoal work in Haiti.
And hey, it’s the Friday after Thanksgiving! What better motivation for shaking off that post-Thanksgiving idleness?
We hope to see you there.
Greetings from Limbé.
The past week has been more productive than the previous ones.
While at the goat event, I met an agronomist who asked me to give a nutritional seminar for his staff at Heifer Int’l. His uncle died last week at the age of 46 from a stroke brought on by high blood pressure and poor diet. We will discuss how we can collaborate on a larger workshop for Cap Haitien.
Today was very busy and productive. In the morning, a team from SOIL came to give a demonstration of their composting toilet at the Museum of Guayaba (the Taino name for this area). The event was hosted by the committee set up to celebrate Limbé’s Tercentenary. Many in the audience wanted to know more about these toilets and I will be giving a short presentation on them for Pasteur Paul Romeus on behalf of SOIL this coming Saturday.
In the afternoon, Donalson gave a summary of the Sanitation conference we attended in P-a-P at an event hosted by Club Les Amis du Limbé. I gave a demonstration of Robert Fairchild’s TChar cook stove. With the tools Soph Davenport donated and the help of Sonje Ayiti, we will be able to give workshops on its construction. We will hopefully find one or two stove makers interested enough to want to produce these locally.
Posie and her team are leaving on Friday. I will take the weekend off to rest. The mural looks great and has gained quite a lot of positive attention and feedback. There will be photos on our Facebook page and I will send some for the website.
Allright, must get ready for the farewell dinner for the artists.
Rosedanie spent the first few months of 2012 preparing for her April departure to Haiti via New York and Miami. Fund-raising for the various Noramise projects occupied most of her time. She was able to attend a Miami conference on the future of Haiti where there was an opportunity to meet other like-minded people and to further collaboration.
Having now been in Haiti for several weeks, Rosedanie has the following project reports and observations:
- My initial impetus for returning to Haiti was not to become yet another ineffective NGO, but rather to build a food processing plant that would provide, firstly, food for the local population and secondly, much needed jobs. The urgent need for relief post the 2010 earthquake required a slight detour from that path. However, that is my ultimate goal and with perseverance and hard work I know it is attainable.
- TIME must be given to educate the local community on what sustainable and intentional (see mission statement) means. TIME must be taken to identify and support those who see the need for a shift in how things are done here. TIME must be given to train these same individuals on how to approach the various socio-economic and educational levels of the general population. Without this TIME, and PEOPLE in the LOCAL COMMUNITY supporting these efforts, we will only repeat the mistakes of so many RELIEF ORGANIZATIONS working in Haiti.
- The work on the community garden has begun. I’ve been joining the team every Friday morning clearing the land, and Lunise and Rodrigue have started seedlings at the (HHN) center to transplant to the larger garden. They have also set up a schedule to work on each members’ home garden on a weekly basis. We will be digging swales and working on Herman’s garden tomorrow, with the help of some members of the local rugby team. Students are in the midst of final exams now and will be more available at the end of the month.
- Daniel, Bernadin and I will present our experience from the Aquaculture workshop in Leogane to the committee at the next meeting. One of the best aspects of the workshop was the creation of RENAPTI, a resources organization of all the instructors and participants. This will allow for a forum where we can present our challenges, success and support to one another. The administrative committee is currently working on a constitution and will soon submit papers to the Ministry of Social Affairs for legal recognition.
- The HHN aquaculture committee (Daniel, Delano, Bernadin and myself) will be meeting with the Masabiel farmer’s association next week to update them on the project and get their input. Director Badio from the Ministry of Agriculture has offered to give a one-day seminar to the farmers in the coming weeks. He will let me know when he is available. He has also offered to provide a team to supervise the construction of the ponds when we reach that stage and to donate the initial stock for the ponds.
- The materials purchase for the Jam Project are still in Miami with Alfa Aero awaiting the funds to ship them to Haiti. I am looking into other shipping options. Will be meeting with the women’s (jam-making) collective next week for the first time, in order to get a better sense of who they are and how to proceed. Zafen, the entrepreneurial branch of Fonkoze will be giving a two day seminar in Cap-Haitien July 5th & 6th. I have registered to attend and will ask the jam collective to choose one of their members to attend. Upon returning from this seminar, we will have a plan of action for moving forward while awaiting the materials.
- I have been in touch with Haiti Village Health, Sonje Haiti, CRI(Carbon Roots International) and SOIL regarding further collaboration efforts. There is a new in-country Director for HVH and I hope to speak with her soon. Roberta Alvarez, DMV has raised enough money for a goat raising program which will be implemented through Sonje Haiti. Gabriel Vincent of Sonje Haiti and I plan on meeting to discuss how we will move this project forward. Ryan Delaney of CRI arrived in Haiti recently, and I am waiting to hear from him. While at the sanitation conference hosted by SOIL and DINEPA, I spoke with SOIL’s director Sasha Kramer. They are willing to send the Cap Haitien team to the St. Peter’s feast on the 24th, to give a presentation of their composting toilet and speak on the benefits of compost to agriculture.
- Posie Curren and her team have purchased their tickets and will arrive in Santiago June 30 where they’ll purchase the remaining supplies they need for the (mural) project. They will arrive in Limbe July 4th. The Limbé ex-pats group will help obtain and prepare visible wall space for the murals. One mural will be done at HHN center, two elsewhere. The time frame for the project is 10 days.
