Ailish O’Reilly is Haven’s Programme Manager in Haiti, living on the island of Île à Vache. Here, in her monthly blog, she shares the latest developments from the various ongoing projects and gives a valuable perspective on the ground.
If you go anywhere, even paradise, you will miss your home
Fifteen for fifteen, it is our magic number: we get fifteen new business plans approved for the women in Chache Lavi in one day! It’s a great success and a result of lots of hard teamwork in February. The news arrives in time for 8 March, International Women’s Day. Chache Lavi aims to have real and sustainable impact on the lives of women, so we are all feeling very motivated and making real progress. The delight of the beneficiaries conveys how much this means to their lives, and we have delivered on our commitments.
The team are on a tight deadline as I am taking annual leave in March, so we only have the first two weeks to approve and put funding in place. Our partners Fondation Enfant Jesus will support the administrative requirements. I work with Girlande and Alienne to set a full agenda for the month of March. We will be launching seventeen businesses, starting Transformation training with the next group of twelve beneficiaries, and signing up our fourth group of twelve. As part of the Selection phase, the fourth group will take a medical exam.
Earlier in the year, two organisations offered to sponsor mattresses for one of the orphanages on the island. We acted as intermediary to sort out the logistics and to get them covered with a vinyl cover that is easy to maintain. They arrived on the yellow orphanage boat – 75 mattresses! – and we loaded them on a moto to be brought to the orphanage. A great gift to receive with thanks to Sow-a-Seed Foundation and Fondation Paul Gérin-Lajoie.
Art classes for the children of both l’Oeuvre Saint Francois and De Gras Orphanage are ongoing on Fridays and Saturdays for the month of March. Our funding for the 2016 year for l’Oeuvre Saint Francois is shortly due and, with everything in order, it is time for a holiday to Ireland.