Incredible News!

Message from Etienne Francois to Jim Shaw on 2/09/23:

“Good evening my friend how are you? We are back in Les Cayes after two days in a mission to repair 7 wells. Now the community of the Les Anglais area are getting clean water!  People are expressing their love and gratitude to you all and also I delivered I-V’s, medicines, hand sanitizers, bleach, HCl, oral rehydration solution packets, and spray bottles.  Both to the clinic of Les Anglais and also to the school.”

From Jim:

“I am so excited to hear that our friends in Les Anglais now have some tools to keep people from dying and to help them keep from getting the deadly disease.
Thank you to all those who have given our foundation the resources to respond to this disaster and give the Les Anglais community some hope and tools to respond to the Cholera Outbreak there. Now we can hopefully go back to our projects of Goat Programs, Water Tank Distribution Programs, and Agriculture Assistance Programs.”  

Striking Back at Cholera

Cholera has struck the Les Anglais area, sickening and killing many people.

The Haiti Ap Grandi board of directors met with Etienne on Sunday, Feb 5 via Zoom to discuss the cholera outbreak in and around Les Anglais and the specific ways we can help those suffering from cholera and reduce further transmission of this deadly and very contagious disease. It is treatable and preventable, but only if clean water, medical treatments, and supplies for cleaning and sanitation are available.

Conditions are ripe for a cholera epidemic:
– Many wells were broken during the 2021 earthquake and the landslides caused by the hurricane that followed soon after. We have for years funded the digging and maintenance of many of these wells, but have so far been unable to get the parts and contractors needed to repair them.
– The area around Les Anglais has received almost no rainfall for the last 5 months, so people can’t collect rainwater and the rivers have turned to muddy trickles.
– Many people have no choice but to drink water from the contaminated rivers.
– The population in and around Les Anglais, as for most other rural towns, has increased greatly due to people moving out of Port Au Prince.
– Medications, cleaning and sanitation supplies, and other necessities are scarce due to port and road blockages, in addition to continuing global supply chain issues.

Madan Monique Girard (aka Madam Pastor), Superintendent of Schools at the Les Anglais MEBSH church with over 700 grade school and high school students, told Etienne that two of their children died last week. The school is in desperate need of basic supplies including bleach, gloves, water purification tablets, and rehydration solution to contain the spread of the disease. The clinic across the street from there that serves a large area around Les Anglais has also run out of supplies and medications. We asked Etienne if there are NGOs that could give or sell us supplies, but there are none that serve as far west as Les Anglais.

Based on the information he collected, Etienne recommended two actions to immediately save lives:

  1. Repair as many wells as possible: Providing safe water to people is of utmost importance. Etienne has been in communication with IPD, the well digging contractor we have engaged in the past. They are available now and have parts, and will meet Etienne in Les Anglais on Wednesday, Feb 9 to begin work. Etienne plans/hopes to repair the wells at the clinic, near the beach village, and in Digue, and any others they can.
  2. Buy supplies for the Les Anglais church & school: The cleaning and medical supplies they need are available at stores in Les Cayes. He will buy them and deliver them to Madan Girard to help stop the disease from spreading within the school.

The Board authorized Etienne to spend up to $10,000 of the money we wired him last week (see our previous post) on well repairs and medical, cleaning, and sanitation supplies.
We will replenish the agronomy projects’ funds later.

Photo Update: Etienne buying supplies in Les Cayes earlier today

New Year, New Projects

Our first Board meeting of 2023 was devoted to reviewing and funding the new projects Etienne proposed for this year.

Children looking at goats in the back of a pickup truck
Family drawing water at a well
Water: Colse is a mountain village without a nearby water source. Residents have to walk down the mountain for water, then carry it back up. Etienne will buy water storage tanks and transport them to the village.$7000
Goats: Etienne plans to start a goat program in Coquione, a village above Charbonnier. He needs money to buy the goats, transport them, and run the training program for the recipients.$7000
Seeds: Etienne proposed buying seed for farmers in Les Anglais. We are requesting that he also buy additional seeds to restart the community garden on church grounds.$3000
Agronomy Agent: Etienne recently hired a new agent, Mr. Legoute, to help farmers establish crops of cacao, coffee, and bananas in Bwa Picon. His pay is $600/quarter.$600
Transportation: Rebuild Etienne’s old, non-working motorcycle. Having this to use when he doesn’t need the truck will save a lot of expensive fuel and reduce wear and tear on the truck. We will buy the parts in the US and ship them to him through Agape Air.$1500
Fuel: We need to send Etienne money to cover his increased fuel costs due to huge price increases in Haiti.$1000
Amount to send Etienne (sent on 1/26/2023)$18,600
Motorcycle parts to buy in the US$1500
Total Spend$20,100

We will continue to hold $6000 in reserve to repair the wells damaged in the August 2021 earthquake. Parts shortages, damaged roads, and too-busy well drillers have prevented us from being able to schedule the repairs. We’ll ask Etienne to check in with the well-drilling company to see if they are able to start work soon on these wells.

