Atlanta Residents Travel to Haiti to Inaugurate Development Projects

Residents from the Atlanta-area communities in Grand Boulage, Haiti.

Residents from the Atlanta-area communities in Grand Boulage, Haiti.

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COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (Dec. 12, 2012) – Embraced by students at Lycee Charles Belair School in Arcahaie, Haiti, Paula Adesokan reflected how just two and a half months earlier she and her husband committed to fund the school’s water project at Food For The Poor’s Dreams Across The Sea Gala in Atlanta. She was astonished to witness how their gift of life-giving water already was available to approximately 2,000 grateful students.

The Adesokans attended the gala as guests when they learned about the nonprofit’s mission to provide clean drinking water to children and their families in Haiti. Paula Adesokan was part of a group of 12 from Atlanta-area communities to travel to Haiti, December 4-6, to inaugurate several water projects and a community center built in collaboration with Food For The Poor.

“For nearly a mile we danced our way into Vialet, stopping to see the water filtration system funded by Water-Life-Hope,” said John Beasley, a partner at JF Beasley, LLP. During the trip Beasley posted photos on the group’s travel blog.

Atlanta attorney Amanda Farahany was inspired to raise money to build a community center for residents in Vialet, when she visited the village in Dec. 2011. A year later, she and the group were welcomed back by a marching band and grateful residents holding signs that read, “Justice at Work a project of Food For The Poor.”

At the inauguration of the center, Farahany gave a heartfelt address commending the residents for their strength. The Association de Peches des Deuxieme Plaine (ADP) is the community group that will supervise the care of the community center.  

“The Haitian people inspire hope in me,” said Farahany, a partner at Barrett & Farahany, LLP. “Their daily struggles are so great, and yet they celebrate life with joy and love. And with each visit here, I can see how the Haitians have used our helping hand to lead themselves to the next level of self-sufficiency.”  

Food For The Poor donors Edward and Patricia Buckley also traveled to dedicate the water treatment unit they raised the money to install in Vialet. The unit provides approximately 1,500 residents access to life saving water. The Living Water Treatment System, manufactured by Water Missions International, treats up to 10,000 gallons each day and helps to prevent the spread of waterborne illnesses.

“Throughout history, the Haitian people have had to make do with what they had,” said Beasley. “Today in Vialet, a place I visited on one of my first trips, I saw that resilience and determination multiplied by the compassion of Food For The Poor and Water-Life-Hope donors.” 

The next stop for the group was Grand Boulage. Schoolchildren sang welcome songs as the group arrived at the top of the mountain, 2,000 feet high, to dedicate the 25,000 gallon concrete cistern. Hundreds from the community gathered to praise God and celebrate the water project that will serve approximately 10,000 families. The people of Grand Boulage lined up to assist group members as they walked the steep, rocky slope to the stream where the 25,000 gallon reservoir will pump the fresh water to the neighboring communities. Children ranging in age from five to 12 marched up the mountain with water buckets balanced on their heads.

The installation of this water project guarantees children access to safe drinking water, allowing them to spend more time in the classroom learning, rather than walking miles to gather water to drink and cook with that might be contaminated.

“For it is our belief that the right to clean drinking water is the most fundamental of human rights, for without clean drinking water we cannot fully exercise our other God-given rights,” said Edward Buckley, President of Water-Life-Hope and partner at Buckley & Klein, LLP. “For example, a child can’t enjoy her right to education with parasites roiling in her belly because she does not have clean drinking water. A woman can’t engage in commerce if she has to spend five hours a day hunting for clean water and bringing a five gallon bucket back to her home only to repeat the same thing the next day.”  

Water-Life-Hope has partnered with Food For The Poor on a new project to drill 200 artesian water wells in Haiti. To support the initiative, please make checks payable to Food For The Poor and include the special source code “SC# 88473” so your donation may be tracked to the initiative. Donations may be mailed to Food For The Poor, 6401 Lyons Road, Coconut Creek, FL 33073. All gifts are tax-deductible. Online donations can also be made through the charity’s secure website at www.FoodForThePoor.org/200.

Travelers included Paula Adesokan (Buckhead), John Beasley (Watkinsville), Simone Beasley (Watkinsville), Edward and Patricia Buckley (Decatur), Christopher Curry (Atlanta), Amanda Farahany (Atlanta), Verlyn Foley (Alpharetta), Gina Fraiser (Alpharetta), Nekeidra Frederick (Alpharetta), and Garvin Stewart (Alpharetta).

Food For The Poor, named by The Chronicle of Philanthropy as the largest international relief and development organization in the nation, does much more than feed millions of the hungry poor in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicines, educational materials, homes, support for orphans and the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance, with more than 96 percent of all donations going directly to programs that help the poor. 

For more information, please visit www.FoodForThePoor.org.

Jennifer Leigh Oates
Public Relations
(954) 427-2222 x6054
jennifero@foodforthepoor.com