As we continue to move forward with the Starfish program and its long list of needs, we have decided it is necessary to sit down on a monthly basis and decide where our focus will be for the month to come. These decisions are made around a table with Sarah, Francia and myself (all three are part of the leadership team at Tytoo) along with the godmothers of the Starfish program (click here to learn about the godmothers).
In the months of February and March the goals were to find better housing for Olnite and Jasmine plus see the completion of a water cistern project for Bernadette. We praise God as Jasmine was blessed with a new home and will be able to bring her children back from extended family to live with her. We were also able to celebrate with Bernadette as she bought her first truck of water for her water cistern. Bernadette lives in a new development of houses, but the development has no water source and people in the area walk up to a mile round-trip for a single bucket of water. Bernadette came to us with the idea of building a large cistern so she can sell water to people in the village. Yesterday, during the Starfish meeting, she excitedly told us that someone had bought her entire first truck of water so she could share water with all of her neighbors. She explained, “I knew this cistern would give glory to God, but I didn’t know it would happen so quickly!” The physical cistern was built as a gift from donated funds to Touch of Hope and we give ownership to Bernadette, as she will pay back the costs of the laborers. We can’t wait to see what God will do with this business and through Bernadette!
During the month of March, we also trained four new women how to make hand embroidered cards for Rosie’s boutique. The cards are able to provide a fair wage to eight employees and we can’t wait to see what God will also do through this job creation initiative. For more information about the cards and how to purchase them or sell them, send e-mail to email@example.com.
Last week I was able to treat Sarah, Francia and the godmothers to dinner at a new pizza restaurant near Simonette. We strategized and discussed new goals for the month of April.
Our priorities for the month to come:
- Find funding to give Emilienne, Imyolene and Olnite small business loans as the three of them have come up with business plans that include catching and selling fish, selling pate (a local pastry) and selling items for doing laundry.
- Repairing Gertrude’s house – the funding for this has graciously been provided!
- Find funding to build Olnite and Marilene new homes
*Olnite’s extended family lost everything during Hurricane Matthew back in October and has slowly been moving to find family who didn’t suffer loss from the hurricane. Olnite has graciously taken in four extended family members, plus her mother. Providing Olnite with a new home will allow her to provide a safe shelter not only for her and her four children, but also to her extended family members who now live with her.
*Marilene is the mother to five children; the youngest two are twins who no longer live with her because her living situation is not safe for them. Without a bed or dry floor, the young twins struggled to stay healthy and Marilene had no choice but to move them to live with an extended family member. Providing Marilene with a new home will allow her family to be together under one roof!
It has been put on my heart to write these priorities down and to share them with our Touch of Hope supporters. I know so many of you want to help, but you’re not sure what that looks like. So, here they are, our most immediate needs. May this list, these names and their stories be the visual you need if you’re looking to get involved with Touch of Hope!
I sincerely pray over these needs and I trust the Lord will move hearts so the funding may be provided to allow lives and hearts to be transformed in Haiti as well.
For more information on the Starfish program and its goals, click here.
Have questions or want more information on the women in the program, send an inquiry email to firstname.lastname@example.org
To donate, click here.
Love from Haiti,
(These stories, photos and names have been shared with permission from the individuals mentioned above.)