"Our experience shows us that these young children are normal children endowed with normal qualities and failings. Let us give them a chance and the means to cultivate these natural gifts while we endeavor to cure some of their failings." Father Joseph Simon of Timkatec

Dear Friends of Timkatec - Report of January 26, 2010:

Today Father Simon reports that he met this morning with 31 of the 52 staff. Most have serious losses to houses and property and sadly, many have lost family as well. One teacher from died in the disaster, another lost his wife, two have lost children and another lost 4 nieces. It is tragic.

Father Simon hopes to arrange some monthly payments to assist them in order to get Timkatec 1 and 2 in operation by February 6, assuming the engineer certifies the Timkatec 1 structure. Some French doctors may use Timkatec 3, planned as a shelter with dormitories and several bathrooms and showers, as a small medical center for the area. They arrive in Santo Domingo this week to review the property to use for about 3 months. One of the local hospitals was totally destroyed and the local medical needs are great.

If they do not approve of the property, the girls training classes will restart on February 8. The Primary school will remain closed, as only 8 of 20 Timkatec 3 staff have been located. Timkatec 1 and 2 have accounted for 23 of 32 staff so far. 55 students, mainly residents have been located, the remaining 400 day students are unaccounted for so far, and some may have left the area.

The priority is to:

  • Help staff to reestablish themselves so they can contact the students and restart the programs
  • Repair damage to Timkatec 1 and 2
  • Provide daily meals for 70 students and staff-supplies are very low and costs are sky high
  • Obtain a generator and cooking oil for the above

Until the situation clears Father advised that he might not fill the 12 staff positions of Timkatec 3.

The Salesian order delivered 5 truckloads of food and medical supplies to Petion-Ville today from Santo Domingo and plan more later this week. We hope that some can be obtained for Timkatec and that they can assist with the generator and cooking oil needs-virtually unobtainable in Petion-Ville

The Friends of Timkatec in America, GEMOUN Belgium, Timkatec France and the Jasmine Foundation in Canada are generating support for Timkatec and coordinating our efforts.

Father Simon is greatly encouraged by that support and asks for your continued thoughts and prayers for missing staff and students.

Thank you

Patrick J. O'Shea, Founder
Mike Spinelli, Co-Founder
Friends of Timkatec in America

Dear Friends of Timkatec - Report of January 24, 2010:

Father Simon and Sabine Manigat have been in Timkatec, Petion-Ville, Haiti for three days, feverishly seeking the remaining staff so that the search for students can commence.

Sporadic cell phone service has been reestablished and I spoke to him yesterday after many attempts but no luck today and no emails. His spirits were surprisingly good after the enforced wait in Miami. He is the leader of Timkatec and an outstanding organizer. That leadership was sorely missed and it is now 13 days after the disaster with most questions still unanswered.

He advised me that:

  • The situation is tense and chaotic with most people sleeping in the street fearing the numerous aftershocks people are exhausted,
  • So far they have only been able to contact 14 of 35 staff. Several lost their homes, one died, others lost family members and 21 are unaccounted for
  • Once that objective is achieved they will search for the 400 + day students, most who lack phone service etc We are deeply concerned about the lack of information-as many live in poor housing
  • The boys from Timkatec 1 have been moved to our Timkatec 2 as he awaits the engineer report on that buildingís integrity.
  • Timkatec 2 and 3 buildings successfully withstood the earthquake with minimal damage
  • Timkatec food supplies are low and resupply soon is essential

I gave him some cash, and our Canadian friends at the Jasmine Foundation, with a Haiti account have made that available (when banks open.) We are trying to contact CRS to get him support. Salesian Missions are establishing long-term food aid deliveries, making their own arrangements from the Dominican Republic overland. 11 truckloads have already shipped in. The Salesians, in Haiti for 55 year, know the system, and support 30,000 children countrywide. We hope a small portion will go to Timkatec.

Father Simon asks that you all remember him and the almost 450+ Timkatec kids and staff still unaccounted for in your thoughts and prayers, and thanks you so much for your support. Please continue to monitor www.timktec.org for constant updates.

Thank you,

Patrick J. O'Shea, Founder
Mike Spinelli, Co-Founder
Friends of Timkatec in America

January 21, 2009 Update

Dear Friends of Timkatec:

Father Simon and Sabine Manigat, unable to get an earlier flight to Santo Domingo leave Friday morning. Patrick Manigat, architect of Timkatec 1 and 3 (our reporter since the earthquake) will meet them for the drive back to Petion-Ville, arriving at Timkatec late evening. Fatherís presence is essential. He is the leader, known by all authorities, NGOís and officials, essential to getting information and supplies to put Timkatec back on its feet.

