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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

Computer Lab

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.

Sewing Collective

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.

Rugby Team

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.

Center Expansion

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.

In Unity,

Team Noramise

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.studygroup
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.

students parading on May 18th, Haitian Flag Day

students parading on May 18th, Haitian Flag Day

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.


Greetings all,

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.

Check out Rosedanie and the HHN crew firing up one of our gasifier stoves.

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.

In Unity,

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.

Bon Lavni Fundraiser Flyer

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.

Haiti Youth Arts and Education Benefit

June 28th

Hello Everyone,
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.

Participants at the Musée de Guahaba gathering

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.

July 11th

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.


The newly painted gate at Helping Hands Noramise Center in Limbé Haiti. Thanks to all the arists, from Limbé, Haiti and Porland, OR who did the work!!


Rodrigue and Lunise starting seeds at HHN Center for Community Garden

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 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!

Public health specialist, Dr. Richemond Jean-Baptiste visited Orcas August 7th as a guest of Helping Hands Noramise. Dr. Richemond practices in Limbe’, Haiti and collaborated with HHN on educational outreach at the height of the cholera epidemic in 2010. He was in the U.S. to attend a medical conference in New York and to raise funds for equipment and continued work on the clinic he is building in Limbe’ which will serve all residents regardless of their ability to pay.

Dr. Richemond is shown talking about public health challenges in Limbe’ at a library gathering of Orcas supporters.

I don’t have much time to write today as I’m still in transit. I’ve now left Ayiti and am on my way back home, having left Dave and Jen behind for more days teaching. But these two quotes leapt out at me when I arrived on American soil today:

The guiding of thought and the deft coordination of deed is at once the path of honor and humanity.
-W.E.B. DuBois, ‘The Souls of Black Folk,’ 1903. (Found in the classics section of a Miami airport bookstore)

In this life we cannot always do great things. But we can do small things with great love.
-Mother Teresa (Seen on the back of an aid worker’s shirt in Miami)

So much more to tell later…

The graduates of the kids class, "Timoun Klas Angle, Kay Noramise", July 2011

Following post is from Dave Parrish:

We’re almost at the end of the first week. I’m getting to know my students whom I like a lot. One thing I’ve noticed is that they aren’t used to group work. Today I was having them write a dialog in pairs where one person would write one line and the next person would write the next. That was a totally foreign concept. Even after my instructions they persisted in writing their own. Finally they relented and tried my way.

I’m guarding in my memory an image of Irose as an image of Haiti. She was sitting at her treadle sewing machine looking at her cell phone.

The heat is unbelievable. I’m thankful for this house and the shade in the back yard.

Two of my favorite parts are the beginnings and endings of class. Singing. They harmonize right away. Full voices.
All for now. Dave

Kids hard at work!

Students tell us about their families with basic drawings

Girls cutting out pictures to describe people’s features

English-Kreyol Hour

Blog post by Nicole Vulcan:

Just finished the second day of teaching English at the Noramise house, and it’s been so much more revealing into the culture than the cordialities can ever be.

Jen and I are teaching the kids class, a sweet group of about 20. In Haiti, 7 year olds are the size of American four year olds, so I look with wonder at the little nymph who is the same age as my own child. With their diminutive frames, ten of them fit on one bench of the Noramise outdoor classroom – which measures about seven feet long. But the differences are more than physical. First off, it’s obvious the kids have very little exposure to visual arts. They can sing in harmony from a very young age, but visually, they know so little.

This morning Jen and I did a unit on families, showing them crude drawings of our own families that we’d colored by candlelight the night before. Then we brought out a box of crayons (lifted from my daughter’s ample art supply shelf) and asked the kids to draw their own families. Never have I seen a group so unwilling or unable to engage with their own creativity. The kids wanted to copy my paper, yellow-colored, blue-eyed figures of my own family; several kids used yellow crayon to draw their figures, wanted to look at my drawing for help knowing how to make a person. Only one boy, the oldest in the class at 14, displayed any sense of creativity on his paper, drawing a Caribbean sunset and palm trees in lieu of the evergreens I’d put on my drawing. The seven year old’s figures were mere blobs of color with no head, arms, legs or other distinguishing features.

