Seabees provide electricity to Cap-Haitien orphanage
February 23, 2010
CAP-HAITIEN, Haiti-Two Navy Seabees assigned to Naval Special Warfare Group Two, Logistics and Support Unit brought much needed lights and electricity to a new orphanage in the northern city of Cap-Haitien, Feb. 19.
Construction Electrician 1st Class Phillip Brown and Construction Electrician 2nd Class Andy Kauffold worked for five days on an electrical project that brought lights and electrical outlets to the orphanage, which provides shelter for displaced children after the 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit Port-au-Prince Jan. 12.
"Being able to provide electricity to these kids was a rewarding experience," Kauffold said. "I will remember my time here for the rest of my life."
The Eternal Hope in Haiti Foundation runs three orphanages that help critically ill, displaced and homeless children.
"The support of the military, specifically the Seabees dedicated to the orphanage, has been instrumental in ensuring we can provide a loving, nurturing home for many children displaced as a result of the earthquake in Port-au-Prince," said Angie Haynes, Eternal Hope in Haiti Foundation vice president.
Haynes is also a nurse practitioner who has volunteered her time at local clinics for the past 25 years in Cap-Haitien.
Prior to the Seabee's project, the construction site for the orphanage was not fully prepared to accept abandoned or recovering children from Port-au-Prince.
Now the site includes access to water and electricity, and the orphanage has electrical outlets and lights for the children.
Brown said that helping out the orphanage and the children was a rewarding experience for the Seabees.
"It was good to see the smiles on the children's faces when the lights came on," Brown said. "We're here to help in whatever way is needed. It feels good to help."
In addition to providing electricity to the building that houses the children, the Seabees also ran underground wire to other buildings that will be used as a medical clinic and a kitchen.
As a result, the orphanage has now accepted approximately 20 children from Port-au-Prince and is awaiting another 32 children who are recovering post-operation patients at the Milot hospital.
Even more children are being identified daily and placed in the orphanage.
"We are truly grateful and humbled to have enjoyed the support of the U.S. military," Haynes said.