The island of La Gonâve sits just off the Haitian Coastline; it lies about 75 miles Northeast of Port Au Prince. The small mountainous island is only ten miles wide and 37 miles long. At one time, La Gonâve was a lush, tropical Caribbean island, the kind we all dream about. Originally discovered by Christopher Columbus, it was later occupied by French pirates in the 1600s. During the 1800’s the pirates were disbanded and rule returned to ten tribes of Haitians. The population was a quaint 12,000 inhabitance


The primary issue on La Gonâve today is the great lack of fresh drinking water. Less than 20 percent of the fresh, potable water required to sustain the current population is available. People hike an average of 2.5 miles (one way) to collect water from cesspools full of disease. Children often fetch the family water-supply using antifreeze or other plastic containers that have washed up on the shores. The use of children for water-collection severely hampers their ability to receive an education.


To change a culture you must start with one ingredient; hope. Hope must be instilled in the hearts of Haitians living on La Gonave before any lasting change can be created.  There is an old Haitian proverb, “sak vid pa kampe” which means “an empty sack can’t stand up.”  Without hope, how can they rebuild?  We provide hope through all of our programs which encourages and engages Haitians to participate in rebuilding their country along with us.

Water is life, it is the essence of hope for a better future




  • A $50 gift will provide books and supplies for a semester.


  • A $20 gift can provide medical or dental treatment for a child.


  • A $50 gift ensures a child can have fresh drinking water for a year.


  • A $20 gift from you can feed a child two daily meals for a month.


Malnutrition and starvation is one of the most painful ways to cripple or cause death of a child.  The yellow hair you see in photos is not genetic, it is one a reflection of starvation.  The mud around a child’s mouth is most likely from their consumption of dirt in a desperate attempt to curb hunger.  For over 10 years You Help Haiti has been funding feeding programs in Haiti, providing nutrient rich rice and beans to children 6 and under, everyday. Currently You Help Haiti funds the feeding of 800 to 1,000 children per day.


Access to medical care is limited on La Gonave, and the vast majority of Haitians do not have the funds to pay for it.  Imagine your child having a broken arm, or a burn from a cooking fire, or an infected cut.  Without quick and proper treatment, a small issue such as infection from a burn or cut can cause the need for amputation.  You Help Haiti funds free medical care through the Mason House, a full service pediatric clinic, treating over 500 children per month, 12 and under..


You Help Haiti funds education for 1st through 6th grades at the Sunshine School.  This private school finished #1 in 2012, as the highest ranked school through government testing in all of Haiti..


Contaminated drinking water is a ruthless killer.  It transfers disease, killing thousands of Haitians on an annual basis.  It cripples their ability to grow crops, properly bathe or clean. Limited access to drinking water keeps children out of school as they hike an average of two hours to haul water daily.  Providing easy access to clean water is the primary way to tangibly change a life and bring hope to a community.  Since 2007 You Help Haiti has successfully drilled 70 wells, and has provided free water for approximately 25,000 Haitians.


La Gonave has unemployment rates around 90% with no corporate presence to provide jobs.  Most Haitians live a subsistence life.  We know that Haitians are industrious survivors who just need economic opportunity.   You Help Haiti is funding microfinance loans to Haitians to stimulate economic development.  A micro loan is a tiny loan provided to a person with no collateral, which can allow them to purchase tools, materials or supplies to crease or expand a business.

Fund a Business Microloan


  • A $100 gift will provide a loan to a La Gonave Business Owner and stimulate economic development.
Fund a Water Well


  • A $5,000 gift will provide a well for a community and bring prosperity to hundreds of people.
You Can Go


  • A $3,000 gift will provide you a visit to Haiti on a coordinated team work trip. Email us today for more information.

Fresh water changes everything. It changes the landscape and the hearts of a community


  • 2001

    Funded Feeding Station Project

    providing funding for locally operated feeding stations that provide a daily meal of rice and beans for nearly 1,000 children.


  • 2002

    School Construction Begins

    Funded construction of a school providing first through sixth grade education.


  • 2004

    Clinic Construction Begins

    Funded construction of a medical clinic providing free medical, dental and vision services for Haitians.


  • 2006

    Well Drilling Commences

    Purchased full well-drilling equipment and imported to La Gonäve from the United States.


  • 2007

    Multi-Year Well Drilling Project Begins

    Commenced a multi-year well-drilling project to drill 100 wells on La Gonäve. To date, approximately 56 wells have been drilled. 23 are functioning with hand pumps. These 12 pumps supply fresh water for between 20,000 and 25,000 Haitians living on La Gonäve..

    Screenshot 2014-03-10 18.15.49

  • 2008

    Funded Roadwork Project

    Funded a roadwork project that allowed access for well-drilling to communities along the island coast.


  • 2010

    Emergency Response Earthquake Project

    Coordinated relief efforts after the January 12th earthquake. $250,000 was raised for this relief project. Medical supplies, building supplies, 150 tons of rice and beans and a backhoe were purchased. Aid was shipped to La Gonäve via a leased vessel and delivered directly to La Gonäve in early March 2010. The aid shipment fed 50,000 people for one month.


  • 2011

    Funded the Expansion of the Drilling Project

    Drilled 23 wells during a two-month period, expanding water well locations into the remote mountain regions of La Gonäve.


  • 2013

    Provided Fresh Water to over 9,000 People

    Drilled 14 wells in six new communities which did not have a local water source previously.  This added the provision of water to 9,000 people on the Island of La Gonäve.  Well drilling locations reached to the remote northwest end of the island.


  • 2014

    Food Distribution Extends Across La Gonave For Children

    You help Haiti in conjunction with La Gonave Partnership, provides continuous food supply for approximately 1,700 children in a dozen schools to open daily feeding programs throughout La Gonave.

  • 2016

    This is where YOU come in…

    There are numerous needs on the island of La Gonäve. What can you bring to the team this season?


  • I don’t know how I’ll process this. It’s going to take some time, but I know this: I HAVE to come back…

    Kent Harle - Energy Expert
  • The sights and sounds of the island will never leave you. And the feeling of helplessness is only chased by the simple thought, that we can DO SO MUCH HERE.

    Matt Swaggart - Photographer


The Recovery
The People
The Island
Photography / Landscape
Kent’s Story
Video / water / food



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