By Sarah Comstock
The King Center property that Project Living Hope purchased last Fall is located just a half-mile from Route 1. For all intents and purposes, this is the only passable road between the Northern city of Cap-Haitian and the capital, Port-au-prince. This makes the location ideally situated. The ease of access it has to many major cities will, in the unfortunate event of a disaster, mean we are in the best place to make the greatest difference.
When we bought the land, we made an agreement with the farmers and the City that they would carve out a wider, more drivable road between Route 1 and our property.
Until this week, there was a just a small footpath leading off the dirt road through the town of Camp Marie to our property. But this week, they started road construction!
Through her government connections, the mayor of Camp Marie, Marie Lourdes, made arrangements to get the necessary equipment, and the community members worked together to make this possible. We are excited for this new development because we have a construction team heading down in August. We will now be able to get vehicles, large equipment and constructions supplies to our property more efficiently.
If you’ve been with us to Haiti, talked to a PLH board or staff member, read previous blog posts, or been to a fundraising event, we hope you see we are taking a different approach to the ministry of poverty alleviation. Where many, well-intentioned organizations fail is that their donations and assistance create a cycle of dependency that keeps the people they are serving coming back for more. There is a time and place for relief aid that provides for the immediate needs of the people we are working with. In the case of a natural disaster or a similar crisis, relief is the right help. To really be successful, however, we must move into a partnership role with the people we are serving.
We must focus our efforts on long-term development, rather than immediate relief. Which is why we are partnering with the community members to work together on this project.
They are starting excavation on the road, then we hope to bring in professionals that can train them to build drainage and pave the road. Without their involvement, the King Center will only ever be Project Living Hope’s project. But with their efforts, this will be Camp Marie’s project. We are taking the time to build relationships, get to know the strengths and weaknesses of the community members, and work with them to accomplish the goals that are best for them. We are joining their community!
As progress continues to move forward, we have new needs and prayer request that we are hoping you, our Champions, can help us with:
We have a construction team going down in August but are still looking for a few more team members. Do you have experience or know of someone who has experience in construction, operating heavy equipment or training others to do so? Our plan for August is to clear a portion of the land that we plan to build on and to start putting up fencing on our property. We would love your help with this. We have a second construction trip scheduled for the first week in December. If August is too soon for you but you would still like to help, consider signing up to go in December. Learn more here.
Although the road is starting to take shape, we will need some help making it better. We need to set up a drainage system to make sure that the road stays as dry as possible during the rainy season and we are also considering paving it or adding gravel. Your prayers and support in this regard would be helpful. Do you have skills in this area or do you know of an individual or a company who might be interested in helping us with the road? Email us.
- Finally, please pray for the community leaders, including the mayor Marie Lourdes. Pierre Descieux, our Director of Operations in Haiti, has been in regular communication with Mrs. Lourdes and other community members. Pray that these relationships will continue to flourish as we work together.