Tag Archives: Haiti

An Oasis of Safety for Kids in Port-au-Prince

Jennifer Russ

The cameras and reporters may have moved on to other stories, but the people of Haiti affected by the 2010 earthquake have not been forgotten. A report from the What If? Foundation details the support that BGR’s grant has provided for the children of the Ti Plas Kazo neighborhood in Port-au-Prince: 17,000 meals over the course of six months, or over 2,800 meals per month, cooked by volunteers in a calm, safe environment that children enjoy.

The food program, known as Lamanjay in Haitian Creole, has not been without its challenges. In the first part of 2012, the program’s vehicle was inoperative. Luckily, the food program team found a man with a “tap tap” (a brightly painted independent taxi) who helped them transport the food. Another challenge has arrived along with the Haitian rainy season, which forces the cooking team to operate in a leaky temporary structure with a tarp-covered tin roof. The What If? Foundation hopes 2012 will see the construction of a new permanent kitchen and cafeteria.

Despite these challenges, the success of the program is evident in the calm order of the daily routine. Children arrive an hour before food is served to clean tables and sweep the floor with child-sized brooms. They then wait patiently for their food.  When they are finished they give up their seats to other children and take their plates to be washed. Although these children face poverty and hardships every day, Lamanjay allows them a couple of hours of safety and peace and a place where they can fill their bellies, forget their worries, and be children, if only for a little while. Continue reading

Helping Hungry Kids in Haiti

From BGR Executive Director, Kim Behan:

I would like to share the heartfelt communications from Margaret Trost, Founder of the What If? Foundation, on the occasion of the anniversary of the food program we support in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The need for these meals is still great, and many of the children coming to the food program are still living permanently in tents together with their families. For many of these children the meal they receive here is their only meal of the day.

It commonly happens that when the news disappears from the headlines, funds that would be donated to help people trapped in a crisis dry up along with the help those donations facilitate. But Buddhist Global Relief remains firm in its commitment to the poor children of Haiti. We have been supporting and renewing the food program in Port-au-Prince for the past few years and plan to continue to support it into the future. If you wish to show your own concern for the children of our island neighbor in the Caribbean, you can donate to BGR or directly to the What If? Foundation.

With metta,
Kim Behan

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