It is clear from this group (which I know to be an unrepresentative sample that errs on the more affluent side among denizens of Limbe) that kids here are lacking in creative play. It was also evidenced by the unenthusiastic way they engaged in hopscotch to practice numbers; kids I’ve taught in other countries like this exercise because they get to see their classmates look silly…but in this group half the kids took to sitting down or listlessly looking on. Perhaps the most interesting exercise was watching them play Letter Bingo. Three girls won the first three rounds, making the boys sound off that the “garcons” were losing out in this game of chance. Some of the boys ended up getting the gimmies and expected to be given winner’s prizes, simply because they demanded it be so. When I told them no, they mumbled in Kreyol that they didn’t like the game, though fortunate for me my Kreyol is steadily improving!

I know I should not be upset over the way those boys demanded things… “Nicole give me a chocolate,” since this a symptom of limited English and not necessarily rudeness. Still, I take issue with this child’s sense of entitlement, as if he is somehow exempt from the rules of the game. I naturally extrapolate this into an overall view of the Haitian economy — the majority of its citizens playing by the rules while a few think they deserve more without merit.

Thus the missive of all missives, which comes into play whether it’s in Bingo or world economics: to foster the idea of earning bread through hard work, while all around them men languish with astronomical unemployment, women toil in charcoal-fired kitchens and raise babies, and the country crumbles under officials who seize power and hold on to it absolutely…

I humble myself and admit I don’t know where to begin or even if I’m helping; not the first in a line of blans informing Haitians how to live and be.

Taking a break for ball during the kids’ English class. See the Team Noramise “jardin” in the foreground, new outdoor classroom to the left!

Here are Lunise Joseph and Merlin St. Fleur with the seed packets donated by Sow True Seed of Asheville NC.  Lunise and Merlin attended the permaculture design course in PaP in May.

Blog post by Nicole Vulcan…

“I feel like I keep saying O my god,” David says as we round another bend in the Limbe marketplace. True, there is lots to lament upon in this place where soiled discarded shoes mix with old animal horns and a gooey black muck, all very near thin mats where young and old sell beans, rice, used clothing and little bags of Dominican chips.

We’ve been in Limbe now a few days, and have rarely left the Noramise compound. Inside its gates lies a mini Haitian paradise, in the form of clean, dirt free floors (thanks to Rosedanie’s no shoes policy), a tidy yard with fruit trees, shady places for sitting and Lunise’s vegetable beds (one of the caretakers of the house, who recently attended the first-ever Haitian permaculture training in Port-au-Prince), as well as good fresh food and comfortable beds. Yes, showers are by and large taken with a bowl of water flung over the body, and the toilet flushed with buckets, but there ARE toilets and a clean bathroom, which is a far cry from the amenities available in the huts we passed on the road to Limbe.

And, a far cry from the church where we stayed on the team’s first trip, which lacked the basic amenities named above and stood just outside the marketplace. Back then heaps of trash, worse than now, burned in fetid piles. That’s why I had to smile a little when David made his comment, since now, thanks in part to the efforts of Team Noramise, there are no longer piles of burning trash, but instead only smears of trash here and there. Overall, I see improvements in the situation here — in the marketplace, in the accommodations for Noramise volunteers, in the general feeling of hope that pervades the house and the people who are part of the organization. I am heartened by progress as the journey continues, though we all know there is so far to go…

The following post is from Nicole Vulcan, (Vulcan Media Inc.) who is a member of the volunteer team now on the ground in Limbe:

In the film world, one way to move from one distinct scene to another is with a cross dissolve, where one scene slowly blends in to the next. Traveling from the U.S to the Dominican Republic and then on to Haiti is like a cross dissolve. We leave our pretty paved comforts and travel to a place where cracks start to show; things are not as organized or “straight” here, but there is still beauty and order among the raw life of the DR. We stayed in Santo Domingo’s colonial zone, where old meets new, and we were afforded comforts like aircon, cold beer and water flowing freely from the taps.

