A letter from Past District Governor Dick McCombe on Rotary's continuing good efforts in Haiti.
At District 7020’s Leadership Training in Miami last weekend we had the opportunity to meet with most of the members of the Haiti Task Force at once. What a great opportunity to share our thoughts and experiences through all this.
The purpose of the meeting was as follows:
To understand the most current critical needs that our Haiti Ground Team feels we must focus on medium term while agreeing to commit to a long term sustainable solution for the country to be decided after the PDNA (Post Disaster National Assessment) is completed.
We went around the table and got everyone’s input as to what we needed to do next, and how we should approach the future needs of the country. The response was amazingly consistent. In the short term we need to address the overpopulation of the schools in the various regions and do what we can to get as many of the children as possible back to school. That will involve a number of things depending on the particular region, but classroom shelters by way of tents or other structures, desks, benches, materials for those items, meals and tuition fees are at the top of the list.
We have asked each Club President through the Assistant Governor to identify one school in each Rotary Community that needs our assistance and to provide us with an exact list of what we can provide for each school to meet our objective of providing a place for schooling and social activity for the refugee children. It was also suggested that the displaced senior students and university students be used as tutors in the school system to make up for the extra students and limited additional teachers.
This will be completed by week’s end and we will evaluate based on the magnitude of the requests, and decide what we can do. We urgently need 20’ through 60’ tents for this purpose and hope you can all call someone to who might have access to one or two. They do not have to be new or any exact shape or size. Please put the word out.
We have agreed that our response for the long term sustainable recovery will depend on the competition of the PDNA and the recommendations that come from the United Nations review of that document with the international rebuilding partners. We have agreed to put forward Haitian Rotarian Kyss Jean-Mary as our representative on the PDNA committee in Port au Prince. I will send a letter confirming that to the Prime Minister of Haiti later today.
Barry Rassin will be assisting with the Rotary presence at the United Nations when the recommendations are reviewed at that level.
We asked each assistant Governor to provide us with a synopsis of their respective clubs health and to report back to me by week’s end.
Barry is following up on our proposed $50,000 contribution for seeds through the UN Agricultural Cluster. I am getting information to clarify the routing of the funds.
ROTAH, Regroupement Oeuvrant a Travers des Actions Humanitaires en Haiti will have its NGO finalized this week and will be used as our primary consignee for the relief aid we send to Haiti.
We discussed many options and possible directions for Rotary to go in the rebuilding plan and were quoted a Haitian saying which I want to share with you all.
A dog has 4 paws, but can only go one place at a time.
PDG Richard McCombeDistrict 7020