Windsor

'We keep looking for signs of improvement': Windsor philanthropist hopeful for return to Haiti

A Windsor philanthropist hasn't made it to Haiti for his charity work for almost a year because the country is just too volatile, but Jim Scott said he's seeing signs that indicate he might be able to return soon. 

Scott said his staff in Haiti have told him not to come, but 11 months is a long time to be away

Jim Scott said his staff in Haiti have told him not to come, but 11 months is a long time for him and his supplies to be away. (Dale Molnar/CBC)

A Windsor philanthropist hasn't made it to Haiti for his charity work for almost a year because the country is just too volatile, but Jim Scott said he's seeing signs that indicate he might be able to return soon. 

"The biggest step forward is the announcement that U.S. troops are heading to Haiti," said Scott, president of Ground Effects Ltd. "We haven't seen them in Haiti in the last 24 hours but we're hoping in the next day or two they do come."

Violence broke out in Haiti in early December, right as Scott was coming back to Canada.

"It's improved bit by bit but then fallen off and been a very violent country," said Scott. "We keep looking for signs of improvement so we can get down there and see our kids."

Scott said his staff in Haiti have told him not to come, but 11 months is a long time for him and his supplies to be away. In the meantime he's had his schools shuttered and moved the teachers and staff into the orphanages as of March. 

A team of security guards helps move staff and supplies from one location to another. 

"It's really a war zone outside the walls," said Scott. "It's not safe for anyone but reality is we have to keep our kids healthy, fed and with good drinking water."

According to Scott, three people have been found dead in close quarters to the orphanage walls, but they weren't connected to the school. 

Scott is hopeful having U.S. troops on the ground will make a difference. He said he has two 40-foot containers of food and supplies waiting to be transported. 

"Our goal is to hopefully get the containers on the water in the next three weeks," said Scott. "It's going to be a guessing game if it's going to be safe at the time of arrival ... but we're not going to risk our lives doing that either."

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