Haitian Earthquake Project

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The massive earthquake in 2010 killed more than 220,000 people and affected about one-third of the Haitian population. You may not be aware that almost 4,000 schools were damaged or destroyed and an estimated 1.2 million children and youth were affected. The United Nations estimated that there were over 380,000 orphans in Haiti before the earthquake and more children were left with no family to care for them following the disaster. Many children in Haiti live in camps and many others live in slums.

As if the 2010 earthquake was not devastating enough, people are now coping with the impact of Hurricane Sandy and other storms that further damaged the country. Unfortunately, Haiti is one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world. 80% of the population lives in poverty, unemployment rates are very high, and half the population is illiterate.

We believe that education is an incredibly important determinant of a child’s potential to escape poverty in Haiti.

In 2010, we made a commitment to educate 100 poor children in grades K-12 in remote rural areas of Haiti. We worked with a local organization by the name of Fonkoze, which means “Shoulder to Shoulder” in the Haitian dialect.

We are seeking your support and assistance in helping us build a school in Haiti. Over the years, the Give Something Back International Foundation and volunteers have built eight new classrooms and two new libraries and renovated numerous schools, libraries and dormitories in poor rural areas of Northern Thailand.

We want to draw upon the experience from our previous successful school building projects to build a school to help children in Haiti. We have a deep belief that schools provide a crucial sense of normalcy and security in the aftermath of a disaster. In addition to the benefits of an education, reopening a school helps put the lives of children back on track and helps provide parents with time to address their harsh living conditions and find work.

We have conducted research and have been engaged in dialogue and planning with other development organizations and volunteers. Haiti is a very complex operating environment and there are extensive challenges involved in making a difference. Many organizations continue to help Haiti rebuild, but progress is slow.

Partnering with other organizations, we are developing a plan to build a multi-classroom school designed for stability and strength to endure earthquakes and hurricanes. In working with others, we are in the process of designing a school that can be built relatively quickly and utilize locally sourced materials from Haiti and the Dominican Republic. As with our previous building projects, in addition to our volunteers, we plan to enlist local people to participate in all stages of construction. As we have done in the past, we also plan on providing books and educational supplies upon completion of the project.

We estimate the total cost of the construction will be approximately $25,000. 100% of all donations to the “Haiti School Building Project” go directly into building the school. All other work will be done by and paid for by volunteers.

To help support this effort, you can make a tax-deductible donation by electronic donation or check.

Donate

If you are interested in participating by volunteering to assist in the building of the school, please complete the registration form.

Volunteer

In 2005 when the horrific Asian tsunami devastated so many lives, with the support and generosity of our donors, we were able to make a significant difference in a fishing village in Khao Thong in the Krabi province in Thailand. For two years, we provided support for rebuilding efforts that helped many children return to school and initiated an effort with the parents and village elders to ensure this project was self-sustaining. We look forward to using these learnings in Haiti.

2005 Thailand Tsunami Project

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In 2005, the GSBI Foundation received contributions from donors as many chose to channel their sadness into action and set out to make a difference in the lives of some of those devastated by the tsunami disaster. The scale of human tragedy in South Asia was sometimes beyond our ability to completely fathom. It became clear, though, that the disaster was beyond the scope and capability of any one organization or government to address fully. We were committed to do what we could within our area of expertise and experience to help educate children who have suffered.

After a thorough review of the needs in Thailand related to the tsunami, we developed implemented a plan that made a sustainable difference in the lives of some of the tsunami victims. GSBI decided to concentrate support on one village–Khao Thong, in the Muang District, in the province of Krabi, which was heavily damaged from the tsunami.

We decided to work as partners with two highly respected non-profit Thai organizations, The International Support Group Foundation and the Population and Community Development Association. This work was part of a community-based project where those that live in the village play a key role in the planning and implementation of the needed assistance.

The project focused on the post-emergency activities that were required for the villagers to put their lives back together and return, as much as possible, to normal. The tsunami struck this small village of 657 people with such suddenness that the survivors had no time to save anything except their lives. The fishermen, farmers, laborers, and other poor villagers are trying to rebuild their small businesses and livelihoods as well as their homes, with minimal or no savings and little access to credit. Through the generous support of our donors, we provided support to needy children in the village for two years and provided books and supplies to the school.