2012 Plans, Projects, Needs

"If we handle the worlds goods with one hand, we must hold fast to God's Hands with the other, often look to see if our actions please God." - St. Francis de Sales.

2012 is well underway for us in Haiti and Fr. Tom, as well as our core staff, feel the heavy weight of all that needs to be done if we are to truly run an excellent Catholic school system in Haiti's largest and poorest slum. This weight comes in the form of threats, kidnappings, angry protests from our teachers, pressure from local gang members for money or jobs, and constant arguments and fights among students and staff. The weight of stolen food and dishes, the frustration of broken down vehicles, the relentless pressure from hundreds of people wanting our help -- all these things we face as we consider our plans for "doing good work" in the year 2012.

"I feel like we are slowly moving in the right direction. The high school demands constant supervision and discipline," says Fr. Tom about the efforts to improve the St. Francis de Sales High School. "Just last month I was forced to throw out 80 students who violated our code of conduct. It is heartbreaking, but things are so volatile in the slums that our schools must be places of safety, respect and learning. Sometimes I think no one would believe me if I told them all the crazy things that happen here, so I write them down. For example, in mid January, a UN security officer came into our high school and attacked the lady who cleans our bathrooms and was grabbing her. Just last night, at 3 am, I awoke to the someone screaming my name ... it was the security company trying to find the guard who was sleeping in our truck instead of watching the house"

Elderly literacy classes after their daily meal

The difficulties, these conflicts, frustrations and harsh situations are what make our work so real and so very crucial. Any progress, no matter how small, stands out. And there has been much progress in our Becky DeWine School. Every student has a basic set of books and there are finally enough teachers and aids in our HS classrooms. We've restored order and discipline and its reflected in a happier and more productive student body.

"The students are beginning to realize that their lives can change," says Doug Campbell. "If we really love them and our purpose for the schools is to help them become young men and women with great dignity and talent and strength to make their lives better, then it's going to take some very serious and painstaking attention -- a lot of tough love and firm, loving care. The struggle for Fr. Tom and me is that culturally it seems like the Haitian people do not like to hold each other accountable."

Funds & Resources

For the first time in many years, we've spent nearly all that we raised in a given year. Since January of 2010, Hands Together received 3.1 million in donations earmarked for earthquake recovery and spent 3.4 million directly on earthquake recovery related projects. This fiscal year (July 2011 - June 2012) YTD Hands Together is spending nearly all income on Haiti projects.

"For more than a decade we've followed a very simple financial plan where we place 20% of our net income into a reserve fund that can be used at any time to help us with our mission. But this year I don't think it will happen, and that's ok. We knew this day would come," remarks Doug Campbell. "That's why we created the reserve. We knew that as we added classes each year to our school system and reached the high school level, there would be an exponential increase in spending. We are the only totally free high school in the entire country, and to follow the rules set down by the ministry of education requires us to hire many staff and pay them by the hour. This doubled our staff costs overnight. This is precisely why we created our reserve fund, to help us when we face extraordinary costs. And one thing has always been true for us, whenever we've faced great needs, even when we were not sure how we could meet them, we received the help we needed -- often from very unexpected places"

Needs for 2012

The tables below show the additional needs at our schools and project in agriculture. Thankfully, we've secured funding for our school meals and for some of our basic operational costs. But we face many pressing needs and certainly cannot meet them without the continued support from our friends and supporters.

All Becky DeWine Schools

  • Water Purification systems - (12 total) - $500 /each
  • Playground and recreation equipment - $1100/each
  • Sports Equip (basketballs, volleyballs, soccer balls, 3 bballl hoops, goals for soccer) - $1450
  • Teachers chair and desk for 127 classrooms - $195/classroom
  • Computers at all fundamental school campuses - $2200 /campus
  • Small first aid room/nurse station - $1250 /campus
  • Barbed wire on top of all perimeter walls - $850 /campus
  • Chalk and erasers for 127 classrooms - $62 /class
  • Tools for small gardens at each campus - $195 /campus
  • Gym Short & shirts - 4,500 - $17 /student
  • Tools and equipment for plant operations shop - $2000

Volel - St Ann Campus (grades 6-10)

  • Rebuild six classrooms for middle School - $62,000
  • Renovate 2 administration office - $7,200
  • Build girls/boys latrines - $14,625
  • Install athletic field with drainage - $22,000
  • Renovate existing 2 rooms for computer lab - $8,700
  • Add 21 computers and printers to lab - $9,200
  • Give jobs to residents to tear down large damaged building adjacent to new classrooms - $9,000
  • Add 500 desks and 25 teachers tables and chairs - $27,000
  • Vocational center for carpentry, welding, plumbing, computer repair etc. - $75,000
  • Install sound system - PA system - $1,400
  • Build Faculty Bathrooms - $3,800

St Franswa Campus - High School Upper Grades

  • Install & maintain large rooftop gardens - $2,300
  • Build base to hold 20 ft shipping container depot - $1,700
  • Build 4 additional latrine spaces and improve sewage system$9,000
  • Quarterly Exams - annual copying and Government fees$16,700
  • Graduation ceremony - $8,500
  • Dishes, forks, cups - 3,000 - $13,000
  • Teachers and Administrators salaries - 1 month - $18,000
  • Books for 2013 - $79,000
  • Electric Inverter/transformer for Labs etc. - $6,000
  • AV - Projector equip for Lecture Hall - $1,650
  • Ongoing teacher training summer program - $15,000
  • Purchase catechism materials and stipends for Catechists - $4,000
  • Science wing/labs - $20,000

Other Campus Needs

  • Latrines at St Jane Chantal & Msg Connolly Campuses - $8,900
  • Dishes, forks, cups - 3,000 - $13,000
  • Classroom improvements and benches - 257 classrooms - $800/class
  • books in rural schools - $30,000

Health - Medical

  • Rebuild vandalized Med clinic in Cite Soleil - $7,000
  • Mobile clinic trips to rural Haiti ( 3-5 times per month) - $575/trip
  • Purchase monthly basic meds for mobile and Boston Clinic - $900
  • Monthly Salary of Haitian Doctor and mobile clinic team - $1,800

Charity

  • Funerals, emergency food, medical needs - monthly - $1,800

Sustainable  Development/Agriculture

  • Fund salary of Agricultural technicians at Clarke farm - $14,000
  • Fund building of main farm residence house - $125,000
  • Salary for Farm Manager - $35,000
  • Funds for 2012 peasant training at Clarke Farm - $13,000
  • Repairs and fuel for the irrigation system in Bassen - $8,000
  • Charcoal Briquette sustainable development project - $75,000
  • Tree planting and reforestation activities - $15,000
  • 22 Environmental weekends for school children - $30,000
  • Subsidize fuel for irrigation to 250 farms - $700/month
  • Mango forest production and marketing - $18,000
  • "small shop" commerce for 50 individuals - $500 loans to create commerce in local markets - $29,000
  • Purchase pick-up for coordinator of Briquets and "small shop" projects - $30,000
  • Purchase additional land for our Clarke farm to add goat and livestock farming - $18,000

HT Base, Operations and Staff

  • Build  a central kitchen for all feeding in P-au-P - $47,000
  • Build  new chapel - $38,000
  • Repave parking area and install drainage and steps - $13,000
  • Monthly Maintenance on vehicles - $1,100
  • Small auto garage and tools for repairs - $14,000
  • Central administrative housing loan program - $75,000
  • Monthly staff salarie:s P-au-P & Gonaives - $49,000