Then it was on to the other side of the cross dissolve, in the cool cocoon of a Caribe Tours bus, taking us in insulated comfort into Haiti’s northern region. We know this from history books to be the first place colonized in the Americas, once the Pearl of the Caribbean, and upon my third entry into this country I’m still intrigued, shocked and hopeful enough to keep believing the pearl is here…somewhere…

As we pass into Cap Haitien, I see the awe in my companions faces, the same I had, that this city, with its brownblack bay choked with garbage and the carcasses of boats, its streets teeming with sooty burning trashpiles and lotto stands, could possibly ever have been “The Paris of the Antilles.” My own pained awe is lessened somewhat from the last two times, but it’s still there…

As we make our way off the cool bus and into the wash of humid heat, the reality of our arrival hits. This is the part of the film where the dissolve has stopped, and the new scene begins in full; in this case, it begins with the mad thump of four drummers, greeting the arrivals at the bus station.

to be continued….

A past volunteer with Helping Hands Noramise is returning to Haiti early  in 2011.  Her name is Bonita Ford, and you can contribute to her volunteer mission by visiting her website @:

Fabricating chlorine in order to purify water to prevent further spreading of Cholera, with help from Haiti Village Health organization in Bas Limbé.

The following post is a detailed summary just received from Rosedanie regarding her activities since arriving in Limbé on November 2nd, focused on Cholera-prevention, including outreach, education and other related topics.



Hello everyone,
Following is a brief summary of my time in Limbé:
Arrived here on the evening of November 2nd, following a day in Santo Domingo, at Sister Island’s representative Nina Hernandez’ home.
Had hoped to spend a week or so getting reacquainted with the committee and family members in Limbe’. Unfortunately, the cholera epidemic made it necessary to put those plans aside.

With the help of several Tambour Creole members, I scheduled our first cholera prevention education outreach for the Camp Coq area, not far from where the Masabiel farmers cooperative wants to build its Tilapia ponds. We were able to mobilize some 60 residents, Inform them on the cause and main transmission source of cholera, methods of proper hygiene practices, water purification and food preparation to help with prevention. Gave out fliers which included the formula for the vital re hydration fluid needed to keep one with cholera alive on the long journey to the nearest medical center. Distributed soap, bleach and some re hydration packets provided by Danise Abel, president of the HHN Haiti committee. Since then we have given 15 such presentations in at least 10 areas in and outside of Limbé proper. Visited a hundred homes or so, 5 schools, distributing the same fliers and were invited to speak on 2 radio stations to give out the information.

I have connected with another organization, Haiti Village Health, which has a small clinic in Bas Limbé. Dr Tiffany Keenan, its founder and director invited us to the clinic three weeks ago and had her volunteers teach ours to make a low grade chlorine using salt, water and a very simple device. Robin has all the specs on this machine for those who want to know more. She then donated 3 of them to us as well as $500 with which to pay our volunteers who are now distributing this chlorine door to door throughout Limbé.. A cap full of this chlorine can be used to treat a five gallon bucket of water. Met another volunteer from England through the same organization, who came to Haiti with a water purification system( using a ceramic filter and 2- 5 gallon buckets. This means of water purification is the easiest and safest to use we’ve seen to date. It requires no power source, delivers treated water at a rate of 5 liters per hour and removes 99.99% of bacteria and cysts. I traveled to St. Michel village with some Haiti Village volunteers and set up four purification centers there. This is an area where cholera victims were being transported via rowboat to Bas Limbé for medical care. Several of them never made it to the clinic alive. We hope to obtain more of these filters for distribution.

Our volunteer base is all Haitian, and as each member learns a new technique, they then have to teach it to the next person, ensuring that each member of the team really understands the new process and empowering them. This approach has been working very well and frees me to focus on other aspects of my time here.

The other item that has been taking up a good chunk of time is trying to get our committee moving forward with the charter so we can be recognized as a legal NGO in Haiti. We have had several meetings to review the charter and hope to have the final version completed at out next meeting on the 28th. In the interest of building better relation between the committee members and Tambour Creole, I hosted our first potluck last night, which was a huge success. At the end of the evening Daniel Desronvil our secretary, suggested we make this a regular practice and we will have another potluck next week, which will also have a secret santa component.

