Haiti Mission Trip

Haitian Orphanage School

Haitian Orphanage School Damage After 2010 Earthquake

Haitian School After The Earthquake

We're excited to report some of what The Julia Project Foundation experienced during our Haiti Mission Trip to Vingier, Haiti, on October 27 to November 3, 2010.

A team of eight volunteers and board members gave their time and resources to help complete the restoration of the orphanage school building that was badly damaged in the Haiti earthquake of January 12, 2010.

Haiti Mission Trip Team Members

The Jula Project Foundation 2010 Haiti Mission Team Members

The Julia Project Foundation

We're here at the beginning of our journey with 15 large bags of donations, as well as our small, personal carry-on bags that we limited ourselves to.

Our team members in the above photo include: (L to R) Norm Brown, Jill Carty, Sara Shebib, Maeghan Carty, Jim Carty, Sarah Edwards, Ryan Carty, Adam Shebib.

Team Member Roles

Vice-President, Adam Shebib
Advisory Board Member, Sara, Adam's wife
Treasurer at the time, Norm Brown
Volunteer, Ryan Carty
Volunteer, Sarah Edwards
Advisory Board Member, Maeghan Carty
Founder/President, Jill Carty
Founder, Jim Carty, Jill's husband

Yes, all the Cartys are related, and this was their first family mission trip.

Vice-President, Adam Shebib
Advisory Board Member, Sara, Adam's wife
Treasurer at the time, Norm Brown
Volunteer, Ryan Carty
Volunteer, Sarah Edwards
Advisory Board Member, Maeghan Carty
Founder/President, Jill Carty
Founder, Jim Carty, Jill's husband

Yes, all the Cartys are related, and this was their first family mission trip.

Haiti Mission Trip Work

What's Our Part?

Our team of eight volunteers set out with a purpose to provide humanitarian assistance in the rebuilding efforts of the school that we have been supporting since the Haiti earthquake of January 12th, 2010.

Our team was specifically involved with local Haitian workers to install electric fans and wiring, to do plaster work, and to do painting at the Haitian orphanage school.

What's Your Part?

This answer written by a team member says it best:

"Investing in education in Haiti is a key to providing long-term help. Empowering children in Haiti through education will equip an independent people to reconstruct their own country from the inside out — which will continue to offer sustainable hope long after we've left.

"We would simply like to present you with the chance to be a small part of a bigger picture by asking you to donate to help rebuild one school.

"One school, with a handful of Haitian children who need the opportunity to learn and grow into the future Haiti needs, to recover from such a devastating event."

R.I.S.E. Haiti Int.

The Julia Project Foundation team worked alongside Benite Jeune during our Haiti mission trip. Directly so, during our time in Haiti, and indirectly later from home, with financial support as funds allow.

Benite, born and raised in Haiti, attended Bible college in Canada, where he received a vision to return to his people to bring spiritual, social, and economic change to the Haitian people.

Along with his wife, Michaelle, they together run R.I.S.E. Haiti Int. (formerly called Changing Lives Ministries Int.) in Vignier, Haiti.

R.I.S.E. Haiti Int. has a strong vision to empower and equip young people to become leaders, to have hope in a seemingly hopeless environment, and to take a responsible part in bringing about social, spiritual, and economic change to the Haitian people.

Haiti Mission Trip Expenses

Our children's charity was absolutely blessed by WestJet Community Services who donated flights from Toronto to Miami for the entire team. However, there were other expenses that needed to be met by donors and by the generosity of team members themselves. This will give you an idea of the costs involved in undertaking a trip of this sort:

Flight costs to get the team members from Miami to Port au Prince and back to Miami later to make the connecting flight home with WestJet; and travel expenses from the airport to Vignier, and to transport the team to and from the compound each day.

Team members also needed to pay for hotel rooms in a town nearby Vignier. Normally, Pastor Benite could billet teams when they came to volunteer. However, because of the extensive earthquake damage, there was no safe place available.

The team also brought needed supplies of clothing, flip flops, school supplies, tools, painting suppliers, and wiring supplies. All these were extra baggage that they had to pay for.