TIME is money. Although we have been quite successful in raising funds for the various projects mentioned here, money for TIME is scarce. However, it is essential for the support of the time needed in order to bring about real and lasting change for the people of Haiti. You can support TIME with your contributions in any amount and be a proud part of a successful effort. Please see the “donations” section of our home page. Thank you.
Previously, I sent out an email discussing how Budd Bay would be working with Helping Hands Noramise to bring about some positive changes in Haiti. Today, I’m pleased to formally announce that Budd Bay Rugby will be working to sponsor a Rugby team in Haiti.
We will be kicking off this effort tomorrow night (Fri, 2/17) at the Jammin’ for Haiti event at Traditions Cafe.
Why are we doing this?
When Budd Bay RFC was founded, one of its principle tenants was to give back – supporting community outreach efforts throughout the Puget Sound. Rugby provides a strong foundation for our players to join a community and grow, both physically and mentally. Encouraging our players to give back helps us ensure that we are giving our players the best possible chance to develop into quality human beings, as well as quality ruggers.
This sense of community, of support, of reliance on one another is an essential principle of rugby, and is an area that Haiti needs to continue to develop.
So bringing Rugby to Haiti seems the only logical next step! In a country where the sport is all but non-existant, we can help grow the game we all love, instill rugby values into the Haitian community, and foster an atmosphere of global awareness and giving within our own organization.
What is Jammin’ For Haiti?
A small group of Haitian women formed a collective to make and sell jars of jam. They were working together – as a team – to succeed. Unfortunately, they were robbed (by their own treasurer no less). This left the women without any income, and further entrenched a belief that teams cannot succeed – that everyone must think about themselves.
This event on Friday is intended to raise money for these women. The money will not be a handout to replace what they’ve lost, but rather, a chance to help them continue to develop a strong business model that will allow themselves to be successful in the long run.
Budd Bay Rugby will be there in force – Traditions Cafe will be closed so we’re providing refreshments (there will be snacks as well), some silent auction items, and some logistical support. There will be other organizations donating items, along with music and fun people.
Come on out, support these women, and help us start our effort to create a global rugby club!
What does it mean to sponsor a rugby team?
Budd Bay will be working on several different approaches. Ultimately the goal is to provide equipment – balls and boots – for youth in Haiti who are interested in participating. Currently, players play barefoot, or share sneakers. Other goals include providing meals for players, and educational materials.
This is intended to be a long term project – we don’t expect to have full teams up and running in Haiti in a few weeks. But the options are endless – who knows – one day we might send a squad of players to Haiti to play against our international partners!
This sounds fun, how can I help?
Join us on Friday! Talk about ideas, meet the people involved, help us plan!
Used cleats are great – have gear that’s a size too small? We’re going to be collecting it over the next few months.
Financial donations are always appreciated, you can do so now at http://noramise.org/donate. We’ll be working on getting our website set up so you can donate through our page too.
And let us know how you’d like to be involved! Got an idea? Want to throw your hand in? There’s so much potential here – it will just take a few interested individuals to turn this into a phenomenal success!
The year end seems to herald a time for reflection. Two years of engagement in Haiti have been exhilarating, frustrating, rewarding, and filled with opportunities for both personal and organizational growth. We have learned that the pace of change is slow, and our challenge is to keep it steady. We have been richly rewarded in our collaborations with some of our Haitian friends and neighbors and sorely disappointed in others. All part of the process. Some strong connections with other organizations in the area have emerged, and we’ll work to further those in the new year. Most importantly, perhaps, is that our focus on an inter-related set of projects is being validated and reinforced by people and organizations both in and out of the country. Access to clean water, good nutrition and education is the foundation for a healthy future for all Haitians. Our supporters continue to walk hand-in-hand with us on this journey.
In sincere gratitude to: SugarHill Works (www.sugarhillworks.com) for hosting our website and for their endless patience in helping us; Debi Bodett (www.debibodett.com) for sharing her creative skill and energy and remarkable efficiency; Dr. Tiffany Keenan (www.haitivillagehealth.ca) for standing with us at the height of the cholera epidemic and beyond; Patrick Cummings (www.worldwaterpartners.org) for a commitment to clean water for Haiti; Sonje Ayiti (www.sonjeayiti.com) for being a willing resource and sharing valuable information and expertise; Ryan Delaney (www.carbon-roots.org) and his partners for their commitment to restoring the health of Haitian soil and farming through the development and implementation of simple, effective technology. We thank them and you.
Meanwhile, Rosedanie is thinking soup: soup joumou or squash soup. Haitians gained independence from France on January 1, 1804. Prior to that they were not allowed to eat squash soup which was considered a superior dish. It has since been the centerpiece of New Years’ Day Independence celebrations. Cheers!
In this season of celebration and gratitude, Team Noramise has much to be
thankful for. Two years and countless hours of conversation, work, and
commitment have combined to establish a community center in Limbé where
many positive initiatives have taken root. Clean water, productive gardens,
health and nutrition education, art workshops, collaboration with other
organizations, and neighborhood exchange have all taken place under our roof
and have provided a beacon of light and air in an otherwise mostly downtrodden
community. None of this would be possible were it not for the confidence in us
displayed by contributors in our Orcas Island community and all across the
country. We are extremely grateful for this and send our heartfelt thanks and
warmest holiday wishes to all.