The food program has relocated
Posted Oct 13th, 2011
Dear Friends of the What If? Foundation,
I recently returned from Haiti, where I was again touched by the joy and hope the programs we fund inspire in the lives of so many children, and have important news to share with you.
First, our Haitian partners just relocated the food program. Faced with the need to move it out of the rectory building with just a few days notice, they moved it to a temporary site near the property we purchased last year. The story of the move, which you can read about below, illustrates yet again the resilience and creativity of our Haitian partners.
Second, I’m excited to introduce you to the team we are working with on plans to build a neighborhood school and cafeteria on the new property. Two members of the team, who are affiliated with Builders Without Borders, joined me for part of my trip to Haiti. After site visits and meetings with our Haitian partners, they are excited to be working on preliminary designs.
Finally, I want to let you know that, thanks to your donations, at least 200 young people received What If? scholarships for this school year. Despite large increases in tuition costs, we’re thrilled that all the students we sponsored last year who did not graduate will be able to continue with their studies.
I welcome you to read more about these exciting developments below. Thank you to each one of you for your interest and continued support — we could not do it without you!
Executive Director, What If? Foundation
The food program just moved to a temporary location
As anticipated, the time finally came for our Haitian partners to relocate the food program from the St. Clare’s rectory building, which was its home for more than 11 years. (The new priest of St. Clare’s is using the space for other purposes.) In mid-September, with just a few days’ notice, the cooking team moved the 7 enormous stoves along with all the stored food and cooking supplies out of the rectory building and into a temporary structure they built on the side of the house of one of the cooks. In just 3 days they completed the move and created a whole new food program system.
Although the kitchen and serving areas are temporary, due to their location and the simple building materials used, I am happy to report that the program is running smoothly. Click here to see some of the photos I took of the new food program in action.
The cooking team is now preparing an average of 1,000 meals each weekday at the new location. About 800 meals are served to children. Some 200 meals are then served to hungry adults. Click here to read more about the move on our website.
The team that is helping us build the new school and cafeteria
As you may know, the What If? Foundation purchased land in 2010 after receiving word from the new priest of St. Clare’s that we would need to relocate the food and education programs from the rectory building. After researching many options, we are delighted to have found the ideal team to partner with to build on the land. The team includes architect Martin Hammer, engineer Henri Mannik, and builder Andy Mueller.
The members of this team are all affiliated with Builders Without Borders (BWB), an international network of builders dedicated to natural and culturally sensitive building. They have demonstrated respect for Haitians and Haitian culture while working on previous projects in Haiti, and are committed to using local labor and expertise as well as local materials wherever possible.
With their involvement, the vision we share with our Haitian partners of building a neighborhood school and a cafeteria (that will feed the students and other hungry children) is closer to becoming a reality. Click here to read more about the building team (2 members of which are pictured here with Lavarice) and preliminary plans for the project on our website.