Charlot Kily the coordinator of Tambour Creole and I had discussed holding an all day celebration event for Independence day on January 1st. This idea was also well received by both committee members. The young artists and writers that Tambour Creole have been working with, will be asked to create some works to commemorate our independence, and I’m hoping HHN will be able to finance the purchase of some small prizes for the participants.

I have started a pilot ESL program at the Bethesda school, which will provide employment for a local man living across from the HHN center. Have also been teaching nutrition education to Lunise our cook/housekeeper and invite several local children here for an after school meal daily.

On a personal note, I have started coaching rugby to some of the kids on Saturday afternoons. Look out All Blacks, here comes the Haitian national rugby team. Haven’t been able to get any female players yet.
Well, I must get to bed now. Will send a more detailed year end report next week.

Go Team GO!!!
Coach Cadet

Hello everyone,

Update on the cholera situation in Limbe’:  According to the head of Doctors Without Borders (MSF), we haven’t seen the ‘tsunami’ of cholera that will hit Haiti.

This prediction, which seems a rather dark view of the situation to me, makes the work of prevention, outreach, and education even more important than any other projects HHN has on the table.  If we can get to areas that have not yet been affected, I believe there is a good chance the predicted ‘tsunami’ will not arrive.

I have connected with a group called Clean the World ( who are working in a seaside region called Bas Limbe’.  They have a simple chlorine water purification unit which they will teach us to make and use. We’ll then place volunteers at the water sources — streams, wells, etc. and train others.


Let’s prevent this tsunami.

In unity,


Following are excerpts from messages sent by Rosedanie since arriving in Haiti November 2, 2010.  They closely follow the horrific trajectory of the cholera epidemic in the region of Limbé.  The good news is that door-door outreach efforts have most recently been happening and have been well received (noted in the most recent posting at the very bottom).

We are desperately in need of funds to support Rosedanie and the HHN Committee in their efforts to provide supplies and prevention information to the people in the area.  Please make a contribution now by clicking on the DONATE link on the left.  We greatly thank you.

04 November 2010:  Hi there.  Am still trying to resolve network issues.  In need of emergency supplies.  30+ cases cholera at Good Samaritan Hospital.  Need ivs, more rehydrating salts, headlamps.  Patients housed in yard away from others.  Please send call out for help.  Trying to find economical way to receive supplies.  Thanks, Danie.

05 November 2010:  Good morning.  On my way to Cap Haitien for $ and supplies.

07 November 2010:  PC-Relief-Haiti ALERT:  Blue Plastic Water Bags – infected – Water distributed in Haiti as purified.  Director General of Haiti’s Health Department, Mr. Gabriel Thimote, warms that blue plastic bags of water labeled “purified” should not be trusted because they are filled with untreated Artibonite River water.

08 November 2010:  Good Morning.  Have images from yesterday’s cholera prevention gathering.  Will send soon as am able.  Thank you.  In unity, Rosedanie.

10 November 2010:  Good morning everyone,  Hope you are all well.  I got the modem yesterday and now have internet at the house.  It’s a little slow but it works.  Life here in Limbe’ is so so.  We had no electricity for 3 days, and it’s been raining heavily on and off for the past week.  The roof leaks and our kitchen draining system is plugged.  There are now 5 people other than myself living at the house putting a strain on the food budget.  As for the cholera outbreak, cases are increasing.  I am going to visit the Good Samaritan Hospital later and see how the additional patients are being housed.  I spoke with the Director of Public Health in Cap Haitien yesterday.  He informed me he had run out of ORS (oral rehydrating salts) and ivs and was trying to procure more.  When asked what we could do to help besides community outreach, he expressed the need for surgical gowns, gloves, and face masks.  Many people have died because their families and hospital staff are afraid to touch them fearing they might contract cholera, even though they’ve been told it is not transmitted through touch.  I’ve yet to see any MSF (Doctors Without Borders) staff working in this area.  I suspect that much of the supplies they are bringing will not get to those in need but will be sold by the people responsible for distribution.  This was the case with the many food supplies sent after the earthquake.

