"It is fundamental to show children that one loves them and that one really wants to help them. The rest goes automatically. It is also a work of justice towards these children whose physical, intellectual and moral development is jeopardized by a life without affection, without guidance, without constraint, without obligation. The street cannot be educative in any way."—Father Joseph Simon, Founder/Director, Timkatec schools
URGENT! OCTOBER 2017. CRISIS CONTINUES IN HAITI
HURRICANES IRMA & MARIA CONTRIBUTE TO DEVASTATION
WROUGHT BY HURRICANE MATTHEW IN 2016
Timkatec houses 50 orphans and educates about 500 of the poorest of the poor who must be fed and educated while the nation's ills continue.
A thousand died and thousands more remain homeless after Hurricane Matthew. With tens of thousands injured by hurricaneS, the resurgent cholera epidemic added further misery. Food prices soared in 2017 after much of Haiti's food and clean water was destroyed. Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017 greatly magnified the crisis.
The UN, Red Cross and the military provided immediate emergency help in destroyed Southwest Haiti as only they can. Weeks later, however, these volunteers and aid organizations left Haiti, and now the 2017 infrastructure is challenged again.
Timkatec has been educating the "poorest of the poor" for 24 years and must continue. But Timkatec orphans and trade school students now face more major problems:
- Food prices doubled and Timkatec provides food to our students
- The 2010 cholera epidemic, traced to UN troops from Nepal, affected 1 million Haitians, and resulting in 10,000 deaths. The lack and/or cost of clean water post hurricanes creates a perfect condition for epidemics to spread rapidly, and claim the lives of thousands
- Medical treatment expensesalready stretching resources to their limitshave greatly increased
JULY 2, 2017, TIMKATEC'S 165 GRADUATES.
BUT 2018 FUNDING FACES MAJOR HURDLES IN TIMKATEC'S 24th YEAR
As the Founders of Friends of Timkatec, we proudly announce 2017 graduation results. Since its founding in 2004, Friends of Timkatec and other donors have changed the lives of almost 3000 young people in Haiti, who previously had no hope of receiving education. The 79 boys and 86 girls who graduated from our two Trade Schools can now earn a living. The 13 from the Orphanage/Primary school have a life. Great achievements for Timkatec staff in this very difficult year. Sadly, due to the funding shortage, Timkatec had 150 empty places, causing the first annual decline in graduates since the school's founding.
Since 2012 Timkatec schools, Orphanage and shelter lost the following funding:
- USAID had provided surplus food aid to schools and orphanages in Haiti for the last decade. This aid ceased in September 30, 2012, a loss of about $30,000 annually
- Fondation-France, the French Presidents' Foundation, strongly supported Timkatec for several years. That aid, about $30,000 annually, has not been renewed since 2013
- GEOMOUN of Belgium, Timkatec's strongest supporter for a dozen years lost funding for Timkatec since January 1, 2015 of $180,000 annually
- The devastating effects of Hurricanes Sandy, Matthew, and Irma on Haiti's food supply caused over 1000 deaths and subsequent large increases in food costs for Timkatec
- The Friends of Timkatec active donor list declined significantly in the Great Recession, and is in dire need of growth from new supporters and renewed donations from returning supporters
Please, tell your friends about Timkatec and its success against overwhelming odds.
Father Simon has told The Friends of Timkatec that as a direct result of the massive reduction of funding since January 2015, Timkatec 2 and Timkatec 3 were forced to lay off staff and eliminate the mid-day meal (causing many day students who rely on Timkatec as sometimes their only source of regular sustenance to stop attending). To put it bluntly, loss of funding means that Timkatec has lost the resources necessary to serve an additional 150 students and shelter homeless children. Life in Haiti is so precarious that the promise of the future afford by an education can be lost simply by the loss of a guarantee of one meal a day.
In 2007, we graduated the first class of just 15 students from Timkatec 2 and 10 students from the orphanage. To date, Timkatec 2 has graduated almost 800 apprentices with state-recognized diplomas as electricians, plumbers, masons and tailors. Trades that remain essential in the post-earthquake recovery of Haiti. 500 female students have now completed training as cooks and seamstresses at Timkatec 3, and 180 children finished Primary school at Timkatec 1. This year has seen 176 students graduate, compared with only 25 in 2008, a 604% increase. Thanks to Timkatec Schools, over one thousand young people are now supporting themselves, where no hope existed before.
