The sixth "6th" distribution took place in a community in LaValle named Dade. It went extremely well. It was executed as planned and worked without a hitch. From start to finish, it took exactly 2 hours to complete. If the venue had been adequate enough to house all the recipients at once, we could have done it in an hour and 30 minutes or less. The entire community was very corporative and very well mannered.
We had a masterful ground game the two days preceding the distribution. The two teams, each comprised of, 1 SOH Haiti staff member and 2 local volunteers, made all the difference as they visited every single house within a 3-mile radius from the center of the target area. They then painstakingly walked circa 12 miles in two days in some of the most rugged terrains in *the region to be sure the recipients were correct.
The simple, but adequate or rather very effective sound system (speaker and microphone) was used as a result of the lessons we learned from the previous distributions, made a huge difference. We did not have to shout instructions to a big crowd for 2 hours as we have done before. This was a great investment for the team. We knew we needed something more effective than yelling, but we never imagine that it would have such an impact in our delivery and how positively the crowd responded to our instructions.
The people from La Vallee were extremely friendly. During the two-day registration process, all the households we visited were extremely corporative and appreciative. During the distribution, the behavior and cooperation were exemplary. However, as it is the case for every distribution event, while the kits were being distributed and afterward, we had some people in the crowd who were not registered or qualified to be present. Those people complained that they did not have a chance to participate. We had to explain to them with sympathy and compassion that even though we would love to help, we were limited to 625 family food kits.
There were only two issues, but neither of which was within our control: 1) the local police presence we requested in person and in writing arrived an hour late. 2) Even though the weather was mild, since we had to be in the sun for a prolonged period of time, it felt incredibly hot. In any case, it is never a good thing when a distribution of this magnitude has to be done outdoor. However, no indoor alternative was available in the region.
La Vallee is not an not a current Star of Hope Haiti project, it is 30 km from our project in Marigot. La Vallee was not as impacted as the other areas where we performed emergency interventions (Les Cayes), but the impact was of a significant magnitude to the people who were already in chronic poverty before the disaster.
The embedded photographs are of the actual distribution. As evident, the people are peaceful and graceful. As always, we treated them with dignity and respect, and they responded in kind. Men from within the recipients are acting as volunteers to serve their own community.
Tony and Larry Boursiquot