“Mavi Says” used to be a mommy blog and a travel blog: stories about a family going through life with a sense of freedom and adventure based on a foundation of progressive values. As we’ve progressed, our search for ourselves as individuals and as a family has led us to find fulfillment beyond travel and adventure. After working with the Bernie Sanders campaign, I discovered ways to get more involved with the community. We want this blog to become a vehicle for change. We want to give back, mobilize, and rebuild!
This election year our work has focused on campaign work and local volunteer action in our community, our schools, and our church. We want to take this a step further. After we saw the devastation Matthew caused in Haiti, we were moved to take action. On my birthday I asked folks to come out and donate supplies to ship to Haiti. After researching at length, we discovered that there are not that many organizations that can focus every cent donated directly to affect change in Haiti. Most non-profit organizations have to cover admin costs and salaries. Much of the money donated ends up tangled in those costs. We wanted to find an efficient way to get Haiti the help they need. We decided that seeking out a private, personal, and intimate project was the best way to make an immediate impact.
My business partner has a childhood friend in Michigan, Miranda Marques, whose father is from Haiti. After Hurricane Matthew hit, Miranda’s father, Mr. Jacques Vielot, immediately traveled to his home country to survey the destruction and figure out how to help. He was distraught to find villages wiped out and suffering all around him. He has seen what non-profits do. They come, they pose for the photo op, and they leave projects undone because no one is watching. He came up with a plan. He knew bringing supplies would be costly to ship and would just place a bandage on the issue. Mr. Vielot wanted to take on a project that would have a lasting impact. Something he could personally see through from start to completion. He researched further and found that for $7,500 he could build three homes for families in the village of Angibeau who had lost everything in the storm.
Mr. Vielot wanted to take on a project that would have a lasting impact. Something he could personally see through from start to completion.
On their GoFund Me page Miranda says, “The estimated loss exceeds 50% of the country’s agricultural production, in addition to the disappearance of entire small cities, together with their infrastructure. There are no longer any birds left, few trees standing, and only a small percentage of large animals survived in five of the ten departments of the country.” Before the storm, the school was simply a tent outdoors. Now, there is nothing. There is much work to be done.
We want to support this effort and help find donors. We are fully confident this is the best use of a donation to Haiti right now. Mr. Vielot will be overseeing the entire project to ensure the people of Haiti are helped. What’s more, through his family in Michigan and Mavi Says, we will be able to share the progress of the project and ensure donors can see what their dollars are doing for people. Once this project is completed, we are confident that donors will become project ambassadors who will help us to find more donors to help completely rebuild this village and others like it. When you bring outside teams to build they have to adapt to local laws and culture, often setting back projects months or years. Using locals to build these homes will ensure the homes are built in a timely manner, creating local jobs, and injecting funds into a collapsed economy.
It starts with you. Help us by please donating what you can, sharing this story, and helping us fund this project. Once they build these three homes, Miranda and her father will continue. Help them succeed so they can do more and more. Click the link below to read more about this project and show your support.