2018 Building on Success
Happy New Year! Bonne Année! Bon Ane!
We hope that your 2018 has started very well. We ended 2017 with a Huge Thank You for your support and dedication to helping our sisters and brothers in the Sassier area back on their feet after Hurricane Matthew destroyed so much of their lives, belongings and communities in October 2016.
We’ll start 2018 with a look forward, to provide you with information about how we hope to build on the firm foundation that you helped us to establish last year.
Our education infrastructure at the Sassier Parish School is now in better shape than before the Hurricane – windows, doors, water pumps and tanks, electricity, etc. have all been replaced or repaired. Fortunately, there was no structural damage to our large concrete buildings with concrete roofs, where more than 2000 residents rode out the Category 4 monster storm.
In addition to paying all the teachers and staff for their great work, we’d be aiding the School Director and his team to:
- Provide age-appropriate educational equipment and materials for our 70 preschoolers (from 3 to 5 years old), including rubber matting to cover the concrete floors.
- Enhance the after-school enrichment program for 3rd, 4th and 5th graders, which focuses on Math and French language skills-critical to ensure students master these subjects. In addition learning, the students get an afternoon snack!
- Expand the capabilities of our computer lab and bring the Internet into the classroom via a new Wi-Fi system. (Special thanks to Sidley Austin for the most generous donation of laptops last year.)
We hope to be able to build a soccer field and basketball court, subject to finding the necessary funding.
Health and Nutrition
The Sassier Health Clinic is providing a larger offering of health services to the area’s residents; with particular attention to children, young adults, and women (more than 60% of the local residents are under 24). Patient visits continue to increase every month. School children get free healthcare.
For 2018, the Clinic will be focused on expanding its reach into the wider community by:
- Expanding outreach of our fight against malnutrition, including providing food for children 10 and under during school holidays and over the summer. The incidences of malnutrition increased significantly over the summer vacation when children didn’t have access to school lunches.
- Training and deploying three health agents who will visit more remote villages thereby increasing the clinic’s reach into the community.
- Implementing a dental program with particular emphasis on preventative care for students in the local schools as well as periodic visits by a dentist from the provincial capital of Jérémie to the Sassier clinic.
Next week, we’ll continue our look forward, particularly on rebuilding of homes and churches as well as the very successful Agriculture Program.