In the spring of 2014, three intrepid and compassionate individuals embarked on a life-changing journey to Fonds Des Blancs. Mara Brownell, a dedicated educator from the US, along with Andy Whipple and Darin Carei, the visionary owners of Atlasta Solar in Grand Junction, Colorado, set out to bring solar power to the medical and dental clinic in the region.
Andy, having previously visited Fonds Des Blancs, recognized the potential of solar energy to revolutionize the area. Not only could it save significant costs by replacing the need for a diesel generator, which was prohibitively expensive due to the exorbitant prices of diesel fuel in Haiti, but it could also mitigate environmental concerns stemming from the generator’s noxious emissions and deafening noise. Panels and batteries were meticulously transported, first to Port Au Prince and then onward to FDB, where the trio, alongside local Haitian men, labored tirelessly from sunrise to sunset to install the solar infrastructure.
The impact of their selfless efforts resonated deeply with the community, as the people of the area expressed boundless gratitude to these three remarkable benefactors. Their collective generosity and ingenuity had not only illuminated the clinic but also illuminated the path toward a brighter, more sustainable future for Fonds Des Blancs.
Amidst their noble endeavors, the trio’s hearts were touched by the presence of the local children, who eagerly gathered around the clinic during their time there. Among them, one child, Billy, captured Darin’s heart in particular. It soon became apparent that Billy faced significant barriers to education; lacking the means to afford a school uniform, he was unable to attend school. In Haiti, where education is not free and uniforms are mandatory, Billy’s predicament starkly highlighted the vicious cycle of poverty that plagued many families in the region.
Moved by Billy’s plight, Mara, Andy, and Darin resolved to take action, recognizing the transformative power of education in breaking the chains of poverty. They embarked on a mission to ensure that Billy, and children like him, would have access to the education they deserved, regardless of their financial circumstances. Through their unwavering commitment to change, they sought to rewrite the narrative of poverty in Haiti, one child at a time.