Going Back to Haiti - Request for Support

I plan on going back to Haiti for 5 weeks in January and volunteering with two organisations, AMURT in Port-au-Prince and Noramise in the North; I am fundraising to make this work possible.  At the heart of this, is my desire to support the rebuilding of Haiti, based on a vision of sustainable development that takes care of people and the land. 
In Port-au-Prince (PAP), my intention is to train some of AMURT's facilitators and community leaders to deliver 1-day introductory trainings on permaculture(ecological design) and 1-day intro trainings on Nonviolent Communication.  Learning to design communities, gardens and businesses in harmony with nature, and engaging all community members with communication and conflict resolution practices that uphold respect and solidarity, I believe, are essential tools towards a brighter future for Haiti.  In Limbé, in the North of Haiti, I plan to work with the Helping Hands Noramise project, a small, grassroots non-profit focused on sustainable economic and educational growth (check out the video!).
When we were in Haiti in May (check out our blog and photos), we delivered two workshops on how to compost and start keyhole gardens in two camps in PAP.  I left with seeds of hope and possibility.  I realised how much more I wanted to and could contribute.  
1.3 million people are living in camps in PAP after the January 2010 earthquake.  The annual per capita income in Haiti is less than $400.  The people we met in the camps needed clean water, food, appropriate shelter and livelihood, and the land we walked upon needed for restoration and regeneration. 
As I hear about friends and colleagues working on community education to prevent the spread of cholera in Haiti, I am reminded of the importance and urgency of efforts in all of these areas.

Check out the LATEST NEWS ON MY FUNDRAISING for these projects.
We've raised over $4000 - getting close to the goal of $5300!  Thank you! (A number of donations came by cheque and Interac, and unfortunately, they don't show up in the red box.)

I'm really grateful to have the opportunity and ability to contribute and be of service in this way.  If you feel moved by this work and would enjoy offering your support, I would deeply appreciate it.  
You could contribute in a number of ways.  Please consider:

  • Making a monetary donation.  Financial support helps make this trip possible for me and supports the two organisations. 
  • Providing certain items for Noramise (see below).
  • Sharing this webpage - via email, Facebook, Twitter, or your blog, and telling your friends.
  • Copying the "ChipIn widget" (red box below) to your own website.  (Click on the "Copy this widget" button above the orange "ChipIn" button.)
  • Sending your support and well-wishes in the form of emails, "good energy" and prayers. 

I've chosen to work with these organisations because of their relationships with the local communities, their long-term investment in Haiti, and their size. 
AMURT has been in Haiti for over twenty years, and their child-friendly spaces in camps in PAP benefit 4000 children.  Helping Hands Noramise was founded by a Haitian-American woman who returned to Haiti in 2009 to give back to her family's hometown; as a very small grassroots organisation, it means that very little overhead allows the bulk of their funds to benefit Haitians.
To help you see what you are supporting and to follow my journey, I plan to blog as regularly as possible while I am there.
I have no funding for this work and am relying on the contributions of individuals and businesses to make this possible.  As I'll be taking 5 unpaid weeks off work to volunteer in Haiti, I'm fundraising to cover some of my expenses.  I've also decided to raise extra funds for the two organisations to further support their work.  While in PAP, my lodgings, food and local transportation will be covered by AMURT; while in Limbé, my lodgings will be covered by Noramise.
Here's what I'm fundraising for:

  • The first $1400 of funds raised will go towards: my flights (between home and PAP, and between PAP and Limbé); food and local transportation in Limbé; and emergency medical insurance.
  • The next $900 raised will go towards a personal stipend (to help cover some expenses at home while not earning any income).
  • The next $1500 will be donated to Helping Hands Noramise.
  • The next $1500 will be donated to AMURT.
  • Any additional funds will be split three ways between Noramise, AMURT and funds for my next trip hopefully in 2012.

(Amounts above are in Canadian dollars.)

Monetary donations can be made by:

  • Secure payment through the "ChipIn widget" (red boxes on this page), which uses Paypal.
  • Or, by Interac email money transfer (you can do this via online banking with many financial institutions).
  • Or, if you prefer to send a cheque, please email me at bonitaford{at}gmail{dot}com for my mailing address.

Canadian tax receipts will be issued through the Perth Civitan Club.  Please email me at bonitaford{at}gmail{dot}com, and I can send more details.
Please note, however, that each tax receipt would cost me a processing fee of 10% per donation.  So, if you do not require a tax receipt, all of your donation would go directly to the fundraising.
I plan to collect and bring the following items with me for Helping Hands Noramise:

  • water purifying tablets
  • oral rehydrating salts
  • airline miles
  • surgical gloves, masks, shoe covers, gowns

As we approach the winter holiday season, if you are thinking of a meaningful gift for someone in your life "who doesn't need anything", I invite you to consider making a donation on their behalf. For donations above $100, I would be happy to send a card with a photo to your family member or friend, describing the gift that has been made for them.
Rosedanie Cadet, the director of Noramise says "the local hospitals are receiving 12-15 cases daily and are running out of supply and personnel. if you know any medical personnel interested and available to travel to haiti now, please pass this info along." 
In PAP, among other projects, AMURT has developed an Integrated Healing and Education Center (IHEC) at the SINEAS IDP camp.  The IHEC consists of 11 pavilions and 22 classrooms, 10 composting toilets, 8 rainwater catchment systems, a reservoir, a composting site, a tree nursery, a permaculture demonstration site and organic garden.  820 children attend the preschool and after school programs.  The vision for this center is that it be replicable in other camps.  Youth and women's leadership are a main priority for AMURT.
The director of Helping Hands Noramise is in Limbe, working on educational outreach in the communities to stall the spread of cholera. With volunteers earlier this year, Noramise worked with the community to install gardens, tend swales, start a compost, improve drainage for a community well, provide school supplies for over 50 students and tools to a new woodworkers collective.
Bonita Ford has an M.A. in Holistic Health Education from John F. Kennedy University in California, and a B.Sc. in Biochemistry from Queen's University in Ontario.  Bonita has led workshops and groups worldwide for over eight years, including in Budapest, Soweto, Port-au-Prince, San Francisco, Seattle, New Mexico, Vermont, Toronto, Ottawa and Perth.  As a facilitator and coach, she incorporates ecological principles from permaculture, Nonviolent Communication, and body-centred learning.  Bonita is passionate about personal, social and ecological transformation.  Click here to read more about Bonita's work.

May you be touched by Love, kindness, generosity and gratitude, every day.
In Love and Community,


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