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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!

On August 7th HHN welcomed Haitian Public Health Specialist Dr. Richemond Jean-Baptiste to Orcas.  Dr. Richemond and his brother are building a clinic,  Hospital Saint Raphael, in Limbé.  Their motto is “Serve to heal”, and to this end they will provide full service affordable health care of the people of the region.

We had the opportunity to introduce him to local physicians, Dr. Diane Boteler and Dr. Dale Heisinger, both of whom have experience working in under-served areas of Africa and South America, respectively.  The greetings and feelings of camaraderie between these doctors was a pleasure to see.  They plan to stay in touch for possible collaboration.

HHN is joining with Dr. Richemond in public health education for the region.  Fund-raising continues in an effort to complete the clinic.  An interesting and frustrating side note:  Dr. Richemond told us that building progress has slowed due to the fact that the price of all materials has sky-rocketed since the 2010 earthquake.  Through the kindness of  Orcas supporters and a contact at Seattle University, Dr. Richemond returned to Limbé  with two badly needed microscopes and other easily transportable supplies.

Michael and Anne Karp joined us for this gathering at the Orcas Library.  Michael is the founder and CEO of A W.I.S.H. ( our fiscal sponsor.  Both he and Anne are dedicated to positive change in our world and provide for us, and others, a wealth of information and support.  They hosted us at a small al fresco dinner following the gathering which gave us a chance to talk further with Dr. Richemond exchanging ideas and possibilities for funding and training.

Through a series of happy coincidences, Rosedanie met Dudney Silla, a young Haitian-born man studying for his master’s degree at the University of Washington who was spending the summer working on the leadership project at YMCA Camp Orkila.  Dudney has expressed an interest in joining with us for some leadership training classes in Limbé.  We are eager to connect with other young Haitians willing to share their knowledge with their countrymen.  You can reach us through the “contact” button on our home page.

By the end of the first week of August, the three hardy troopers ,who had traveled to Limbé in July to teach English, were back on home turf with stories to tell.  Please visit the blog and photographs on the home page for some of their impressions.  The consensus was the the ESL classes, for both children and adults, were well attended and that progress was made.  They noted that our resident Haiti Committee was straining to collaborate and stalled in moving forward on projects.  Rosedanie has been focused on helping them gain collaborative skills, but this is difficult to accomplish at a distance and will have to wait until she or another HHN representative is in Limbé.  We have learned that, in Haiti, the path to progress begins at the ground level and must be built stone-by-stone and brick-by-brick.  We’re doing it.

One of our Orcas supporters, Gwen Stamm, spent hours over a hot stove this month making delicious jams from local fruits and honey which she’ll sell on behalf of HHN at the Orcas Artisan’s Faire the first week of December.  This is the second year of her “project preserve”, so we are doubly grateful.  Thank you, Gwen.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”  Margaret Mead

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.

June was a month of mixed success for Noramise. Our report to the Orcas Island Community, June 2nd, drew a small group of loyal supporters and enabled some good exchanges. However, a printing mix-up yielded no flyers to advertise the event which, when coupled with other community activities, meant many of our friends did not join us. Also, the promise of a video presentation fell through leaving Rosedanie to attempt putting something together in the wee hours. Finally, there was a reluctance on the part of the board to ask the community for contributions, knowing that so many are struggling. Lessons learned, and we carry on.

The primary focus for the rest of the month was on organizing volunteers for the July 18th trip to Limbé. Three Northwest residents, Jen Nichol, Dave Parish, and Nicole Vulcan, will join with in-country volunteer, Olivia Jeanne, in conducting an intensive three-week English as a Second Language (ESL) workshop for the Noramise Haiti Committee and other members of our Limbe’ family. Our efforts at obtaining at least three laptop computers for the workshop, and beyond, are ongoing. Both the ability to speak English and the access to computers will help to end the isolation of so many Haitians.

Rosedanie has been traveling to Seattle and Portland helping organize fund-raising events in support of the volunteers’ trip and also to sell the art of Tambour Creole. One of the goals of these travels has been to connect with other Haitians living in the area and to engage them in our mission. Each step is a building block toward an ever widening circle of community support.

