Ben Scott, Co-Chairman of Boca Grande Hope For Haitians, returned late last year with Food For The Poor to Haiti, where thousands have been helped by Boca Grande’s kindness.
The Boca Grande Committee remains committed to helping families escape inhumane living conditions and are focusing on building 50 homes in the remote area of Savann Kabrit, which is east of Port-au-Prince, near the border of the Dominican Republic.
Savann Kabrit, which was affected by Hurricane Matthew in October 2016, is a very poor community and its residents are in desperate need of permanent housing.
During Scott’s November visit, he met a family of seven that could only afford to eat every other day, and who live in a tiny mud and straw hut that is on the verge of collapse. The father is too sick to farm the parched land that yields only meager food crops.
“These folks are truly the poorest of the poor,” Scott said. “God loves them as much as loves anybody else and I think He has called us to this place to do our best to help them.”
Fundraising for the 50 homes in Savann Kabrit will continue with the Boca Grande Hope For Haitians annual cocktail and hors d’oeuvres reception at the Gasparilla Inn Beach Club in Boca Grande, Fla., on Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018. The party will feature a silent auction.
Food For The Poor Executive Director Angel Aloma will speak about Scott’s latest mission to Haiti, and how the support of the Boca Grande Committee is helping to lift families out of poverty. For more information please visit www.FoodForThePoor.org/bocagrande
While on his visit in Haiti, Scott also got to see how the promise of a new community for families in dire need has been fulfilled.
Thanks to the support of the Hope for Haitians Committee, Food For The Poor helped 130 families to relocate from Alpha Village, a community of rickety structures perched between the sea and an active landfill on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince, to a community of secure pastel colored houses in Gressier.
“Two years ago when we visited Alpha Village, we knew we had to do something,” said Scott. “Now, we are seeing the results of your generosity, and I must say it is a monumental change for these families. They now live in a safe environment, a clean environment and in the safety of their own homes.”
The new Alpha Village in Gressier and its residents are doing well. Last summer, a Boca Grande donor built a multifunctional community center and another group of Food For The Poor donors provided a fishing village. Many in the new village were eager to express their joy and gratitude to Scott during his November visit.
“I was in a tent before, but now I have a house with a key that I can use to open the door. It’s safe,” said new homeowner Solomon. “I am living a new life, I am a new person and the children have new friends and now enjoy life. I am also happy for you and for the people who gave me this new house.”
Solomon’s new life also has awakened her entrepreneurial spirit. She sells canned goods, candies and other items from her veranda, which she says is a wonderful blessing.
“This helps me out a lot,” she said. “With the money I get from the business, I can now send my children to school.”
“This is a perfect example of how a secure home can transform every aspect of a person’s life, and this latest project by Boca Grande is truly amazing,” said Food For The Poor Executive Director Angel Aloma. “These families no longer have to contend with damp and muddy conditions, or with the stench of burning and rotting garbage in the old Alpha Village. They now have access to clean water, proper sanitation and solar light. We are so very thankful for the loving and life-transforming support Boca Grande has generously provided over the years.”
Scott began building homes with the Boca Grande Hope For Haitians Committee through Food For The Poor in 2009, and has built more than 300 homes throughout the Caribbean nation.
Committee members include: Chairpersons Ben and Louise Scott, the Rev. Gary Beatty, the Rev. Jerome Carosella, the Rev. Michelle Robertshaw, the Rev. Matthew M. Williams, George and Lois Castrucci, Patricia Chapman, Charlie and Florita Field, Lou and Corie Fusz, Jim and Linda Grant, Stephen and Susan Jansen, Tom and Nancy Lorden, Sue Sligar and Peter and Elsa Soderberg.
Food For The Poor, one of the largest international relief and development organizations in the nation, does much more than feed millions of the hungry poor primarily in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicines, educational materials, homes, support for orphans and the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance. Over the last 10 years, fundraising and other administrative costs averaged less than 5 percent of our expenses; more than 95 percent of all donations went directly to programs that help the poor. For more information, please visit FoodForThePoor.org.
■ Above, Ben Scott (center) with Angel Aloma (right) on their most recent trip to Haiti. At left, A mother in Savann Kabrit holds her weak, malnourished child. On front page, one of the homes in Savann Kabrit that is on the verge of collapse.