Category: Uncategorized

Student Scholarships

Roughly a year ago, we began our scholarship program for students in Ranquitte, Haiti. We provided 1 year of school, uniforms, and books for the kids, who would otherwise be unable to attend. When I asked what the kids wanted to be when they grew up, they answered teachers, police, nurses, and doctors. It goes…

Friendly Shoutout

Friend of Ropa, Clayton McCune, who has helped us out with plenty of Brixton product, isn’t just a great supporter, but also a talented country superstar! His band, The Lonesome Billies, is raising money for their latest album “It’s good to be lonesome!”. Check out their kickstarter, give them a listen, and support their drag-honky-tonk…

Controlled Descent (Rewritten)

This is an overarching edit to the original “Controlled Descent” post I made a few days ago (linked below). I originally wrote the post because it had been a while, and I’d been struggling to come up with something unique, but relatable. After reading the original post, I wasn’t happy with it for a number…

Current Roofing Project

Here in America, we’re done celebrating Thanksgiving, and neck deep in the holiest of holy days, Black Friday. The sales are outrageous, the savings unbelievable, and the TV’s… lord have mercy… In all fairness, many of us are still wallowing in shame from the gut-busting feast that occurred yesterday, and have no interest in fighting the crowds for stuff. In addition to the Thanksgiving festivities, a cultural phenomenon is occurring, as Darren Wilson was not indicted by a Grand Jury for the shooting of Mike Brown. Opinions are abundant in regards to this case, and it’s easy to see a major divide in this country. Regardless of any of the details of the shooting, one thing is obvious. We suck at putting ourselves in other people’s shoes. 10 seconds on the internet and you’ll find articles on major news sources claiming that race is not an issue anymore, and that rioting is proof that it’s the community’s fault. Blame is thrown around, often in the direction of the victim. The historical treatment of a community and group of people is disregarded as merely a thing of the past. It’s oversimplification of an issue that deserves a more complete understanding. Additionally, we see people on both sides of the issue seek to dehumanize others, in an attempt to devalue arguments. The resulting “us vs. them” mentality is problematic and strips power from the most vulnerable among us. Here at Ropa, we’re not too fond of this behavior, so we’re going to focus on doing the opposite; strengthening communities through individual empowerment.

 

Today marks the start of our monthly roof building project in the Ranquitte region of Haiti. On my trip in September, I had the privilege of meeting families throughout the region in need of roofs. We will be paying for 2 roofs per month to be built, starting in December. The homes are made of mud, wood, and clay, with roofs that can’t protect from the elements. For $400, we provide the funds for supplies, and local labor to build the roofs. The first two families to receive roofs, live in the village of Maryann. It’s an idyllic setting in a river valley, and like most of the region, surviving on simple agriculture. Take a look at the before pictures…

 

Stalbert Family of 5 (only Dad is pictured)IMG_3053The Stalbert’s have 3 kids and survive on a small field where they grow corn and raise a few chickens. Their current home has an entirely thatch roof, and is constantly leaking during the rains.

 

Libele Family of 7 (not all of the family was present)IMG_3058IMG_3059The Libele family has 3 generations living together (bottom picture), and Hodette, the Mother of the youngest kids, has been suffering from a leg injury making work difficult.  They also grow crops and raise chickens to survive. Their current home is one room approximately 50 square feet. A new roof will be built on the frame of their new home, approximately 150 square feet.

 

We’re so excited to get this project going, and although the needs for a roof are obvious, the gratitude of the families is difficult to express. These families are not able to buy their own roofs, because the struggle to survive takes up all of their resources. They are hard working, and although stoic, quick to share whatever joy they have. Their ability to endure is remarkable, and we consider it an honor to be able to help them.  This holiday season, I urge you to consider donating to our roofing project. Every roof is a step in the direction of liberating others from the bonds of poverty.

 

Thanks for reading and spread the word!

Josh

32

Today, I turned 32. I have plenty of thoughts on what this means. I don’t view age in the same way that we are programmed to view age: as an immutable march towards decay and obsolescence. I won’t be botoxing anything, nor will I be slowing down any time soon. In fact, I can do…

Recap

So it’s been a week since I got back from Haiti. I made the daring, but unwise decision to work 12 hours after returning, which was exhausting, mentally and physically. Now that I have a real day off from work, I figured an informative post was in order. This trip served as a means to…

End of days

I’m headed home from Ranquitte. I meant to post more during the trip, but time seems to move at varying speeds, and it’s hard to keep up in the Haitian countryside. I continued the real estate tour, seeing 36 houses all across the Ranquitte region. Some were close to town, only a few minute walk,…

Haitian Vacation 2014

In a couple days, I’ll be going, going back, back, to Haiti, Haiti (sorry for a Biggie reference this early on). I’ll be in Ranquitte with the Peacework Medical team, as they hold their annual clinic seeing over 3,000 patients.  I won’t be working at the clinic this year, but instead providing follow-up for the…