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Haiti: OPODNE plants fruit trees as a sign of hope to people in middle of pandemic

“Unlike other organizations that sell these trees, OPODNE kept its word and did exactly as they promised  and delivered them to the community.” – Fr. Esperance Jabnel, St. Barnabas Nursery

In our first zoom meeting, over 100 of you joined our “Organizing in Haiti in a Time of Crisis” conversation. Thanks to your support, we have raised over $10,000. Through its “Conspiracy to Eliminate Coronavirus Public Education Campaign”, OPODNE is planting another sign of hope by distributing 1,000 fruit trees to leadership teams in towns across the Northeast Department. One-hundred trees in each town means 1,000 families will have something more to eat. Some trees are already bearing fruit enabling the people of Capotille to make jam. A generous donation by the St. Barnabas Episcopal Nursery in Terrier Rouge makes this possible.  Director, Fr. Esperance Jabnel, said, “Unlike other organizations that sell these trees, OPODNE kept its word and did exactly as promised and delivered them to the community.”

OPODNE is pleased to report how the funds raised through our virtual conference were used.  Under the leadership of Executive Director, Florcie Tyrell, and Phaeton leader, Dr. Clonel Louis, OPODNE

  • purchased spot announcements and did public education interviews on all local radio stations reaching over 300,000 people (cost: $1373);
  • passed out 5700 educational fliers, posted similar banners, and did megaphone announcements at public markets (cost: $561);
  • formed teams in 13 communities that trained 600 leaders to check on families and share information to prevent spread of virus (cost: $2129);
  • distributed face masks, gloves, disinfectant and washing stations directly benefiting 35,000 people in local communities ($5578); and
  • gathered for prayer, assessment, reflection to design a second phase to combat the virus.

Thanks to you, these efforts are making a difference. The Northeast Department reports the lowest positive rate of infection (31.8%) in the country. As of July 14, Haiti reported 6727 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 139 deaths and overall positive infection rate of 48%. The Northeast Department reported 100 cases and 2 deaths.

Register here for a July 31 followup webinar to learn what OPODNE has been able to accomplish with your support, and discuss the political crisis facing Haiti and the role of the U.S. government. With Haitian elections scheduled for 2021 and the possibility of a new Administration and Congress in Washington, D.C. we want to begin a dialogue about shaping a new U.S. policy towards Haiti that is rooted in the experience of grassroots organizations like OPODNE and the needs of the communities they organize.

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