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(This post is written by our Director of Development & Sponsorships, Matt White)

Back in September 2016, I took on a part-time role with Coalition of Children in Need Association (COCINA) as the Director of Development & Sponsorships, and I’ve spent about five weeks in Haiti over the last several months. (more…)

What We’re Doing to Battle Hunger in Haiti

COCINA’s lunch program feeds 3,000 people per day, and the Bread4Haiti bakeries provide nutritious breads and pizza to the Ouanaminthe community. Through these programs and the help of our supporters, COCINA is battling malnutrition and hunger in Haiti.

Watch this short video to learn more…

Battling Hunger in Haiti from Haiti COCINA on Vimeo.

kindergarten-roof-sagging-2

UPDATE: We’re pleased to report the kindergarten roof repairs/improvements have been fully funded, and we hope to begin work soon.

Every weekday morning, nearly 450 children enter the Kindergarten building at Institution Univers in Ouanaminthe, Haiti. From age 3 through first grade, these students file into their classrooms, most of them passing through the atrium of the building.

Built in 2007, the Kindergarten building’s roof was initially intended as a temporary solution, as plans have been in place since the beginning to expand to a second floor. Over the years, repairs have been made to fix the sagging and leaking roof, but budgets have only allowed for simply addressing the symptoms rather than resolving the core problem.

Nearly 10 years later, repairs are needed again, and the safety of the children is in jeopardy. While Hurricane Matthew didn’t bring its total destruction to the northeast of the country, it did dump lots of rain, which has increased the sagging and leaking since this photo was taken.

Just above these joyful children is a potential danger that needs addressed as soon as possible…

Haiti – Kindergarten Roof Sagging from Haiti COCINA on Vimeo.

In order to build up the walls and roof and prepare for the future expansion of the Kindergarten building, COCINA is committed to bringing in $25,000. This investment will not only permanently resolve the roof issues, but will also lay the groundwork for the addition of a second floor, which will allow for additional classrooms needed to accommodate the ever-growing enrollment of the school.

Can you help?

If you’re considering end-of-year giving or recognize this need as something you can support, please make a donation today at www.haiticocina.org/donate and select the General Fund. As always, our General Fund goes toward the most pressing need at any giving time; and if you’d like to specifically designate your gift to the Kindergarten roof, in particular, you can make note of that in the “message” area on the donate page.


DONATE NOW

matt-white

We are pleased to introduce Matt White, COCINA’s new Director of Development. Matt has a heart for Haiti and the career experience to help lead COCINA into an exciting new chapter. Watch for COCINA updates from Matt, and please keep him in your prayers as he enters this new role.


 

A Few Words from Matt:

My first experience with Haiti was through my daughter who went on a trip with her church high school team in the summer of 2014. When an opportunity came up to go myself, I jumped at the chance; and my daughter was excited to go again. We went in February 2016, and I walked away with a passion for making a difference in Haiti. I was impacted most by the trash and poverty that is rampant throughout the country.

After our trip, I wondered what I could do to make a difference. In what I believe was a divine connection of events, I am in the process of launching a business to design and produce canvas bags using a material that is made from 100% recycled bottles from Haiti and Honduras.

Because of what we’re doing with this business and my personal excitement about the opportunities in Haiti, I was invited to attend the COCINA Board Meeting in July. At that meeting, the Board was discussing the need for a “person on the ground” in Haiti to help with all the projects COCINA is supporting. I felt a tug on my heart, and as this new position was described, I saw more and more how I could be the perfect fit for many reasons…

  • As a technology business owner, I have the flexibility to take on this role, while maintaining my current business.
  • My marketing and communication background allows a unique perspective to the needs of COCINA and everything happening in Ouanaminthe.
  • I am already familiar with COCINA, IU, and the other activities/entities in Haiti.
  • My wife and family were already aware and supportive of my desire to get more involved in Haiti.

After much prayer and discussion with my family, I am very excited to join COCINA’s team as Director of Development!