Just days after the earthquake struck in Haiti, Blogcritics writer Kate Kennon forwarded me an e-mail from Dr. Pilar Martin. This was an urgent message about the Rose Orphanage in Port-au-Prince needing aid.
I forwarded this message to my contacts at the World Food Programme (WFP) and they took action quickly. David Orr of WFP reported to me that Rose was included in a series of deliveries targeting orphanages.
Dr. Martin, of Florida International University, visited the Rose Orphanage last week. She brought a special delivery for the children there, a stuffed animal snow leopard! The leopard arrived from Amazon.com just in time, before Dr. Martin left for Haiti. In addition, she gave the children copies of the coloring book, "The Snow Leopard, the Yeti and the Girl who Climbed Mount Everest."
The free coloring book features the story of the great mountain climber, Nimdoma Sherpa, who while growing up in Nepal received school meals provided by the World Food Programme. The Yeti, who helps WFP with deliveries in remote areas, and the snow leopard learn about Nimdoma’s story and follow her to the top of Mount Everest.
The snow leopard and the Yeti decide to help Nimdoma promote the World Food Programme's "Fill the Cup" campaign to provide school meals for every child.
The coloring book was illustrated by Angie Espelage, who is an art graduate from the College of the Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati. The coloring book, the snow leopard and the inspirational story of Nimdoma Sherpa hopefully can offer a little fun and some hope for children in Haiti. Anyone can download a free copy of the book.
Dr. Martin is having a friend translate the story into French to be used in a school in Haiti.
The story of Nimdoma Sherpa is one of great courage and determination, and how the generosity of others can help someone realize their potential. These are themes that will be ever so vital for the children in Haiti who are growing up in the harshest of circumstances.
For Rose Orphanage, the food and shelter situation is stable according to Dr. Martin. Josephine Etima Ocilaje of WFP reported to me in February that Rose Orphanage was in a program that included "30 days ration of general food including CSB and sugar," to be delivered each month.
So much help is needed in so many sectors of Haitian society.
Dr. Martin described going to Haiti as “only 2 hours flight from US and you return to the 17 century." She says that needs are "everywhere, in schools, education, health care, housing, employment , infrastructure, security. It is difficult to know from where to start…. “
Will the international community stand by them over the long haul of a massive reconstruction?
There are many ways people can help. You can support Save the Children, the Red Cross, UNICEF and other agencies working in Haiti. To help with food relief, and the long-term agricultural reconstruction, visit the World Food Programme and the Friends of the World Food Program.
It's also vital to keep Haiti "in the headlines" over the course of a long reconstruction as discussed in a recent interview with Ella Brown of WFP.
See a video about Nimdoma Sherpa from Youtube