We were so happy to welcome a visit to Limbé by Bill and Dorie Mebane. Bill is the superintendent of Aquaculture Engineering at the Woods Hole Institute in Massachusetts and has been providing us with assistance in moving forward on the project we are supporting in conjunction with the Masabiel Farmers’ Association. This visit resulted in specifics as to equipment and supplies needed. The HHN Center will be the location for incubator ponds for the Tilapia fry. We’ll soon be posting on the site a report from Bill including the list of what we need to take the next steps on this project. Go to: for more information.

A second welcome visitor was Patrick Cummings of World Water Partners who was in Limbé to determine suitability of water purifications units he and his organization had committed to donating to two local clinics. Sadly, he concluded that there is neither adequate power nor sufficient water pressure to accommodate these high capacity units so has instead recommended our pursuing the wider use of ceramic filters.

We are so grateful to these visitors for their time and their commitment to the people of Haiti.

“The sound of extreme poverty is an overwhelming silence, for the world’s very poor are unable to speak for themselves. They are unaware that their situation is even the subject of ongoing discussion. Their lives are so different from ours that a behavioral scientist might be tempted to ask whether we are all members of the same species. Our diets, reproductive rates and methods of transportation are entirely diverse. For the absolute poor, education is an unfamiliar abstraction. Their thoughts circle around survival, not of the human species in the future, but of the individual in the next hour. Somehow they have become passive objects of fate, awaiting the next blow: a killer cyclone, a flood, drought, or the advance of this or that army. Those who do endure will flow into cities, filling the spaces between buildings, trying somehow to stay out of harm’s way. Watching, waiting, in silence.” Jim Cousteau – Calypso Log 1992

The HHN work to prevent the spread of cholera continued in the region of Limbé, with Rosedanie and volunteers becoming educated in how to make chlorine, how to assemble simple water filtration units, and how to get these supplies to the greatest number of people in the shortest amount of time.  Along the way they made a connection with Haiti Village Health and its founder, Dr. Tiffany Keenan who proved to be a valuable resource.  On two Saturdays in December, Orcas Island resident, Irene Eckberg took it upon herself to raise funds for water filtration units.  This very successful effort brought in $1243 which is going toward the purchase of the components of these systems.  A heartfelt thank you to Irene and the generous people of Orcas Island.

At the same time, a program in nutrition education was begun at the HHN Center.  Malnutrition is one of the factors making the Haitian people so susceptible to the disease.  Finally, Rosedanie began oversight of a formerly unemployed and now budding teacher of English as a Second Language (ESL) at The Bethesda School.  We were able to send a few books for beginners as well as a manual for teachers.  It was gratifying to initiate these projects amidst the work to contain cholera.

Please stay tuned for more details on specific projects and how you, too, can be involved.

Another group of fine artists, The Orcas Palettes, graciously invited us to give a presentation at their October 8th meeting in Jacqueline Kempfer’s Eastsound studio.  As a result, they are collecting badly needed supplies for Tambour Creole and will soon begin a dialogue with the artists.  Another boost of recognition.

On October 13th, Rosedanie and Robin traveled to Friday Harbor to give a presentation to the Soroptimists group.  They treated us to a lovely lunch and lent us their ears as we talked about HHN and the projects underway.  An outpouring of checks and cash marked our departure.  We thank Liz Illg of Non-Profits Unlimited for arranging this opportunity and for the many ways in which she is lending us a “helping hand.”

Throughout the month, the Orcas Grandmothers have been working behind the scenes looking after Rosedanie (they even did her laundry), purchasing wind-up flashlights for distribution to the women in the camps in Port au Prince and  providing food and rest for our director as she readies herself for a five month sojourn in Limbé.

On September 12th, Rosedanie and Robin met with a group of Northwest Washington women who support the concept of micro-lending.  As a result of that meeting we received our first grant for this program.  We are very grateful for their generosity which will enable us to move forward with the program in Limbé.

The Fine Arts Committee at The Orcas Center graciously allowed us some space in their gallery where, on September 29th, we hung the balance of the art of Tambour Creole Collective.  It was on display throughout October, giving a big boost of recognition for these fine artists.