Haiti Mission Trip Purpose

Haitian Orphanage School Before 2010 Earthquake

School Before Earthquake

Haiti Orphanage School After 1020 Earthquake

School After Earthquake

Our purpose was to assist with the restoration of the Haiti school building in Vignier that was badly damaged in the earthquake. We were asked to help with wiring, plastering, and painting. While we didn't have any electrical knowledge, we did some plastering, a lot of painting, and the laying of cement floors.

Our secondary purpose was to transport and distribute donations of clothing, hygiene packs, sports equipment, and school supplies to both the school and local community.

Haiti Mission Trip Highlights

We knew we couldn't take everyone along with us on our travel to Haiti experience, but we could positively keep in touch and share through our travel blog.

We expected Haiti travel to be somewhat of an adventure, considering the "unknowns" that we were facing. It was an unforgettable adventure that changed all the team member's hearts, and gave us a renewed compassion and love for the Haitian people.

We've highlighted some of the memorable blog posts. We invite you to read along and share in the adventure. Experience the sights and sounds of a mission trip.

October 27, 2010

Greetings from the Miami International Airport. We arrived safely, and will have a good rest and get some breakfast in the morning before readying ourselves, along with the 17 suitcases of donations, for the last leg of the journey's travel to Haiti's capital, Port au Prince.

October 28, 2010

Haitian Tent City Next To Port Au Prince Airport

Tent City Outside Port au Prince Airport, Haiti

After a fair bit of confusion and a long wait at the airport at Port au Prince because of the time-change that wasn't communicated to us properly, Pastor Benite and another driver arrived to pick us up. We enjoyed the beautiful ninety-minute ride along the coast from the airport to our destination at Vignier.

Haitian Tent City Life

Haitian Tent City Life

Many of our team were riding in the open flatbed truck behind us, enjoying the warm air, and the sights and sounds as we traveled out of the city into the countryside and through smaller villages.

Tent City On Hillside Near Port Au Prince, Haiti

Tent City On Haiti Hillside

We did anticipate evidences of the earthquake during our travel to Haiti. This initial drive revealed rubble on the streets, floating garbage in the water systems, half-fallen buildings, and tent cities in Port au Prince and on the hillsides of the outlying areas nearby.

The colorful clothing and brightly painted buildings and open air markets lend a festive contrast to the scenes of destruction.

Finally, we made it to our hotel and chatted with Pastor Benite about the upcoming week's schedule and will be ready to be picked up each morning at 7am.

October 29, 2010

The Julia Project Foundation Mission Team On-Site

The Julia Project Foundation Mission Team On-Site

We're seen here on-site with our newly made friends. Thanks for the posts from home. It's so encouraging for us all to know you're thinking of us and holding us up in prayer.

The school of 500 students sustained considerable damages, losing three of its four levels in the earthquake.

Makeshift Classroom In Haiti School

Haitian Schoolchildren In Makeshift Classroom

Haitian Teacher And Students In Makeshift Classroom

Teacher Instructing Haitian Students

Temporary Haitian Classroom With Gravel Floor

Temporary Haitian Classroom With Gravel Floor

The students are holding classes in makeshift outdoor canopied areas on gravel floors, in the upper rooms of the home and church buildings on the site compound, and nearly anywhere half-safe they can find.

Mission Team Laying Cement Pad Floors At Haitian School

Laying Cement Pad Floors At Haiti School

Today was another long workday of painting, digging, and leveling stony soil and the seemingly endless hand bucketing of cement to pour new floors in the outdoor classroom areas.

Plastering materials also had to be carried to upper levels being built, and reinforcement columns and hand railings needed to be painted. We accomplished all that Pastor Benite wanted, which was great.

We're all bone-weary, but feeling very satisfied to have helped the Haitian school so much. These are our typical day's tasks, stopping at noon for a hot lunch prepared for us at Benite's on-site home, and then working through the afternoon until 4pm.

October 30, 2010

I was in touch with our friend from Canada who's posted here in Haiti with the UN. He is working on the Cholera outbreak situation, and his team is closely monitoring Hurricane Thomas.

He hopes to visit with us tomorrow afternoon. We are good friends with his Mom and Dad from our hometown back in Canada. We hope that Hurricane Thomas does not hit too hard. Thanks for all the prayers and we are trusting God to keep us all safe and get us home again.