We know that each year, you are asked to support many worthy causes. Knowing what you have helped Father Simon to achieve at Timkatec, we ask you most humbly to put this at the top of your 2017/2018 donation list. It is your donations that cover the cost of each trade trainee and orphan in the current Budget.
Yet, each two-year training course costs only $560 to change a life—a small cost by USA standards. These young people need our donations to fund their training. Please help them.
POPE FRANCIS AND TIMKATEC
In both 2016 and 2017, Father Simon, Founder of Timkatec, was invited to the Vatican as an individual who has made "street children" their pastoral mission. Pope Francis made a powerful expression of his concern for children and women forced to live on the streets, and personally met each attendee.
Father, now 87 years old, was unable to travel and Ms Aniath Vevenne Mathurin in 2017 and Ms Rachelle Fleurimond in 2016, Coordinators for the three Timkatec Schools, Orphanage, and Shelter, participated in his place. Pope Francis has shown his support for Timkatec and begs you to do so also.
Read the full story, including video of the pope's address, here.
TIMKATEC SCHOOLS—A HAITIAN SUCCESS STORY
THAT MUST CONTINUE TO GROW
The cataclysmic earthquake of January 12, 2010 is past, estimated by the UN to have killed 230,000, injured 250,000 and destroyed a million homes. Timkatec lost a teacher and over 100 students. The physical effects are visible everywhere, as the country struggles to rebuild. Yet, those of us who recall the slow recovery of New York after September 11, who lived in England during and after the WW2 blitz as I did and like Mike Spinelli and I, served in Germany is the 1960s know that recovery even in those sophisticated countries took not just three to four years, but decades. What Haiti has achieved after the worst catastrophe in the last century in the Western Hemisphere is impressive
The effects of this near-constant barrage of death and destruction on young minds are what we try to counter with the love and discipline of education—to rekindle their lost hopes. Many young people struggle with PTSD, haunted by memories of the death around them. No 2010 family in Haiti is intact. All lost family, friends and neighbors during and after, as 15% of the Port au Prince population died and 15% were wounded or sick, in just days and months, not years.
BENCH MARKS IN FISCAL 2018 (Oct.-Sept.)
The Timkatec team directed by Father Simon suffered but achieved the following in 2016/2017:
- In 2017, Timkatec had a reduction of total student count by 150 caused by lack of funding combined with increased expenses. While there is space for 680 in all facilities, Timkatec currently only has the funds to support 500 students
- Timkatec 3 Girls School had increased capacity to 250 day students. However in 2017, only 180 girls could register due to the lack of resources
- The Timkatec 3 shelter now has room for 70 nightly. However, it can only take 30 girls and no boys due to lack of available funds to provide meals
- The third story addition at Timkatec 2 increased capacity to 250. Again, shortage of funds limited the 2017 registration to 180 students—well short of full capacity
- Timkatec 1, the Primary school and orphanage and boarding school remain at capacity with 110 students, consisting of 45 boarders and 65 day students
Timkatec Schools could feed and educate 680 young people in a time of desperate need for training in Haiti. But increasing lack of funding for teachers, food, tools and basic needs, means Timkatec currently only shelters, feeds, and educates 500 students. 180 young Haitians could be off the streets, and receiving meals, basic medical care, and education in a trade which will change their lives forever. Now, those 180 boys and girls instead still suffer in extreme poverty, and in many cases are forced to leave their homes and live on the street—or worse.
Timkatec relies on the tax deductible gifts from friends like you.
A tax deductible gift of $280 will educate a student for one year, while $560 will fund a two year apprenticeship, to change a life forever.
If we could raise just $50,000 more, we could add 180 places, and operate the schools at their full 680 student capacity.
Please, be generous.
The O'Shea and Spinelli families
Founders of The Friends of Timkatec
"Timkatec receives many admission requests; however they do not have room to accept them all. It is difficult to refuse a child who comes at night, in the rain, asking for a small place to sleep. In those instances, children sleep on the floor, sometimes with only a blanket, sometimes without even that. A rotation system was established, in order to allow children to sleep in beds on a schedule."—Father Joseph Simon, Founder/Director, Timkatec schools