There is almost no information available about Petion-Ville and we still have very limited information about Timkatec staff and day students. Here is what we do know

  • 43 resident students are safe and living in the street until a structural engineer examines Timkatec 1 to assure it safety. There was another 6.0 aftershock today
  • We still have no information on 30 of the staff and over 400 students. We know that one teacher died, anotherís daughter was a victim and three lost their homes. Timkatec 1ís cook has been at work all week feeding the boys
  • Father will inventory the supplies send us a Situation Report as soon as Monday
  • I provided some cash to Father and the Jasmine Foundation have advised their bank in Haiti to make some additional funds available.
  • I will be contacting CRS in Petion-Ville to inform them of our fundraising and to ask for funds and supplies to be made available.
  • Supporters in Canada, France and Belgium are also working hard on Timkatecís behalf.

We must also assume the following:

  1. The number of "street children" seeking help will multiply several fold
  2. Father will have major staffing problems with employees and their families deceased, missing or homeless, making it difficult for the survivors to concentrate on Timkatec
  3. The cost of all supplies has escalated sharply and is liable to stay high for some time.
  4. Fatherís own living quarters are seriously damaged-he has no phone links and his bank is closed for now.
  5. We do not know what access he will have to student records to trace over 400 day students.
  6. We must assume further student and staff casualties as many live in very sub-par situations

Getting reliable communications in Haiti and to inform Timkatecís many overseas supporters, is a high priority. Fatherís Situation Report will prioritize the needs and we will strive to respond to those priorities

Father Simon and the Manigatís asked me to thank you so much for your support . Please continue your generous donations and monitor this site for timely information about Timkatec.

Father also asks that you all remember him, the kids and the Timkatec staff in your thoughts and prayers.

Patrick J. O'Shea, Founder
Mike Spinelli, Co-Founder
Friends of Timkatec in America

January 18, 2009 Update

I drove from Sanford to Miami on Sunday yesterday to meet with Father Simon and Sabine Manigat of Timkatec 1 and to provide him some cash. We are very concerned about the future difficulty of getting money there. They are tired but determined to serve their children and the many others they expect to come to them. They fly on Thursday to Santo Domingo and overland to Petion-Ville, a 12-15 hour journey (Father had his 80th birthday at our home in October). I also met Michael Voltaire, Professor of Psychology, of Nova Southeastern University, a former student of Father Simon in the late 1960s, and advisor to the Friends of Timkatec.

We still have little direct information regarding the overall situation in Petion-Ville but we are now getting direct information regarding the three Timkatec locations. Their situation is much better than the surrounding buildings and streets.

Timkatec 2 - Main Entrance

Timkatec 1 has heavy damage and Father Simon has indicated that he cannot allow 43 residents to return until its safely is checked. They sleep in the street. We have no news regarding the other 32 staff members or over 400 day students-we does know that the 3 senior staffers had the homes totally destroyed and that Father's residence is now uninhabitable. Timkatec 2 has severe damage to one of the buildings but the workshops appear OK, as does the brand new Timkatec 3 building. These were both build recently to higher standards and we see the benefit.

Timkatec 1 - Main Classroom

Timkatec 3 - Lightly Damaged

He tells me that his load will dramatically increase on his return, and may have to use Timkatec 3 building for both classrooms and temporary dormatories for the Timkatec 1 street children. Timkatec was founded to rescue street children and that is known throughout the community. The number of homeless has dramatically increased now, as has their need for serve them. He is deeply concerned about his excellent and dedicated team of staff, who he needs for this task, but some of whom are now homeless themselves.

Father Simon in Timkatec 1 The children of Timkatec

Please continue your generous donations and monitor this site for timely information about Timkatec. Father also asks that you all remember him and the kids in your thoughts and prayers.

Patrick J. O'Shea, Founder
Mike Spinelli, Co-Founder
Friends of Timkatec in America

January 16, 2009 Update

Dear Friends of Timkatec and Haiti:

The earthquake in Haiti is of historic proportions. One third of the 8-9 million people are affected, an estimated 100,000 casualties and many more buried under buildings. There were virtually no First Responder services, trucks, heavy rescue equipment, or even clear roads and bridges to get them, limited medical services and few supplies. The USA, France and Canada and others are pouring aid in with 15,000 international troops, mostly US expected by Monday. It is if the USA had 33% (100 million people) affected with 1% dead (3 Million). A huge medical crisis, limited food supplies, no clean water, no shops, no banks and no money, and little communication.