Tomorrow is Sunday. We're looking forward to church service tomorrow morning and the rest of the day to relax and have some free time.

October 31, 2010

Delicious Haitian Meal Of Rice, Goat And Vegetables

Typical Haitian Meal Of Rice, Goat And Vegetables

We don't have internet connections as often as we'd like, so I'm posting the best I can. Tomorrow is our last day in Haiti, so we have planned to visit families in the local community to distribute our donations. We are all looking forward to it.

My UN friend has told us to vacate the country soon because Hurricane Thomas looks as though it will strike hard, and he fears for our safety. It could bring our travel to Haiti experience to a rather unpleasant end.

The food is very good. At the hotel we enjoy traditional breakfast fair of bacon and eggs, toast, fruit and juice, and porridge. One morning they offered us spaghetti, which didn't go over too well with most of us. At other meals we have goat and chicken, rice, onions with lime, peas and beans, fried plantain, and fruit.

Among the poverty, we are blessed to have never gone hungry. The men on our team are working extremely hard, so it is good to see them well fed.

November 1, 2010

Team Member Ryan Carty Distributing Hygiene Packs In Haiti

Hygiene Pack Distribution To Haitian Community

Jim was not well enough to join the team today. We tucked him in into bed with some medication as we headed out. With the help of interpreters and a list of families known to Pastor Benite, we walked through several nearby settlements.

We met many lovely people of all ages; families and singles, elderly and young. We handed out over 120 hygiene packs we had made up earlier in the week at the hotel — a washcloth, bar of soap, toothbrush and paste, and whatever related goodies we had. We also handed out some of the clothing donations.

November 2, 2010

Haitian Schoolchildren Playing Soccer In Schoolyard

Haitian Schoolchildren Playing Soccer

On our first day at the school compound, we visited most of the classrooms to bring greetings from Canada and to hand out candy and all the school supplies that had been donated as well.

We had also brought donated soccer balls and used soccer jerseys that the students received with much excitement. Pastor Benite explained that they will now be able to organize soccer teams for the school.

Our news on Haiti report wouldn't be complete without reporting that we put funds directly into the hands of the Institution Classique Chretienne De Vignier (ICCV) school administrator, and founder of R.I.S.E. Haiti Int. (formerly called Changing Lives Ministries Inc.), Pastor Benite Jeune.

We tearfully said our goodbyes and made the drive back to Port au Prince, enjoying a different route through more towns and villages this time. We flew back to Miami, before our final flight back to Canada tomorrow, officially ending our travel to Haiti.

November 3, 2010

With Haiti and Miami far behind us, as we were traveling home from Toronto's Pearson International Airport, the question was put out to the team — would they travel to Haiti again. The resounding "YES" was not unexpected.

The Board's Haiti Mission Trip Report

Our then Treasurer and Board Member, Norm Brown, shared his thoughts when asked to make a report of our mission to our Board of Directors.

Here's an excerpt:

"The country had a natural beauty with mountains and ocean and fields. As we traveled from the Port au Prince airport, to Vignier, that landscape was pockmarked with the rubble of collapsed buildings and sprawling tent cities.

"However, the buzz of human activity in the vehicle congested streets lined with street vendors, spoke of the persistence of the Haitian people in continuing life, even in the face of such a calamity.

"I saw that persistence and enthusiasm in Pastor Benite and the school children and teachers we met on Friday. I saw it in the adults, youth, and children of the community who worked tirelessly through the heat of the day for the next four days we assisted with the physical reconstruction of the school. I believe some of that enthusiasm was sparked by our presence, by our willingness to support their fight for existence and betterment. That was good."

Our Thanks To You

Lastly, we extend our thanks to all donors who participated in our adventure by reaching out from home. Taking your donations of clothing, toys, school supplies, and finances, helped make our mission a success. You share in the caring extended to these warm and courageous Haitian people in Vignier, Haiti.

There's More To Be Done

Please make your best gift possible to The Julia Project Foundation, and reap the rewards of helping to change the lives of needy children who have little power to change things on their own.

Julia and Jill Carty, Founder of The Julia Project

Julia, our charity's namesake, and I extend a warm welcome to you.
—Jill Carty, Founder

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