Dr. Raymond Ford
Grison-Garde, Haiti
March 4, 2014

The Robert Ford Foundation On-Line Newsletter

The Haitians are now calling their project: Institution Maranatha de Grison-Garde
We are still the Robert Ford Haitian Orphanage and School Foundation, offering their sole support.

  Imagine this: your home is a little hut like the one shown below, near the community of Grison-Garde, Haiti. You put on your school uniform (provided by the school) and walk an hour to enter your beautiful classroom, decorated with colored paper chains and other wondrous objects. The furniture and all those pretty things have been put there or created by your Haitian teachers and classmates. Then, after a big meal at school, you walk home.....can you imagine an enigma more profound for a young mind? Fortunately children seldom dwell upon such mysteries. Children, all children, are surrounded by conundrums they need not solve, but for us are profound. "Pa senp" is "not simple" - more like complex.

  We may understand the paradox of that classroom when we reall that this entire project was conceived, created by, and is maintained entirely by members of that impoverished community. It was their dream, not ours. Perhaps that is how they wish their childrens' world would be. For that we cannot help but love them.

   "Kouman ou ye? Ak fanmi ou?" That greeting is almost universal in Haiti. It says "How are you? And your family?" Michael Bazile, one of the original children admitted to the ophanage (he is now 23 years old) has used those very words in describing his continued attachment as a student and his daily presence at the project. This is his "fanmi" - a feeling shared by dozens of young people who have lived there with their fanmi over the years. It has been your gift to them.

  How would you or someone you love, like to help creat another (albeit much smaller) primary school in a community living in deep poverty? Nearby Maroquee has asked for help. They have already formed a Comite' of ownership - an essential step indicating both their sincerity and determination. The only school in that community (shown below) is falling down and is without certified teachers.

  They have seen 3 other nearby projects succeed under community owned stewardship. Primary school children of that community have no other hope of education during this critical moment of their only childhood.

  This is an ideal major project for a church mission or foundation wishing to have a real impact. We will work with a prospective sponsor going through all the steps that lead to success. The rewards will be huge.

  Speaking of school issues: the directors are still unable to decide how to solve the problem of advancing primary students to secondary level if their numbers are too great for the secondary school capacity. Building Goodness Foundation (in Charlottesville) has offered to build an additional desperately needed secondary school building, but that still leaves the project with lack of funding for additional teachers, furniture, educational supplies, etc. As that old character Micawber in Dickens said "something will turn up!" And with a bit of "mutual confidence" he might have added.

  Cholera still rears its ugly head in northern Haiti. It can be defeated with education and access to safe water. Deep water wells and contained ("harnessed") springs are essential, but on a practical level, AQUATABS are at least as important. One aquatab added to a 5 gallon bucket of water can provide a family safe drinking water for several days. The cost? three cents a tablet! Our Dr. Eugene has distributed thousands of tablets using funds donated for that purpose by our foundation and The Haiti Mission Foundation. Your gifts are not wasted.

  By the way, "Maranatha" has always been in the various names chosen for this project by its founders. According to Webster's (OK then, Wikipedia) it is interpreted something like "the Lord Cometh". Interesting to note that Joshue' Bastien, one of the founders and the Principal of the schools, told me it means "Bondye se isit la" - God is here! (exclamation point Joshue's). WOW!

    Our foundation has never been in more need of support. Every penny of every dollar donated will be disbursed directly to the project, without deductions.

  Please visit the rest of our website: click here to see dozens of photos.

  Tax exempt donations can be sent by check or by credit card. To do so click here and follow the instructions on the donate page of this website.

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: