The Freethinkers of Haiti
Mouvement de la Jeunesse pour la Liberté de la Pensée en Haiti (MOJELIPH) (Youth Movement for Freethought in Haiti)
NOTE: Help is urgently needed… please visit our HURRICANE SANDY EMERGENCY RELIEF FUND page and donate what you can. The Freethinkers of Haiti is registered with the Haitian government. View their Certificate here: HAITI-Freethinkers-Registration
The Freethought Society received this urgent plea for help from Billy Almoza, the head of the Haitian Freethinkers:
Dear Margaret and Freethought Society,
It is with a heart filled with sadness that I’m writing now. On behalf of MOJELIPH, I want to present my apologies for not being able to write you. SANDY cyclone was very threatening. There was no access.
The cyclone did a lot of damage in the department of South Country. Many casualties and much loss. Houses are destroyed, the gardens of farmers are destroyed, the heads of livestock are in rivers.
MOJELIPH members were there to do their duty to humanity despite their difficult situation they are treated to confront. Our office is destroyed during the cyclone, a part of the house is destroyed and material as: benches, desks and written documents were carried by flood waters.
Many members were MOJELIPH victim. E Esnor Pierre’s house was destroyed, the house was destroyed Fredine Othelo to Cavaillon.
Serge Jacques Jean Marie is pregnant with a 6 month old baby was the victim of a tree that was struck, she is currently in hospital.
I would like to send an SOS to the executive committee of the IHEU and to the Freethought Society to get help in this situation.
We count on your support and understanding.
The Freethought Society (FS) adopted the Free Thinkers of Haiti (FTH) as a sister group in March of 2010 (see article “Update on the Freethought Society’s Sister in Haiti” in the March/April 2010 newsletter). FS supporters have donated money and goods to the group and FTH has been able to provide many community services in the name of “good.”
Haitians are suffering. They live in poverty without enough food and clean water. When people suffer, they turn to religion and a belief in a god to ease the pain of their existence.
Surely there is a “better afterlife” most think, and they wonder if God has “a plan” for them. Even under these conditions, FTH continues to say that there is no God and that the circumstances in the here-and now can only be remedied by human endeavors. They advocate hard work to overcome poverty in this, their one and only life. Members of FTH travel from village to village presenting a rational point of view and they do not hesitate to espouse the fact that the earthquake was a natural occurrence.
“Haitians were not punished by a God,” they tell villagers. “We must get off our knees and help each other.”
Now FTH needs more FS help. In their travels they have witnessed the effects of cholera and starvation. Not only do they want to speak about rationality and science, they also desire to problem-solve along the way.
I have connected FTH with Solarbox Cookers International (SCI) to arrange for them to receive a training package and tool kit in order to promote solar energy cooking and water purification. To learn about this wonderful solar box cooking organization, please see:
SCI distributes two newsletters — the Solar Cooker Review and the Suews. In those publications, SCI shares stories of solar cooking and solar cooker promotion from across the globe. The newsletters update readers about SCI’s projects, as well as projects conducted by others. The newsletter also provides insight into strategies for successfully spreading the knowledge of solar cooking. Readers of the SCI newsletter are kept up to date about solar cooker manufacturers and new products. FTH now receives a complimentary newsletter from SCI. SCI has helped tens of thousands of people to learn how to make and use solar cookers for cooking and water pasteurization.
FTH was also sent a copy of SCI’s publications that includes a step-by-step construction plan for panel-type and box-type solar cookers (“ Solar Cookers: How to Make, Use and Enjoy ”).
FTH will also receive a copy of “ Spreading Solar Cooking” (solar cooking projects) and a copy of “ Teaching Solar Cooking,” which will help solar cooking instructors stay on task and monitor their students’ progress.
The entire package from SCI cost FS only $60 (includes shipping and handling). It is imperative that FTH receives more than one kit. There are eight members of FTH who desire to learn about and educate fellow citizens about solar box cooking. It is hugely important for each of the FTH eight members to have their own kit. With current budget restrictions, FS could only afford to send one solar box cooking kit to serve as a training tool and example. Pease earmark a donation to FS for this effort so that FTH can begin this important community service project.
The following members of FTH have volunteered for this project:
Billy Almoza, Marie Serge Jean Jacques, Louis Marc Pierre, Ramson Cadeau, Johnny Exantus, Bernard Telfort, Pierre Esnor Pierre, Roody Othelo, and Stanley Larosiliere.
These brave freethinkers deserve our support and encouragement. It’s a shame FS could provide only one solar box cooker. Each FTH volunteer should have their own kit in order to do the most good for their community. Once again I ask readers to please earmark a donation as soon as possible.
The goal is to send eight solar box cookers to FTH within the next few months. I now want to tell you about FTH member Roody Othelo. He was trapped in earthquake rubble for four hours before help arrived. He lost his arm and leg during the ordeal. As he waited for help, he did not pray nor did he wonder if God had a “plan” for him. Then and now, he advocates rational thinking and scientific advancements. As a member of FTH, Othelo promotes doing good without God and he does not let his disability stop him from volunteering.
He is pictured wearing a T-shirt made by EvolveFish for FTH. The message on the front of the shirt is “Bon Sans Dieu” which in English is “Good Without God” (also printed on the front of the T-shirt).
The name of the group “Free Thinkers of Haiti” is printed on the back of the shirt. Members of FTH plan to wear the T-shirts when they teach others about solar box cooking.
Here is an opportunity for FS to help our sister organization FTH to become a well respected group in Haiti. The FTH solar box cooker project can make us all proud! FS agrees with the FTH message, “Only humans can solve human problems.” Text from this article: Free Thinkers of Haiti Flier.
Read more about our affiliate in Haiti:
FTH project update: Haiti-FTH-update-May-2011
FS posts updates periodically in our newsletters. Please see the May-June 2012 newsletter. More article links will be forthcoming.