Community Payback Order re-equips Haiti hurricane victims

Hurricane Matthew victims in Haiti take delivery of 40ft freight full of essential school supplies from Edinburgh 

Offenders completing Community Payback Orders – together with former Edinburgh teacher and founder of Surplus Educational Supplies Foundation David Hanschell – have sent a container full of school supplies, unused furniture and bicycles to Haiti. 
The Haiti Project has seen Community Payback Work team members, working in partnership with Haiti Relief and CCLASP (Children with Cancer and Leukaemia Advice and Support for Parents) to provide educational and recreational equipment, as well as other badly-needed supplies to a school in Dame Marie, Haiti, where pupils and staff have suffered in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.
A 40ft freight container was picked up at the beginning of June from Edinburgh and was received in Haiti in early July.
Forty children’s and 20 adult bikes have been restored by the team as part of the innovative Brake the Cycle scheme and have been delivered to Haiti along with almost 100 desks and chairs and boxes of clothes and toys donated by CCLASP.
David Hanschell has been organising similar shipments to the Caribbean since 2004 and this latest voyage to Haiti marked his final chapter.
Culture and Communities Convener for the City of Edinburgh Council Councillor Donald Wilson said: “This has been a wonderful project to be involved in. The Council has been a supporter of David’s work for years and Brian Herron and his Brake the Cycle team were glad to be involved.
“The involvement of the Community Payback team has not only been the restoration of bikes, the team has also been on hand to pack the container. The scheme gives offenders new skills and confidence by teaching them how to build a bike from scratch. The fact that they are taking part in something they are interested in and will have such an important effect makes for a more successful outcome.”
Annabelle Ewing, Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs, added: “Projects like Brake the Cycle are a superb example of Community Payback Orders (CPOs) in action.
“Not only have the participants in this particular CPO scheme been given a chance to learn new, valuable skills while paying back to the community.  But their efforts have made a significant difference to the lives of the inhabitants of Dame Marie, Haiti as it continues to recover from the devastation of Hurricane Matthew.”
The school’s head teacher, Linda Brooks, spoke about her excitement ahead of the delivery. She said: “I am bursting with excitement for these children and to see the joy on their faces when they see the generous donations.
“The bikes will mean children won’t have to walk from far away to go to school and will be able to ride a bike and come to school fresh and ready to learn. Other bikes will enable some people to start a delivery business, which will provide an income for their family. Others will allow children to spend less hours walking to collect drinking water for their families.”
The Haiti project sees the final voyage organised by David Hanschell, who said: “I would like to thank Brian, his Community Payback team and CCLASP for all their support in this project. After all these years of struggle, it’s great to have persevered in spite of difficulties to see this project come together with the help and goodwill of so many wonderful individuals.”
Valerie Simpson, Founder and Managing Director of CCLASP, said: “When Brian told us about the container and how he was helping we were so excited as we were about to have a clear-out and couldn’t think of a better way to pass on the children’s toys, clothes and toiletries. Wish I could be there to see their faces when they open it up!”
The container left Grangemouth port on Monday, 5 June, on-board the vessel Aldebaran J and arrived in Port Au Prince Haiti in early July.
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