HISTORY OF THE PROJECT:  The 2010 earthquake in Haiti prompted a request to the International Team of the US and Canadian Federation Peace and Justice Coordinators to respond to the devastation.  Study and research led to the proposal, Rebuilding Haiti through the Empowerment of Girls, which was approved by the Leadership of both Federations.  In collaboration with MISSION HAITI, three goals were set in motion working with the Companions of Jesus Sisters in Leogane, Haiti: 1) to provide education of ten Haitian girls thru to secondary  level;  2) to provide salaries and financial assistance for certification of teachers; 3) to assist with rebuilding the secondary school.  

The proposal that is funding our work is at http://cssjfed.org/images/US_Haiti_Proposal_2012_ Final_ Draft_Can.pdf . This report gives the history of the project, our connection with Mission Haiti, a recap of the fundraising efforts, an update on the schools we are supporting, and financial summary to date.  

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TRIP TO HAITI—ESTABLISHING RELATIONSHIPS: Visiting Haiti offers a time of building connections with the people and their culture.  It is a visible support to the Sisters and to the families of the students while together strengthening relationships. Time spent in Haiti also leaves one with  the question…”What did I learn?”  and “What do I do with it?” Learn more about and join the 2018 Haiti trip at http://www.missionhaitiinc.org/trips/

FUNDRAISING. Over the past 5 years fundraising has included pledges from the US and Canadian Federation Leadership, the Lenten Calendar which has found its way into schools and parishes and greeting cards made from pictures drawn by the girls.  These cards are available through Baden.  St. Mary’s School and Parish in Ballston Spa, NY with the creativity of Sister Debbie Timmis (Albany) moved the fundraising and involvement to a next step. In early November during a presentation about Mission Haiti each child was given one of these cards and each promised to pray for that girl (a sponsored student) throughout the year.

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“...The children took this opportunity very seriously. I was reminded at least once a week that we needed to pray for “Rose” or “Princess”” or another girl. The children seemed to remember better than I did!”...Part Two of our Haiti Initiative included the entire parish. With the help of student created work to spread the message of the great need in Haiti. Part Three of our initiative involved asking for financial support for this project.” said Sr. Debbie Timmis, CSJ.

CONNECTION WITH MISSION HAITI.  MISSION HAITI was founded in 2006    based on the vision of Phyllis Sheehan, a parishioner of Annunciation Church in Minneapolis. She recognized a need for education in Haiti (especially for girls), raised money, partnered with the Companions of Jesus and built “Annunciation Leogane” dedicated in 1998.  We began working with the group in 2012.

THE LATEST UPDATE ON THE TWO SCHOOLS

8 31 17 pics 4Annunciation School:  How beautiful to watch “our” ten girls attending Annunciation School grow and learn.  It is hard to believe that already, six of them are now in 5th grade and four of them are in the 4th grade.  This year we became aware of a Haitian cultural practice of wearing black upon the death of a parent.  One of our 4th graders wears black this year out of respect and love for her mother who died in January.

The faculty at Annunciation School is stable which is a great benefit at the school.  Through grant money teachers receive continuing education courses, working toward certification.  The classes expand their teaching skills in the classroom.  So everyone benefits.

The quality education at Annunciation School has brought about higher enrollment which resulted in the need to expand and add a second story to the building.  The estimate for this expansion is $95,000 which in our economy is not an enormous amount, but in Haiti is a very great amount. 

Coeur de Marie College

8 31 17 pics 5.jpgThe secondary school, Coeur de Marie which was destroyed by the 2010, is still in progress, but not yet complete. Because the value of the goude (Haitian dollar) declined, the company that was building the school demanded additional payment.  The payment was provided with the promise that the building would be finished by March 15, 2017.   The promise was not kept.  It was recently learned that the company walked away from completing the building. This is piece of reality experienced in   Haiti, resulting in the need for additional money and a new builder to be identified.     

FINANCIAL REPORT

This September will mark the completion of our 5th year.  Our original pledge is $327,780.  So far we have raised $200,229.67 or 61%.