Robert Harris, member of Semiahmoo Rotary and Help for Haiti Consortium, spent several weeks in August and September in Haiti working on the store front project. Following is his recent report.

White Rock/South Surrey area Rotary clubs started in 2004 to help solve the hunger, health and water situation in the Grand 'Anse Department of Haiti by providing funding and expertise.

This year, the Rotary District 5050 Help for Haiti consortium provided funding for equipping and stocking a store front at an orphanage in Jeremie. The orphanage uses the profit from the store front to pay for the housing, feeding, clothing and schooling for more than 29 children.  These children were brought to the orphanage because their parents were not able to feed them.

The children would have been at risk if they remained with their parents in the villages.

As of October 2007 there were 19 children in residence being fed, clothed and sent to school. In September 2008 there were 25 children. These children are not orphans and they will return to their families when they are able to look after themselves and contribute to their family.  The alternative was malnutrition, hunger, sickness and possibly death.

When approached Rotary District 5050 Help for Haiti Consortium approved of this as a sustainable project and was able to send $9,400 in August of the $14,000 requested toward the store front stock.  A private donation of $1,000 (Semiahmoo Rotary club member) has since been received and will be sent soon.  Additional donations from participating clubs are expected.

Semiahmoo Rotary member Nancy Shewfelt, Wellington West, was instrumental in establishing the Help for Haiti Consortium in 2004.  The consortium has contributed more that $100,000 to date for projects such as a water distribution, a flour mill construction, emergency food distribution and hand tools for villagers.

Anyone interested in finding out more about the Help for Haiti Consortium should contact Rotarians Nancy Shewfelt, Robert Harris or Jack Rae at:

District 5050 'Help for Haiti' Consortium,

c/o Wellington West Capital Inc.

101 - 1959 152 St.

Surrey BC  V4A 9E3


The Peace Arch News ran this story in more depth on Dec. 2, 2008. To read it click on this link: