Family and friends of Westbay Marina in Esquimalt want to think of and cheer on one of their own: Maxime Watkins-Lenis. Since April, Max has been part of the Haiti reconstruction project as a shelter delegate with the Canadian Red Cross. He is one of a few dedicated humanitarians who has accepted the responsibility and been posted to Haiti to help build shelters for families who have been displaced by the earthquake that decimated the country in January 2010.
Max is in charge of Haitian workers, carpenters and beneficiaries who are putting their skills and efforts to have a place that they can call home.
Despite the ongoing cholera, violence, the lack of drinking water and facilities, and the poor road conditions, he has built 1,000 shelters in the Jacmel area on the southeast of the island. He is determined to build another 1,000 before Christmas.
Life in Haiti is fragile and people are still living in poor conditions. Every day is a struggle for survival for these displaced people. There has not been a week go by when Max has not witnessed people dying, children suffering of disease or women giving birth in conditions we may never witness.
We are grateful as we approach B.C. Day (Aug. 1) and want to thank all like Max who hear the call to serve humanity, giving their knowledge and compassion to disenfranchised cultures around the world.
We are all proud of you Max and our thoughts are with you.
Mike Hollywood and Carole Watkins