This was a month devoted primarily to organizational work with the board of trustees.  We began long range planning, worked to solidify our base of volunteers, worked closely with our bookkeeper, Janna Gingras, to create systems for receiving/dispensing funds and meaningful financial reports, and generally focused on building a solid foundation for HHN.

A call for office equipment for the HHN Limbé Center resulted in the donation of a new multi-purpose printer by Orcas computer whiz, Tony Ghazel.  Thank you, Tony!

On August 23rd we opened a show of Haitian art, primarily from the Tambour Creole Collective with whom we work, at Millie’s Antiques and Collectibles in Eastsound, WA (Orcas Island).  Millie cleared out her space and very generously accommodated the show, adding a few fine Haitian paintings of her own.  A group of wonderfully supportive local “grandmothers” worked with Rosedanie to mount and hang the various pieces.  The show was well received by the community.  It ended August 29th with a celebration in the adjacent Cottage Company garden, highlighted by food, music, and a benefit auction including works donated by Orcas artists.

Team Noramise, comprised of six Orcas Island High School students and two former graduates, together with Rosedanie and Steve Diepenbrock, began their trip to Haiti via Brooklyn, NY where Susan Daily of Chestnut Restaurant hosted a benefit.  Ms. Daily donated 50 backpacks for the children of Limbé, and her children and their classmates filled them with school supplies.  These were entrusted to the Orcas students who would deliver them.  On arrival in Limbé the team hosted the first 2-day art and sports camp for the youth of the town.  A second visit was made to Bethesda School where, with the help of Mrs. Batat’s sons and several community members aged 8 to 30, they cleaned up the back yard and built beds for a vegetable garden which the school will maintain.  Building and stocking a chicken coop is scheduled for the next Team Noramise trip.  Team Noramise also worked with a Haitian school group to clean the grounds of the local museum.

Helping Hands Noramise now has a local Haitian committee which will oversee projects when the U.S. team is not present.  Mrs. Grimard will act as Directrice, and Mr. Desronvil as Secretary of this committee.  A house was found to use as a headquarters, and through the generous support of an Orcas Islander, it was leased for one year.  This will be the place where the local committee will meet with project leaders.  It will also house the U.S. team and provide a home for a burgeoning local artists’ cooperative, Tambour Arts.  The house is three doors from the childhood home of Rosedanie.

The trash pile in the marketplace has been removed due to the influence of the Minister of Agriculture. On the final day of the trip Rosedanie, Mrs. Grimard, and Mr. Desronvil met with Mayor Celicourt Monpremier to discuss continued cleanup of the town.  Team Noramise has offered to help by providing community outreach and education on the subject.  We trust this is the beginning of a long and beneficial partnership with the local government.

On return to Orcas Island, Team Noramise made a presentation to the community at Emmanual Parish Hall on July 27th.  The team members spoke about their experiences in Haiti and what they had gained from the trip.  They presented a 30 minute slide show which received a standing ovation.  A “Golden Shoestrings” auction capped the evening and helped to defray some expenses of the trip and to support the ongoing projects.  It was concluded that the exchange between the youth of Orcas Island and the youth of Limbe’ was priceless.

The team continued its community outreach and fund-raising at various places in the U.S., including a presentation on April 14th to the Orcas Island community. Mimi Anderson and Steve Diepenbrock of Morningstar Farm on Orcas, together with Rosedanie, gave a presentation on the project on Whidbey Island which was hosted by the Sister Island Project whose work is focused on Santo Domingo. Sister Island has generously hosted the team on arrival in Santo Domingo enroute to Limbé.  Benefits for HHN were hosted in Bellingham by Julie Connell and in Seattle by Yoon’s Yoga Bliss.  Although the gatherings were small, those attending seemed truly committed to helping the work in Haiti move forward.

Yoon’s Yoga Bliss in Shoreline, Washington will be offering a 2-hour guided Vinyasa Flow Yoga Class to benefit Noramise on Saturday, June 5th.

Please see our Events page for details and call now to sign up!

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