Posted on February 5th, 2018
Over the last few years our customers have been very good to us. We have been very fortunate. Companies can respond to such good fortune in many ways. Here at mediatechnologies, we have chosen to share our good fortune with some people in the world far less fortunate than we are.
mediatechnologies has chosen to fund the building of a school in Haiti. Randy Seaver was introduced to this project through an acquaintance, who is a missionary. This is a long-term project that will ultimately serve the 200 orphans that reside at an orphanage in Port-au-Prince and 200 “social orphans” that will also be fed and educated at the school. The school and orphanage are operated by a local missionary (US) and a local pastor (Haiti). The school property is located on Black Mountain, with a view overlooking Port-au-Prince. The plans describe a 2-story school facility that is built into a hill with 14 classrooms, restrooms, administrative area and a cafeteria. School furniture will be donated by mediatechnologies and School Specialty has donated all of the chairs.
As of today, the 1st floor of the school is scheduled to be completed by September, in time for the start of school. It is estimated that the remainder of the facility will take an additional 1 to 2 years to complete.
During the 10-day period of January 19-28, a small group from Michigan (including 6 from mediatechnologies) headed down to Haiti to help with the construction of the new school. They were prepared to spend the week doing stucco-work, so they packed the appropriate tools for the job.
Prior to their departure, they were briefed on many issues regarding their upcoming trip. At one point during their briefing, they were shown an image of the cartoon character Gumby. The point being made was that the members needed to be flexible in terms of their expectations. Things move at a different pace than most were used to.
When the group arrived, their flexibility was put to the test. They had prepared to “stucco” – but other work needed to be completed first. Things were not quite as far along as the group had thought. The fellows in the group were not necessarily school builders, they were more the “school outfitter” types. Never-the-less, they did re-rod work and hand-carried 100lb bags of concrete up to the school and mixed, carried and poured concrete from large paint buckets for 9 hours a day. Thankfully, it was a cool 85 degrees up on the mountain (it was much hotter down in Port-au-Prince).
It cannot be overstated that life on Haiti can be difficult. Haiti currently is at 40% unemployment. Orphans are typically at the very “bottom of the food chain” in terms of resources available for their care. For example, each child receives one plate of plain rice as their meal for the day; sometimes with beans. It does not seem like very much to eat. Yet, the children at the orphanage seemed almost oblivious to the difficulties they face. Their curiosity, enthusiasm and energy were an inspiration to our group of “construction workers”.
Please enjoy some of the photos from the ‘trip”. A return trip is planned for later in 2018. We will keep you updated on the school’s progress.