No better way to begin a new year then by seeing old friends. Matters On Tomorrow Executive Director Scott Lloyd and Jacob’s Well Executive Director Mark Thornton returned to Haiti in the last weeks of January 2014. This trip was focused on laying ground work for future groups that will be working with our partners in Montrouis, Haiti.
Jacob’s Well began their first building project in Montrouis. This building will be the home to Pastor Gesner’s church on Sundays, while servings as a school and community center during the week. It was very intentional on our part to ensure that this project would help the community of Montrouis that we have become a part of as much as possible. To accomplish this, we hired a local Haitian engineer to design the building; all the materials are locally sourced, and all the labor for building is provided by men from Montrouis. In total the finished building will cost approximately $35,000, raised by Jacob’s Well donors.
If we had taken a mission team from the United States to construct the same building, the cost would have been near $60,000, when considering travel and lodging expenses. The added benefit of hiring local individuals for the building is this provides jobs and income to businesses in the community. This has an impact on families and their ability to eat, to access clean water, and to send their kids to school.
Scott was also able to spend time with 4 of the 5 microloan recipients to learn about their business and family. All 5 businesses are making progress only 3 months into this first cycle of the program and all have made their first 2 loan payments – something to celebrate!
The next group from Jacob’s Well will travel to Haiti in June 2014. They will host a vacation bible school for the House of Hope orphanages and the kids in Montrouis, lead an educational seminar for local ministers, and hope to hold a medical clinic in the completed building. Matters On Tomorrow and our partners have lots to do as we work alongside our neighbors.
Our friends in Montrouis are some amazing individuals, and we look forward to providing more updates as we return often. If you’re interesting in contributing to any of our work in Haiti, please reach out (firstname.lastname@example.org) as there are always opportunities to connect.