City On A Hill Project

City On A Hill Project

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COAH - Today in Williamson
Today in Williamson…

Vocational training is unavailable.

Physical, mental, and spiritual needs for nearly 60,000 residents are largely unmet.

Food production methods are obsolete and supplies are insufficient.

There is an acute shortage of safe housing.

 

COAH - Plans

A New Williamson….

Provides a vibrant professional learning center.

Offers a clinic for healthy living, facilities for improved spiritual training, and programs for family development.

Enjoys the benefits of modern agricultural practices.

Experiences a healthy and secure planned housing community.

 

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Learning Center
Currently no educational opportunities exist beyond grade 10 in Williamson. Young people fortunate enough to finish high school have no choice to continue their education without moving far from the safety and support of family and friends.

Williamson residents lack basic skills to improve their businesses or qualify for jobs.

Haiti is leaping into the global world with improved access to computers, Internet, and cell phones. Knowledge of this technology will position Williamson residents to embrace future opportunities in business and learning.

Online college courses are increasingly more available to Haitians. Computer and Internet skills would enable opportunities in higher education without leaving the community.

Spiritual leaders in Williamson seek training and mentorship for pastors and elders.

 

COAH - Page 5Center for well-beingWilliamson and its surrounding area have a population of approximately 60,000.It has no suitable health care or dental facilities within a 30-minute walk.

People must travel by foot or expensive taxies—even from the surrounding mountains—to seek  health care in the larger towns of Arcahaie and St. Marc.

Chronic medical conditions such as diabetes and hypertension go untreated because quality care is inaccessible.

85% of births in rural Haiti occur in the home. When one of these women encounters a problem pregnancy, she must travel many miles for help. Often, she and the baby die during labor while seeking medical attention.

While seeking medical care, people sometimes turn to voodoo witch doctors who are untrained and often do more harm than good—both physically and spiritually. A holistic approach is warranted to treat the entire person—physically, mentally and spiritually.

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Agribusiness

Haiti has become dependent on foreign aid and imports 80% of the food it consumes.

Everyday, Haiti imports 1.5 million eggs from the Dominican Republic.

After years of deforestation, erosion has taken its toll on the land in Williamson and the surrounding areas.

Williamson is very dry and has insufficient access to water for year-round irrigation.

The majority of farming in Williamson is done with outdated tools and methods.

Malnourishment is the leading cause of death in Haitian children.

COAH - Page 9HousingEven prior to the earthquake of 2010, an acute shortage of housing existed in Williamson. After the earthquake, the situation was worsened. Now, hundreds more families live in substandard structures.

Williamson lacks clean, safe water sources. The average person walks two kilometers to reach a water supply.

Adequate sanitation is unavailable for most families in Williamson. Even a primitive outhouse would be a significant improvement to sanitation for each home.

The national electric utility does not serve the community of Williamson. Families rely on kerosene or candles to light their homes. They have no fans or refrigeration.

During the rainy season, roads are muddy and impassable. Flooding causes significant erosion with recurring damage to crops, animals and homes.

COAH - Page 11Williamson HelpWilliamson has a strong community leadership but is underserved as most aid is concentrated in Port-au-Prince.

Haiti is in the midst of a revival.  Many well-intentioned foreigners have hindered progress by dictating programs and solutions.  Local direction and involvement is essential for efforts to be successful and programs to be sustainable.

There is nothing more important to Haiti – and specifically to Williamson – than modernization of the business sector through new investments.  However, talking aboout investing in Haiti is not the same thing as having direct investment in the country that can lead to permanent employment.

Haiti, as a country and people, are accustomed to the odds being heavily against them.  But Williamson can become a showcase for sustainability by overcoming challenges through friends of Haiti, foreign companies and organizations, and your commitment of support – in prayers, time and funds.

Today’s challenge is to find enough people who believe Haiti can thrive and are dedicated to working on a plan to accomplish the vision of Williamson leaders.

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Pat Mortensen

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