I’ve called a meeting of the HHN Limbe’ Committee on Saturday in order for us to decide how we will get information to people in the rural areas.  On Monday I hope to meet the Chief of Staff at the General Hospital in Okap who will be able to introduce me to a representative of MSF in order to obtain more supplies.  In the meantime I am continuing with the purchase of soap and bleach to distribute, as well as making copies of prevention materials.

The bottom line is that this crisis is not yet under control, and I’m not sure what more we can do other than what is being done.  Please do what you can to get the word out regarding what is going on and to obtain funds and/or the above mentioned supplies.

I am off to the Bethesda School in a while where I will be substituting for Sister Irose on Thursdays so she can have a day off.

Well, that’s all for now.  Thank you all again for your work.

In Unity, Rosedanie.

10 November 2010:  I am also in need of some food supplies.  Prices have gone up for everything and with the additional mouths to feed, what I had budgeted for food will not be sufficient.  Once we are able to establish an economical shipping route, we could use some cereal, bags of tuna fish, and other sources of protein.  Still trying to get hold of the shipping company to see about getting a discounted rate.  Must now dash and get trained as a substitute teacher.  Thank you, Rosedanie.  P.S.  Still trying to attach photos to send.

“10 November 2010:  Hello, I visited the hospital and spoke with the administrator.  Besides the supplies mentioned earlier there is a great need for medical personnel.  There are 12-15 new cases admitted daily, and they are short on staff.  Please update the website and add this to the volunteer page.  Anyone available can of course be housed here.  Have arranged to return in a few days and do some outreach with the patients and their families.  Also made contact with a UNICEF worker who came to find out what the hospital needed.  He and a colleague will be here Saturday, and we are planning to meet.  The boys came home from school today with a water purifying straw from  Can someone check to see who they are and if we can somehow connect with them.  As electricity supply is short at the moment, I can’t spend any time searching online.

That’s all for today.  Must get ready for my first day of school.

In unity, Rosedanie.

15 November 2010:  Update from Haiti: According to Bureau of Public Health, Limbé is 2nd in area most affected by cholera. Team Noramise visited the town of Bas-Limbé & held 2 community outreach gatherings, giving info on symptoms and means of prevention for cholera, plus instruction on how to prepare an electrolyte fluid to give to those affected to drink while they are being rushed to health care. Photos to follow.

16 November 2010:  Hi there,  Had a meeting last night to plan our door-to-door cholera prevention outreach.  Due to unrest yesterday, most schools are closed today and people are still apprehensive about leaving their homes.  We are starting the visits in our neighborhood and working our way outward in the direction of areas we’ve already covered.  Several community members have been invited to join us.  We’ll have to wait and see who actually shows up.

In unity, Rosedanie

17 November 2010:  continuing our door to door outreach on cholera prevention. it’s going well, as each day a few more LOCAL RESIDENTS join our team in the work. Hoping to see a decrease in the # of people needing medical care soon. the hospitals are once again running out of supplies. the road to Cap-Haitien has been blocked for several days due to the riots.  things were slightly calmer in Limbé today.

Dear Supporters,

On November 12th it will be 10 months since the devastating earthquake shook my country, and I sent out a call for help. The myriad ways in which this call has been answered continues to amaze and inspire me. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all with all my heart.

Recently my young friend Samantha celebrated her birthday in Seattle, by having a fundraising party for Helping Hands Noramise (HHN).  She and her friends raised over $300 and collected school supplies for students in Limbé. This kind of grassroots effort is the driving force behind HHN.

Your generous contributions of funds and time have enabled us to install gardens, provide school supplies for over 50 students, host the first of what I hope to be many Arts and Sports  camps in which Haitian and American students participated. We were also able to provide tools and some work to a fledging woodworkers collective. The many projects which we have undertaken are vital to the sustainable economic and educational growth of Limbé, and of Haiti in general.

We will keep you informed and involved every step of the way.

I know how hard we all work and how limited some of our resources are.  My promise to you is that your efforts will not be wasted. HHN is determined to help the Haitian people reach a point where they will be able to help themselves and will only need supplemental support from us to accomplish their own growth and development. As I head back to Haiti to continue the work, I hold in my heart your warm thoughts and generous words. Again, thank you for your continued support.

In Unity,

Rosedanie Cadet, Director

Helping Hands Noramise