June Updates

Though the Haitian people face many social and economic issues, they all remember the day their country won its independence from the colonial slave system: November 18th, 1803. May 18th was Haitian Flag Day. It’s usually a joyful day of celebration with school parades honoring Haiti’s rich history of freedom.

Earlier that same year, on May 18th, Jean-Jacques Dessalines took down the French flag, ripped out the white band and had Catherine Flon sew the blue and red stripes together, creating the blue and red Haitian flag. Ever since that day, the Haitian people have celebrated May 18th as Flag Day.

This year it has been difficult to celebrate. Gang violence and deep insecurity are inescapable realities. In the southern peninsula where Les Anglais and Les Cayes are located, the looming global food crisis seems to have already arrived. Not only is the region subject to global dynamics, but gang violence in Port-au-Prince has cut off much of the goods and services to them.

Agronomy Programs and Water

Not all the news is bad though! Etienne and his crew of agents and college students have been working hard to help farmers plant cocoa, coffee, and other crops to continue to increase the agriculture production of southern Haiti. Even during the continued fuel shortages and COVID, he and his team are somehow getting good work done.

The team was also able to deliver the rest of the chatados (water tanks) to the people of Pestel who have been without water storage since the earthquake last summer. Their mayor asked Etienne to send us her heartfelt thank you! These three photos show Mayor Marie Helen, a home before receiving a tank, and one of the many grateful people who now has a way to store clean water.

Pestel Mayor Marie Helen
Marie Helen, mayor of Pestel
Water storage before getting a water tank
Collecting and storing rainwater before receiving their new tank
Woman with a new water tank
Woman with a new water tank

We are just starting the community well repair program that we’ve been planning and anticipating since last summer. It has been so difficult to get the well drilling team out to Les Anglais due to damaged roads and a huge backlog of wells needing repair. Haiti Ap Grandi, through Etienne and the well drillers, is hoping to repair four of the six non-working wells in the next few weeks.

School’s Out for Summer!

Our Sister Church in Les Anglais is doing well under the circumstances Haiti is experiencing. A very successful school year has ended and now the congregation is preparing to host nearly 1,000 delegates to a regional convention of MEBSH churches on July 7th to 9th. They ask for prayers that this conference is pleasing to the Lord and builds the body of the church in these difficult times.

Please pray for continued and increasing support of the Hope for Kidz program as the student enrollment continues to increase. We hope to keep sponsoring a large enough percentage of kids to continue the lunch program. (When enough children in a school are sponsored, all the students there receive a hot lunch.)

Photo of children's faces

Finally, RMI is starting to receive teams traveling to Haiti for Vision and Partnership reconnection during the weeks of November 4-9 and November 18-23. I’m not sure that we can participate this year, but please send me an email at if you have an interest.

With deep gratitude for your prayers, interest, and support for the people of rural Haiti through Haiti Ap Grandi and our partners at Community of Faith, Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, and Reciprocal Ministries International,
Jim Shaw and the Haiti Ap Grandi board members: Tim Kitch, Robert Jackson, Cindy Jackson, and Kathy Engholm

Water Tanks, Goats, Seeds, School, and More

Haiti Ap Grandi continues to help those hit hardest by last August’s earthquake through our many partners on the ground in Haiti: Etienne Francois and his team at Passion for Haiti, Reciprocal Ministries International, and the Les Anglais church and school.

Earthquake Relief October – December

Water access for families and communities is a key focus for us. Many wells went dead after the earthquake and water storage cisterns were destroyed, leaving many thousands of people without water for drinking, cooking, and cleaning. Thanks to you, Etienne and his team have already delivered twenty of the 300-gallon and 500-gallon chatados (water tanks) and plan to deliver more soon.

20 tanks ready to deliver
Tanks Ready to Deliver

In November, they finished planting tens of thousands of coffee and banana plants in Camp Perrin, in the hills north of Les Cayes. These provide a cash crop for farm families, and they are part of reforesting the steep mountain slopes because trees are planted along with them to provide shade and anchor the soil. 

