Dear Haiti friends,
There’s a nice article about Melchie Dumornay, one of the stars of the Haitian women’s soccer team, in the New Yorker magazine:
Melchie is from Mirebalais which is in the vicinity of many of our partnerships. We’ve probably seen her playing soccer! The photo below is one of my favorites from a 4-team soccer tournament at St. Pierre, Mirebalais, played
in the pouring rain and featuring the following teams: the church acolytes, the church youth group, the school orchestra, and the Scout troop. I can’t remember which two teams are playing in the picture.
In other news: Jamaica has announced that it will send police to Haiti to join a multinational force, and two other Caribbean nations will apparently commit soon. This is based upon Kenya’s offer to lead such a force. May it be the help they need.
Several of you have asked about how to communicate with friends given their need to be circumspect about their plans. Let them tell you what they want to tell or are able to tell. You might say things like:
I’m praying for you and for Haiti.
Hope you and your family are safe.
Are you able to get enough food?
Let us know how you’re doing.
Be prepared to be asked for help with applications, sponsorship, etc. If you can’t help with sponsorship, don’t make an open-ended offer, such as “Let me know anything I can do to help.” Instead, if you are willing to help a friend with direct financial assistance, you might offer to provide some funds for food from time to time. If you do, be sure to ask where the safest place would be for them to receive funds. Cindy Corell reminds me that keeping a friend’s cell phone topped up is a good way to help. You need to know the phone number and which carrier, Digicel or Natcom, they use. If they have Digicel, you can do it directly through Digicel, and Natcom is probably the same, or you can do it through Ding.com. This allows them to stay connected which keeps them a little safer, and frees up their money for other uses.
I continue to receive regular information from partnerships that are continuing to help keep schools functioning. Many, many thanks to you for your faithful friendship.