The 2nd of November was reserved in the Caribbean Area of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a Day of Service around the theme “Hands and Hearts”. Local priesthood leaders were invited by the Area Presidency to select activities of services where members and neighbors could work together in the community. This was a wonderful opportunity for church members to rub shoulders with good people.
The Presidency of the Port-au-Prince Stake decided on two community activities:
· assessment of trees planted in the boundary of the stake in May 1st
· cleaning and reforestation of the National Theatre of Port-au-Prince.
Six months ago the Church planted about 10,000 trees in Petion-Ville. For this Day of Service members went to see those trees and provide necessary care such as taking the weeds out and adding more soil around them. This visit helped the tree beneficiaries feel how important the maintenance of these trees is to us. It helps them feel committed to provide continued care for them. One of the beneficiaries received 1600 shade trees. He cares for them in such a way he saved 90% of them. He became a champion/leader for other people of his community who would like to do the same on their own land. This is an area where the reforestation is really critical for when it rains it causes flooding to other areas near downtown Petion-Ville. The volunteers were happy to make improvements in the care of the trees. Most of the trees have improved greatly from when planted six months ago. The efforts will continue by the members in Petion-Ville.
The National Theatre is located in the downtown area of Port-au-Prince. It is a place where youth and young adults can go for training on how to develop theatre based talents. Musical groups can use this facility for performance. The National Theatre was used as a refugee camp for victims of the earthquake that hit Haiti in January 12th, 2010. In 2012, the authorities of the Municipality were finally able to relocate victims to other places. Yet, in spite of the efforts made to rehabilitate this Cultural Center, there was much help needed. The trees destroyed had not been replanted. Trash and weeds were all around the facility. The Stake Presidency had the feeling that this was a wonderful place for our members to help during the Day of Service.
LDS members and non-members including personnel of the National Theatre worked together to accomplish the planting of fruit trees and cleaning up the area. The Director expressed his gratitude particularly for the trees provided and planted there. At the request of the stake presidency Humanitarian Services have provided a total of 65 fruit trees of different varieties: lemon, avocado, orange, cherry and mango. Compost and agriculture black soil bags were received along with the trees.