In the latest edition of Notes From the Field, we hear from Tom Morrison of Starpoint Charitable Project. Tom founded Starpoint Charitable Project in 2018 to raise money for solar lighting solutions in Haiti, in partnership with Haiti Mission, Inc. Starpoint has also been able to distribute solar lighting to a volunteer project in Mexico and is currently working on a potential project in Ethiopia.
My wife, Susi, and I have been involved with HMI since 2010. We made our first visit to Haiti with our two teenage daughters in 2011. We have remained very involved with HMI, including a return trip in 2017. I like to refer to the 20 year work of HMI as creating a "generational transformation.” Through their efforts HMI has helped provide water wells, homes, schools, and food/medicine distributions. And now, solar lighting and phone charging!
From the eyes of the children you can see this transformation - their moms are the school teachers and nurses, their dads are working on the construction crews for the homes and water wells, and their grandparents are healthy and involved in the community. The confidence and motivation created within each child will lead to a positive future for this entire community.
The positive impact of the lights has been tremendous. We have been able to distribute the lanterns during our "new home dedications" as well as during the food/medicine distributions for the community. We have included instructions in each lantern package, written in Haitian Creole of course, so our Haitian friends will have a clear understanding of how the lanterns work, recharge, etc.This area of Haiti is in a remote, very poor area of the far western peninsula, outside a town called Jeremie. Currently there is no to very limited power on the "main" road, and no power to the homes. Solar power now provides clean, renewable, inexpensive lighting. Lighting solutions prior to the LuminAID lanterns were limited to candles, wood fires, or kerosene lanterns, which are unsafe, unhealthy, and costly.
As Starpoint Charitable Project continues our fundraising efforts, I like to let everyone know the impact they are making on these amazing Haitian families, in such a simple, sustainable way. Of the 600+ lanterns we have distributed, we have reached about 400 families (families receive either 1 or 2 lanterns). The average home will have anywhere from 5-8+ people living together - using an average of around 6 per home, our supporters have delivered much needed light (and hope to a brighter future) to over 2400 children, moms, dads, and grandparents.Our hope when we first started this project last summer was that, one day, we would be able to look onto the hillside at night and see the lights being used. Well, during the distribution a few weeks ago, the team actually had the opportunity to experience that view for the first time! We could actually see the lights "lighting up the hill"....such a great feeling to know they are changing lives as we speak.
LuminAID has been a tremendous resource and supporter of our efforts. Thank you to the LuminAID team!
Read more about LuminAID partners who are doing work in Haiti:
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