What does the Future of WHCC Look Like?
Haiti has always been a nation with challenges. It is the commitment and energy of Haitians, with sustainable support from without that will really show the world what magic can be found here. Camille Otum came back to her native Haiti together with the WHCC team with the hopes of making life better for a few children. Little did they realize the scope of that dream, or the vastness of the need. It didn’t take long for the WHCC team to realize that they would quickly outgrow their capacity.
In February of this year, WHCC spent 10 days in Haiti with a group of engineers and an architect from Engineering Ministries International (Emi). These people do amazing work, assisting Christian organizations around the world, both big and small, with building and construction designs as well as site use development and designs.
WHCC had applied for their assistance in the design of our new site to maximize the spatial and structural functionality of the property. So after 10 days of hard work, well organized and meticulously planned out processes, EMI came up with a totally new design and concept for the site and the buildings to go on the property.
We have never seen anything like this before. The first thing they did was visit the site to establish the perimeter and coordinates of the property. The next day the survey team was dispatched to completely survey every square meter of the property and came up with the geodetic landscape of the property on a CAD drawing-complete with contour lines.
Meanwhile, they interviewed us to find out what our immediate and future vision for the site really is, then they interviewed the house mothers to hear from them what challenges they face in our current rental house. Then our vision was sequentially prioritized during an hour long chat. Armed with the information from these discussions, the architect created a series of coloured blocks on paper to depict all the structures we want on the property. Each block was further divided into smaller blocks during another session of consultation to fine tune whatever that block represented.
Shortly after a complete site layout was produced - showing all the structures; current & future that would eventually stand on the property.
Additionally the location of the playground, the well, and the general landscape were incorporated into the picture and voila a campus has been born!
At the same time the architect was doing her thing, the civil engineering team was busy at work assessing the soil quality at the site for stability and drainage qualities. The ground water depth and quality was also estimated by drawing water from a nearby well and measuring its depth, bacteria count and dissolved compounds. The results allowed them to give us a reasonable idea of what to expect when we drill our own well.
The electrical engineering team was given a carte blanch to study the Obama Beach Hotel power grid and systems to help them design something similar for us. Reliable power supply is a big challenge for the ordinary citizens of Haiti except for big companies, organizations and well to do individuals. Obama Beach Hotel is a relatively small enterprise but has found a way to power itself with little disruption and completely off the public power grid. So with the information gathered, a combination of solar and generator based power supply system was designed for us.
At the end, the whole building project was divided into 3 phases.
The first phase involves the construction of a 2 storey 5 bed room house for future use as guest house. A guardhouse as well as an electrical grid, the well, septic system and some modification to site drainage are also planned for this phase. The reason for building a guest house first is because it is relatively simple and cheaper structure to build quickly than either of the boys’ or girls’ dormitory, and it will provide an immediate much bigger space for our children than their current residence.
The 2nd phase will involve the construction of 2 dormitories (one for the boys & the other for the girls). There will also be a rotunda - a common multipurpose place for, dinning, social events and chapel. A formal kitchen will also be constructed as part of this phase. The 3rd and final phase will be the construction of a school building and a small sports field.
A detailed Landscape, Structural, Architectural as well as an Electrical set of drawings was eventually produced and delivered to us at the end of April. Accompanying it was a complete report of the work and findings of their work on the site.
We were again in Haiti from May 17 to May 24 and we are so excited to announce that we have signed two contracts during this trip with two separate Christian NGO’s in Haiti. The first is with Blue Ridge international, a Mennonite Mission 0perating in the North part of Haiti, to drill a well complete with both a hand pump and an electric pump. The other is with MSAADA, an Architectural and Engineering Ministry headquartered in Minneapolis Minnesota - specifically hired to oversee and manage the construction of the first phase of the project. Construction is expected to start in the 2nd week of June 2015.
Thank you all so much for this milestone in our journey toward the creation of a premiere home for every child of Haiti the Lord will bring our way. During this last visit, we turned away 6 potential intakes into our home because of lack of Space. We are doing a good work in this area of Haiti through your help and the grace of God. This is borne out by the rise in the demand for our services and the kind words we get from people of various walks of life. We have even been told by a doctor from "Alpha & Omega", a clinic-a low cost Baptist clinic operating in Cabaret, that he is impressed with the degree of care he sees in our children compared to those of other kids from a nearby orphanage and the kids of Cabaret in general. He commends us for our good works & encourages us to continue. We really want to share this accolade with you all because we planted this seed and you have continued to water and fertilize it with your donations and prayers.
May the Lord continue to bless you all and smile over you in appreciation of your good works.
We want to formally acknowledge EMI for the fantastic work they are doing for His kingdom around the globe. Thanks to you Kevin and your team. May God continue to expand your territory.
We also want to give a shout out to Gus, the owner and operator of Obama Beach Hotel, who himself is BA Christian for showing us warm Christian Hospitality – giving us a special rate, feeding us well and for giving us invaluable advice and leads. May God continue to bless you and prosper your business.
Andre Ripp, the MSAADA representative in Haiti believes that the building will be ready for occupancy by September. In light of this, we plan to ship a 40 ft. container to Haiti filled up with a whole bunch of supplies and furnishing by August. We need bunk beds, Mattresses – Special donations ($200.00 / set) toward this will be greatly appreciated. We want purchase them rather than have individual donations for uniformity. Double beds and good used mattresses will be accepted as well as plates and dishes.