Fondwa Week 5 Update Feb 14-20

by Allison on February 22, 2010

February 14 – 20

Haiti Update: February 12-14 were national days of mourning and prayer. This was the weekend that was to be Kanavel. February 14 saw some small ra-ra’s (street rallys) throughout Port-au-Prince and Leogane.

International Organization Update: Save the Children and Fondation Feuilles d’Hier visited Fondwa for the second time to plan the child-friendly space. They hopefully will be setting up the area with a tent and latrine and equip the kids with toys and water by next Thursday.

After making contact with CARE and requesting tents for 50 people (students and professors) to sleep in during three weeks of reopening so that UNIF can finish off the last three weeks of the previous semester. CARE came to assess and gave us tents for 20 people. It’s a start?

BRAC visited Fondwa to do an assessment.

Gabriel from Sonje Ayiti distributed medical supplies and other aid in Fondwa this week. Sonje Ayiti is a grassroots organization in O-Kap.

After students did local surveys to find out how many people were victim to the quake, we sent the information to the WFP who said they were able to increase the amount of food at existing distributing sites for the student’s zones. However, the students lived too far from the existing sites and their neighborhoods were not willing to travel to get the food, so they declined the offer. This is the ever frustrating aspect of aid…knowing that it is very difficult for families to travel to get food, but also seeing the complexity of logistics to distribute in so many places – and seeing the gap in understanding between the two groups….

UNIF International Meeting: UNIF had planned to host an international meeting on the topic of UNIF as a Working College. In the face of the earthquake, we still decided to hold the meeting. However, due to travel constraints through the DR, we did not have too many international visitors. Though, we were graced with the presence of Brian McElroy, the filmmaker of the Road to Fondwa, Professor Loretta from SUNY, Fr. Marc, and Fazle Hasan Abed, the founder and director of BRAC, along with his staff. Friday and Sunday included visits of Fondwa. Saturday took place at the Hotel Auberge du Quebec in Carrefour. We spent the day together discussing what happened to UNIF, how the working-college model can help the university in the crisis, identifying our needs, and each person making individual commitments to UNIF. Any universities interested in creating mutually beneficial partnerships (i.e. with research, internship, teaching-ship opportunities), let’s start talking. We want to rebuild UNIF in a way that brings respect and dignity to the students and professors and creates lasting sustainable bonds.

Emergency Committee: We stopped meeting this week, mainly because we have nothing to discuss/distribute.
Update on cleaning UNIF: we hired people to recover items in the building but still usable. We stored them in a container in Anba Tonel. We were able to save solar panels, batteries, books, invertor, and invertor control panel.

Current Needs: TENTS! Rainy season is coming! Contact me at aadepasquale@gmail.com if you want to donate a tent.

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