Men anpil, chay pa lou.
Many hands lighten the load.
We work hand-in-hand with Haitians, hoping to empower them in addressing social and economic problems and injustices in their lives and communities. In keeping with our mission of 'Helping Haitians help Haitians,' we collaborate with Haitian individuals and organizations assisting those in need.
Jane Wynne displays a terrarium during an ecological talk at her Wynne Farm in Kenscoff. Outreach to Haiti has supported Wynne Farm's environmental projects over the years. Guests to our mission are often taken to her reserve in the rural, mountainous region above Port-au-Prince. Also, children from the orphanages have gone there in Fresh Air Outings.
In the EDUCATION PROGRAM, we provide scholarships with full school tuitions for 300 students. We offer multi-faceted MEDICAL CARE, which includes onsite and mobile clinics. As part of our goal to build relationships between Haitian and American communities, we oversee a TWINNING program in which parishes in the United States partner with parishes in the Archdiocese of Port-au-Prince. Today there are nine such twinned relationships. Also, two other partnerships involve orphanages in Haiti. Another twinning brings together a parish in Wisconsin with our mission house in Haiti. In Connecticut, the Diocese of Norwich is itself twinned with Archdiocese of Port-au-Prince.
Although the earthquake of January 12, 2010 destroyed the two buildings that had been accommodating our guests and programs, it did not destroy one of the founding blocks of our mission—our HOSPITALITY. Hospitality is an adjunct to all our programs and is offered to international visitors and volunteers and to Haitians from rural areas in need of medical treatment in Port-au-Prince. Our guests stay at a rented house in Petion-Ville and in temporary quarters at the Christ Roi campus, where we will eventually rebuild. We offer lodging and meals and can provide transportation and translator services if desired.
FOOD FOR CHILDREN provides a daily meal to more than 70 children at Madame Samson’s house in Petion-Ville. Children in an extremely impoverished community on the island of La Gonave also receive food. Two ORPHANAGES—Le Foyer des Filles de Dieu, operated by Paula Thybulle, and La Maison L’Arc-en Ciel—are in twinning relationships and receive support from individual donors.
Since the earthquake, COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT accounts for a significant part of our work. We are partnered with Catholic Relief Services in a pilot project to build sturdy, long-lasting shelters for property owners in the Christ Roi district. Masonry classes for vocational training, which began before the earthquake, continue. A solar-powered water purification system operates at our Christ Roi campus and provides safe water to our neighbors.
EMERGENCY RELIEF was the central concern in 2010, and the effort to help Haitians who suffered losses in the earthquake is ongoing. Years before the earthquake, we responded to extraordinary needs caused by hurricanes, tropical storms and other natural disasters. We also have reached out to individuals, families and groups in other times of despair.
Through our non-profit shop, HAITI'S BACK PORCH in Middletown, Connecticut, we financially support hundreds of artisans in Haiti. The shop sells a wide range of art, crafts and other goods. Sales are made at the shop, at various craft events throughout the year, and online.