The USA now operates the airport and stopped commercial flights. Many long haul incoming flights had no fuel to leave. Priority is to clear the airport, then the main streets so that aid can reach the people. The port is destroyed.

Timkatec and Petion-Ville. The city is heavily damaged and has seen few reporters or aid workers. The Salesian Church and School are "seriously damaged" but we have almost no real information, with the road from Port au Prince closed, there is no phone/cell phone service, just a few isolated Sat phone messages. CRS in Petion-Ville sleep in tents and our kids in the street.

Patrick Manigat reported Friday evening that:

  • Timkatec 1 has cracked walls, Timkatec 2 has one wall collapsed but Timkatec 3 appears little damaged
  • The children at Timkatec 1, the boarding school, are all accounted for, sleeping in the street.
  • The Heads of Timkatec 1 and 2 and Father's Assistant escaped but their houses are completely destroyed.
  • We are trying to get information on the 450 or so day students and 30 staff who live outside the schools.
  • Father is unsure what supplies are left. There is generally a good food supply but without leadership it is uncertain what remains.

Let me share some extracts received in a letter from Father Simon last night:

I am feeling very tired after one year and half without taking even one day of rest as the head of the 3 Timkatecs and in the midst of the 435 poverty stricken young people.

One of my friends who could reach me reported to me that a child asked him to tell me "that nothing much can be done. He will now leave Timkatec and go back to the streets, because currently, in fact, the streets do not kill, but the houses do. Vive the streets!" They have humor, these kids.

I should return to Petion-Ville. I know that people will be banging on our doors from 6 AM onwards all day seeking food and help. I escaped hearing those desperate cries as I was here for a report on my eye surgery. But I know there will be worse to come. But what can I do?"

I will try hard to stay in contact with you, but without electricity, telephone, gasoline, fuel for cooking, I do not know how we will stay in close contact. I think so much always of the children, but also I cannot prevent myself from also thinking of my 32 employees. Did they record deaths among their close relations? Can they be as dedicated when they do not know what happens with their families and I am not there to help. Well, we shall see."

He ends in Union of Prayer.

We know that Father Simon and CRS are the best stewards of your support to Haiti. They plan to return as soon as possible.

We thank you for your help,

Patrick J. O'Shea, Founder
Mike Spinelli, Co-Founder
Friends of Timkatec in America

EMERGENCY MESSAGE TO FRIENDS OF TIMKATEC, HAITI

Dear Friends of Timkatec:

The earthquake in Haiti is an event of immense proportions. One third of the population is affected, over 3 Million people. While immediate casualties are huge, the additional casualties that we must expect in the next week or two will probably double that number as many are buried under buildings. There are no First responder services, trucks, heavy equipment, or even roads and bridges to get them there. There are almost no medical services and few supplies.

It is as if the USA had 100 million people affected with several million dead and an equal number expected to die. The aftermath is a huge medical crisis.

We have just heard about Timkatec from Patrick Manigat, husband of Sabine of Timkatec 1 and Marie Manigat's son. He managed with great difficulty to get into Petion-Ville and reports as follows:

  1. Father Simon and Sabine are OK as both were in Miami for medical treatment. I spoke to Father tonight. He is badly shaken but resolute. I have committed all of our resources to assist him
  2. Timkatec 1 is heavily damaged but the 45 resident students are all accounted for, sleeping in the streets
  3. Timkatec 2 appears to have limited damage as does Timkatec 3
  4. We have no news of the 370 day students of Timkatec 1, 2 and 3, or of the staff-we are praying for them
  5. Marie believes there are a few days of food supplies-resupply will be critical
  6. It is too early to know whether Timkatec 1 is repairable-it is possible that the kids can sleep in Timkatec 3 in the near term once it is declared safe of after shocks

We implore you to donate anything that you can to assist in the massive emergency. We know that Father Simon is the best steward of your funds in Haiti and will be returning as soon as possible.

Thank you for all your help.

"Our experience shows us that these young children are normal children endowed with normal qualities and failings. Let us give them a chance and the means to cultivate these natural gifts while we endeavor to cure some of their failings." Father Joseph Simon of Timkatec.

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