First of all I want to reiterate how truly fortunate we have been with the help and support that Kakok Foundation has received from all of you, thank you. So I want to use this opportunity to mention the support we have received from two organizations from Spain: Colegio Añoreta by Novasoft based in Málaga and Fundación Josep Palau Francás from Barcelona.
The students from Colegio Añoreta raised funds in June to spearhead the Internet project for the school Etoile du Matin, while its faculty members got committed to establish a teaching program for both the teachers and the children from Ile a Vache.
Also in June we established contact with the family behind the Fundación Josep Palau Francás and they have just funded the total cost of the purchase of hundreds of books and school materials for the 288 children that our school Etoile du Matin has enrolled this academic year. I am attaching some pictures from the distribution of the books which took place last week.
Please visit www.kakokfoundation.org to see an updated list of individual and corporate donors and collaborators.
We are happy now to report advances for both the school and the clinic.
School Etoile du Matin: Thanks to the help and involvement of Lambert Farand, our Canadian friend who commutes between Montreal, Port au Prince and Ile A Vache, we have established a more reliable system to administer the school. We have set up a parents' committee to organize the purchase and distribution of the books and school materials and to pay all the salaries from the school every month: 9 teachers, a director, a cleaning person and three people in charge of the food. We have kept the same administrator and director that the school has had since inception because they are showing good academic results for the students but we have removed from their responsibilities the monetary aspect of running the school. We are hoping that this new system will empower the parents while providing us with a better control of the school expenses. As part of this new program we have established a very low registration fee for the students ($80 HT - $10 US a year) to cover other expenses and to avoid the stigma of "free" = "not worth it". Parents can pay the yearly fee a little every month if needed and also if some parents cannot even afford that we step in and provide scholarship for the children.
The clinic has a laptop connected to the Internet and set up with a video camera and a Skype account. Xavier has been able to do some" telemedicine" with Surzie and Zett. Back in August we contracted a solar and wind system to power the clinic 24/7. We also ordered a fridge that only consumes 75 watts and that will be installed at the same time as the power system. We know that the materials have arrived at Les Cayes and that they are in the process to install the system. The clinic has been 100% free now for 4 months and we have mixed reports about it. The positive side is that the number of patients have increased dramatically and the negative is that some of them might be going to the clinic trying to get free medicines to resell. We will asses the situation together with Doctor Carme Guillen and the clinic staff at the end of the year.
On the dark side of it all we have the cholera outbreak and the tropical depression Tomas. So far we know that Ile a Vache has not had any cholera. Dr. Carme Guillen has contacted Doctors without Borders to get them to send cholera kits to the clinic. We are more disturbed about the tropical depression right now since its path is still aiming directly to Ile a Vache. Let's hope.
If we can, weather and plagues permitting it, we are planning to go back to Ile a Vache at the beginning of December. We will keep you posted.