Posted by Bette Miller, Grants chair
In August 2021, an earthquake of 7.2 magnitude struck the Tiburon Peninsula of Haiti. The epicenter was approximately 150 kilometres west of the capital Port-au-Prince. This placed it close to the city of Les Cayes where serious damage and loss of life occurred. With her roots in neighbouring Jamaica, our DG Fay was quick to encourage Rotarians in D7040 to provide whatever financial assistance they could to help with disaster recovery.

DG Fay reached out to the Rotary Club of Hawkesbury for assistance. The Rotary Club of Hawkesbury used their registered Canadian charitable foundation to hold the donated funds in trust and to issue appropriate receipts. Thank you to the clubs that contributed $10,914 to the trust fund and an additional $480 that was sent directly to the recipient NGO.


Information about the situation was shared at the August meeting for D7040 International Service Committee by District 7020 PDG Haresh Ramchandani and PDG Phil Lustig of the DNA-RAG (Disaster Network of Assistance Rotary Action Group). While the immediate need was great, it was determined that any funds from D7040 should be used to produce a sustainable outcome. Further research determined that a suitable Rotary project was not available and to comply with the rules for a registered Canadian charity and satisfy the requirement for sustainability, a sound Canadian NGO working in Haiti would be required.

The Canadian NGO is Little Footprints…Big Steps . This NGO’s work is based in Les Cayes, Haiti, where it places a strong emphasis on family reunification and education. Their Canadian business address is in Cambridge, Ontario. Following the earthquake of 2010, two young Canadian women volunteered in Haiti and ultimately formed this NGO, one, Morgan Weinberg, has remained in Haiti as the Executive Director. She has received significant recognition for her work by Rotary and others. We look forward to hearing her speak at the March meeting of the International Service committee.

Little Footprints Big Steps (LFBS) is a non-profit organization that works to protect vulnerable children in Haiti by reuniting families and empowering them with resources and opportunities to build a self-sufficient future. By reinforcing their family unit, we strive to foster the health, self-worth and social reintegration of children who have been mistreated. We respect and value Haitian autonomy by working with local staff, authorities and partners.”