Preparing Seed Corn

In association with Heifer International, Etienne’s agents bagged and distributed 14 tons of seed to farmers in December. 18,500 lbs. of seed corn and 9700 lbs. of black beans were given to 400 members in 6 farmers’ organizations in Jacmel and 500 members in 6 organizations in the south Les Cayes area. Etienne reports that “everything is well distributed and farmers are happy to receive the seeds.”

All this work and travel was accomplished despite the critical shortage of fuel throughout Haiti, a testament to the resourcefulness and dedication of Etienne and his team.

Current Activity

Children looking at goats in the back of a pickup truck
Kids and Goats

Through the Christmas season, Community of Faith Church in Lake Oswego has been raising funds for the goat program we like to call “Kids for Kidz”.  Etienne has identified the next group of school children to undergo training and receive one or two goats each to raise and help support their families.

What’s Next?

We have also asked Etienne to work with the local well drilling company that drilled all the wells in Les Anglais. We need them to refurbish/repair many of the key wells in the area, as they were damaged in the earthquake. We hope this will be done by the start of the dry season in late January.

Our next steps are to continue to find, buy, and distribute seed to more farmers who have little or nothing to plant. The lack of seeds and starts is due to to the combination of the summer earthquake destroying farms and roads, flooding from hurricanes that followed, and disruption of the transportation for needed products because of continuing political unrest in Port Au Prince. 

Finally, there are so many people still living under tarps after their homes and villages were destroyed by the earthquake. We hope to purchase roofing materials to help them rebuild their homes.

Schools Report

We gave funds to RMI to provide food relief to our partner church in Les Anglais. Thankfully their water well system is still working and all buildings are functional. The school is open and serving a hot lunch daily. Enrollment in the Les Anglais primary grades is 600 children and their secondary school serves 200 students. Boco has 80 primary school children and Colse has 170. At the Les Anglais school, they also have a trade school primarily for adults, with classes available to secondary students as well.

This photo is from the recent parent/teacher meeting. Thank you for supporting the work that Pastor Bonel Girard and his amazing wife Monique do in Les Anglais.

Parent/teacher meeting at the Les Anglais school
Parent/Teacher Meeting in Les Anglais

We are extremely grateful for your continued support for Haiti Ap Grandi’s programs. With the prolonged political and economic situation in Haiti, funding and assisting our Haiti partners, including Etienne and his agents, is more critical than ever. We are so thankful for Etienne’s passion, perseverance and commitment and we are working hard to provide him and his team the resources they need to do the most effective work possible.

Best wishes to you for peace and health in 2022!

Jim Shaw and the Haiti Ap Grandi Board of Directors: Tim Kitch, Robert Jackson, Cindy Jackson, and Kathy Engholm

Bad News, Good News, and Hope

There is bad news for the Haitian people, and anyone wanting to go there and help them. You may have read in the news that gangs are taking power. The Haitian government and National Police are not able to stop them, so the deterioration of civic order is accelerating. The US government today advised Americans to leave the country while commercial flights are still available.

The good news is that we raised over $30,000 for earthquake relief through Haiti Ap Grandi. We distributed just under half of those funds for the critical needs of people in the Pestel area near Jeremie on the northern coast of the peninsula, north of Les Anglais. There are no water wells there (no water table to tap into), so they used concrete cisterns to store rainwater and spring water. All the cisterns in the area cracked and leaked out their water due to the earthquake this summer. Etienne and his team purchased a large number of plastic water tanks (called “chatados”) to distribute to the people so they can store water. This will help these families with their basic needs for drinking water! It is so important to life. The remaining relief funds will be spent as soon as supplies, fuel, and manpower become available.

Some of the chatados for storing clean water

Etienne and helpers fueling his truck

Etienne and his team are also in the middle of planting coffee and cocoa plants in new areas for erosion control and cash generation for the farmers. They are having a very hard time getting the gas and diesel they need to do transportation for all these far-ranging projects. They are having to pay huge premiums for fuel when and if they can find it. Their work is so important right now. The country is in a bad state and their work continues to provide hope as well as tangible assistance.

Life there has returned to semi normal in the Les Anglais area after the earthquake. Most buildings withstood the tremors and we sent food and COVID masks to them immediately following the disaster. Several of the wells that we maintain need repair. We have relief funds available for this purpose, but we aren’t sure when the well repair folks can get to them. Like everyone else in Haiti now, they have a very hard time getting fuel and their schedule is filled with the many wells all over the SW arm of Haiti that need service. The mountain village of Boco is still inaccessible after the earthquake and landslides, so it will be some time before we can get their well fixed.

— adapted from a report by Jim Shaw