Dr. Raymond Ford
Grison-Garde, Haiti
Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Robert Ford Foundation On-Line Newsletter
Special 10th Anniversary Edition

  They said it couldn't be done: "They" being all the experts on Haitian culture. Flat out wrong! The community of Grison-Garde celebrated the 10th anniversary of their dream coming true this month and a grand celebration it was—brass marching band, troupes of dancers, speeches, songs and prayers of thanks for their success. Haitians consider most gifts as a blessing from God and accept them with dignity.

  Consider what they have accomplished thus far:

  • 700 students in school: 490 primary/210 secondary
  • 19 full time teachers & 12 secondary specialty instructors
  • 44 live-in orphans and 30 "graduate" orphans living in the community and still receiving free education and meals
  • Over 40 employees from the community (cooks, house moms, caretakers, etc)
  • Meals for all primary students on school days
  • Vocational school (sewing, carpentry and welding to begin) over 75 students
  • A new computer center with 6 laptops and 15 smaller training units (Wi-Fi, too)
  • A compound where elderly "orphans" can live out their difficult lives in comfort
  • Created a community center in which the entire area takes pride
  • Their "model" has inspired a nearby community to create a wonderful new primary school sponsored by an American foundation. This progress is based on mutual trust, respect and evidence that such a hope can be realized.
  • International charities such as Stop Hunger Now have donated hundreds of thousands of meals because they know there is a reliable distribution system in the community. It could be called "infrastructure", right?

  Remember that ownership of the project is entirely theirs, directed by a Comite` of elders (see photo) operating much like a small corporation. Your foundation (that is to say, you) offers their only funding, but they don’t have to listen to a bunch of "advice" from us in order to get it...they're doing a great job.

  The instructor for the incredible marching band is finally receiving a small salary. He has volunteered for 5 years just for the love of music. They need instruments, folks.

  News flash! Cap Haitien (population greater than 300,000) has its first traffic light and it works. That happened because they have reliable electricity in the city now, based on an improving infrastructure. No power out in Grison-Garde yet, however.

  Cholera is still a problem, but improved education is clearly helping people understand the severity of its symptoms. Hats are still off to our Dr. Maklin Eugene!

After all your help over all these years, are any of you curious enough to join us on a medical team (no skills needed) and immerse yourself for a week in this astounding culture? Let us know...you have our address.

There are dozens more good photos HERE

Robert Ford Haitian Orphanage & School Foundation
3522 Red Hill Rd
Charlottesville, VA 22903
fousto40@gmail.com (email address change)

Mesi ampil anpil, zamni nou yo!! (Thank you with greatest thanks, our friends!!)

And being Haitian, more complex than you might guess, is the expression:


A lot has happened over these past 10 years. First, the Comite (center) that proposed the project and is responsible for its operation now.
Back row: Tony D'Orleans, Treasurer; Joseph Pierre, Caretaker; Joshua Bastien, School Master
Front row: Lionel Bastien, President; Mme. Marie Bastien, singing/dancing.

Top left: early construction of the first building; Top right; Now (2012) partial view of the project;
Bottom Left: our Brass band, Bottom right: the Dance Troupe.
All uniforms made in our technical school.