MABE Orphanage -- Port au Prince, Haiti

MABE Orphanage -- Port au Prince, Haiti

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Leisa's Haiti Journal #2, July 2013 -- "Good luck do good and don't let nobody get u down."


"Good luck do good and dont let nobody get u down."

Haiti Journal #2 July 2013
Dear Friends,                                                                        
Our heartfelt thanks goes out to those of you who have already donated for the July 2013 Student Trip To Haiti. It’s not too late! You can donate online: http://coalitionfordemocracyinhaiti.blogspot.com/ or send me a little note with a pledge to Childrenshope@live.com
To fill 18 duffles, we reached out again to our Marshall Hospital’s angels. These women salvage, collect and donate surplus new supplies that not only find their way to Haiti but to Honduras as well. The El Dorado County Health Department donated over 1,000 condoms to Children’s Hope. We also purchased three cases of pharmaceuticals, 37 pair of new leather school shoes (thank you PayLess Shoe source for the huge discount), a variety of sports equipment, a new laptop, and a few clothes and toys. In short, we are stuffing all we can into this trip.
The packing has swamped my dining room - and I keep finding donations I didn't know had come in. Just this morning, when everyone else was still asleep, I set to filling duffle bags. Then, I spotted two small bags with some children's handwriting poking out. A little brown note tucked inside a zip lock bag with four crayons, a pencil, pen, eraser and a glue stick read:
"Good luck do good and dont let nobody get u down."

I poked around the bag and discovered it came from children at the Stockton YMCA. Stockton. I teach in Stockton. I have students who are afraid to do the volunteer work I require at that same Stockton YMCA. Yet, these Stockton kids saved their pennies, bought a gift for some child in a different slum, half way around the world, in Port au Prince, Haiti.

One of the best things about this work is that it tends to put a bigger frame around our own social location. It helps me put into perspective just what it means to be advantaged and just what solidarity means. Thanks for being one of those rare souls who lives in solidarity.

"Good luck do good and dont let nobody get u down."

This little scrawled note reminded me of a story I told I recently at a UN associates meeting.
We found this young man sitting on a bucket just a few days after the 2010 earthquake devastated most of Haiti. He seemed quite peaceful considering his circumstance. He had just lost his entire family, crushed in the quake, along with the family home and business. Basically, all he had left in the world was the bucket he sat on.
Yet, he was calm, even peaceful.
He explained that for those three days following the quake, he had been absorbed with trying to understand how he had come to be so fortunate, why – simply - he had lived when so many of his friends and all his family had died. 
He had finally come to the conclusion that he must have been meant to survive for a purpose. That purpose, he assumed must be to serve those less fortunate than himself.
Less fortunate.
Like those children in Stockton who wish that children in Haiti will have good luck, and that they will strive to do good, but most of all that they don’t let “nobody get u down,” this young man sees himself as fortunate. 
That we all can see how we are fortunate, that we all will continue to do good, and that we will remember not let “nobody get u down,” is my hope for us all.
Thank you for your continued support of the work we try to do with Children’s Hope.
Peace,
All ways and always,
Leisa

Prof. Leisa Faulkner, University of the Pacific
Executive Director, Children's Hope

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Leisa's Haiti Journal #1 -- July 2013

“Seven Students Head for Haiti With Children’s Hope”
Dear Friends,

Fans whirl madly as our new puppy busies himself taste-testing each duffle bag. Braving the heat of our donated storage space (thank you kind neighbors) we are crazy with delight knowing we have luggage space for 1800 pounds of medical and school supplies. The July 2013 Children’s Hope team leaves for Haiti in less than two weeks. Which means its time for me to place our prescription drug order, and for me to ask for help reaching that “1800 pound” goal.

Your generosity has been steady and unwavering. When the devastating 2010 quake killed more than 300,000, your generous donations to Children’s Hope literally saved lives.

At that time, the UN added to an already excessive military force with troops from Nepal who unintentionally introduced cholera to the island. Without clean drinking water, the unchecked cholera epidemic continues to kill - more than 8,000 dead and rising. Hopefully, public pressure will motivate the UN to accept responsibility to build a water purification system, but for now, the cholera rages. With your help, Children’s Hope teams have provided constant support to small free clinics in “dangerous red zones” where larger aid organizations won’t go, like into Cité Soleil.

Now, with the packing, I’ve found my mind drifting to the small clinics, schools and orphanages we support. I see the faces and feel the fevered touch of a child’s hand, as if my hand has a memory of its own. Yesterday, while watering deckflowers I used the hose to wash down remnants of our puppy’s failed attempts to make it “to the ivy” in time. I was suspended for a moment, cold clean water bouncing off the deck, as I came face to face with our privilege. I was really using precious, clean, safe drinking water to wash off puppy’s failures. I felt obscene for that moment as I recalled those waiting, hopeful Haitian children.

I know we can’t bring safe, clean drinking water (the best preventative for cholera) to all the children in Haiti, but we can buy a truck-load of water for MABE Orphanage. I know we can’t give every hungry child in Haiti a nutritious meal even once a day, but we can bring children’s vitamins to The Lamp Clinic in Cité Soleil. We can take a team of young, earnest volunteers to visit the rural health clinic and into Port au Prince to hold acutely ill babies at Mother Teresa’s hospital for infants. This we can do. This we have been doing since 2004, but only with your help.

This year, we are out-numbered by seven hardworking student team members who have worked the better part of one year raising their own travel expenses and in-country costs. I am so proud of them. Please don’t let them go in empty handed. Consider making a donation to Children’s Hope (address below) so that we can launch these young adults into a lifetime of commitment to service. Thank you in advance for your continued solidarity.

For your convenience, you may also donate online by hitting the "donate" button at the top of this page.

Your donations are tax deductible. EIN: 20-2863867

Peace,
All ways and always, Leisa

Children’s Hope
3025A Cambridge Road, Cameron Park, CA 95682
lfaulkner@pacific.edu