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This Past Year

A Christmas Message 2018

Here we are again. Thanksgiving is over, and we are on our way to Christmas. Now is the time to reflect on the blessings we have received this past year and to look on what our donations to ABC for Haiti have done.
Our focus has changed this past year from clean water to education. One of the items on our list was to start a trade school for welding. However, I am happy to announce there was no sense in inventing the wheel. We found a 2-year trade school in the area that had training in not only welding but auto mechanics and carpentry. With Father Filho’s recommendation we sent 9 men to the school. 3 from the parish and 2 from each of the chapels. The cost? Only $200 each. We couldn’t have set up one trade for that cost.
ABC for Haiti continues to provide teacher and administration salaries for the parish school. In addition, a new school started at the Chapel of Saint Gabriel of Cherival. Here we are also helping with teacher salaries. We also helped purchase blackboards and desks for the new school as well as a new outhouse facility for the children. Special donations provided the funds for Father Fitho to purchase land the school is located on, so he could apply for a grant to build a school building. Right now, they have a wooden framed, open walled structure with a roof we provided a couple of years ago.
We also continue to provide Father with a $1000 per month stipend to operate the parish and we provide tuition assistance for 50 children.
ABC for Haiti purchases products in Haiti for all our projects. We constantly keep in mind keeping Haitians employed, stimulating their economy.
We have been successful in keeping 95% or better of your dollar to helping Haiti. There is still much to be done along with maintaining current standards which is why it is so important for you to reflect on your situation and if you can please consider increasing your donation or sending us a onetime donation.

May God continue to Bless You and may you continue sharing with those in need.

Wishing you all a Blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year

Merry Christmas

We would like to wish all of a Very Merry and Blessed Christmas.

This has been another successful year thanks to your generous donations and unwavering support. We reduced our expenses by sending funds on a quarterly basis instead of monthly. Those funds covered expenses for the parish, school tuition, teacher & school staff salaries, and the salary for the sewing school instructor.

We are very excited about our end of year projects.  For the first time in our 7 year history we are able to not only help the parish but also all three of Father’s chapels. There is a trade school in Hinche that teaches welding, mechanics, and cabinet making.

Learning auto mechanics

We will sponsor 9 people; 3 from the parish of Our Lady of the Rosary, 2 each from LaBeque, Cherival and Cour Cadichon. At $200 per person per year for a two year program you can’t beat the price. We will get a report on progress of the students at the end of year one. We will also be increasing our monthly stipend to provide for a fair wage for the teachers at LaBeque and for the teachers at the new school at Cherival.

You might recall 2 years ago the chapel at Cherival had a stick frame for the beginning of their church and school. Cherival prior to tin roof

We were able to provide a tin roof to give them some protection. We are happy to say the people of Cherival started an elementary school in the same structure. Conditions are primitive to be sure. To make things a little more school like we will be providing desks, blackboards and the all important outhouse.

School children at Cherival

All this is made possible because of your generosity. There are still a couple of weeks left in this year to make that last minute contribution. Don’t hesitate – Donate today. https://abcforhaiti.org/donate/

Merry Christmas from our families to yours!

Business as Usual

Although I have been lax in keeping up with the blogs I assure you that during this time we have been doing business as usual. Monies have continued to flow to the parish in support of the pastor, the teachers, and the sewing school.

However, things ended up slightly different than what I reported in my last blog. The well for LaBeque project was taken on by another Haitian group out of Florida.  We agreed to this realizing it would leave us funds for other community projects.  The sewing school resumed when Fr. Nova was able to find someone who could repair the sewing machines by combining two unusable machines to make one dependable machine and then adding a hand crafted work surface.  He was also able to acquire an experienced sewing instructor to teach the students.

Another major change this year has been a change in pastors. Father Nova, in obedience to his Bishop has agreed to come to the states and further his education so that once he receives his degree he may take on the day to day responsibilities of caring for the Diocesan University located just outside the grounds of Our Lady of the Rosary Parish.

Our new Pastor at Our Lady of the Rosary is Fr. Fitho Jean.  Father Fitho just recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of his priesthood on May 6, 2017.  Father has spent the last 4 years studying at the Pontifical Bible Institute, Rome.  He is the eldest of 4 children, has a sister who is a doctor, another sister in High School and his younger brother was tragically killed during the earthquake of 2010.

We are happy to welcome him to the parish. We have already begun discussing the needs of the people.

Thank you for your continued support and care of the poor in Haiti.  Business as Usual can only be maintained by your generous donations and continually adding new donors.  You are our best form of communication. Encourage your family and friends to sign up for a  $20 per month donation, that’s only 66 cents per day.  Most of us can afford that.  Remember 95% of your donation goes directly to support our programs.

God Bless

Art

Our Lady of the Rosary Parish-Haiti

Just back from my annual visit to Our Lady of the Rosary Parish in Sapaterre and would like to combine the results of my visit with a reflection on this past year and what we have been able to accomplish.

As in the past this was a good visit, short but productive. Father and I had some time to chat about business and what he felt was needed in the parish and to discuss some situations that have arisen since my last visit.  I was able to spend time visiting the people in their homes.  There is an area directly across the street from the parish that I usually visit first and then as we make our way into Hinche, via foot because in Haiti we do as the Haitians do, we stop at just about every home on the way to say hello, see how they are doing and to take photos.

school kids goofing with Mr. Art

school kids goofing with Mr. Art

Then of course there are the school children, they’re always fun to goof around with.  Kids are kids no matter where you go.

Fr. Nova at All Saints - Mesa, AZ

Fr. Nova at All Saints – Mesa, AZ

  • 2016 started off with a visit from Father Nova to our organization in Mesa, Arizona. It was a very good visit. While here, Father con-celebrated Mass at our home parish of All Saints, donations were accepted after Mass and the parishioners of All Saints were very generous. We had a dinner with Haitian rice & beans, chicken, salad and Haitian Rum cake made with rum imported from Haiti for about 60 people. Our Men’s Ministry held a pancake breakfast and donated all their profit to ABC for Haiti, and our Knights of Columbus council 9485 donated 50% of their raffle proceeds to ABC for Haiti.
  • We have taken responsibility for keeping the parish school operating by supporting the income requirements of the 9 teachers, 1 principal, 1 secretary, 2 cleaning crew members and 3 cooking staff personnel.
  • We sponsor tuition for 50 children.
  • We have begun the long and tedious task of drilling a well for water as close as possible to the chapel school at LaBeque, this school has 400 children and no water nearby. The geological survey has been taken and we are waiting results. Once we have results we will decide where to drill and hopefully very soon there will be water for the community of LaBeque.
Fresh water and a smile, what a well will do

Fresh water and a smile, what a well will do

  • We continue to provide a monthly income for the parish to use as necessary.
  • We did have to temporarily discontinue the sewing school. The machines were not up to the job and we are searching for quality machines. As soon as we have them we will start up again. Unfortunately doing business in Haiti can be quite slow. As you can imagine it is very difficult for us to locate items like sewing machines in Haiti, and with Father being so far from Port-Au-Prince it is difficult for him to find the time to get there and when he does his time is taken up by a variety of tasks.

I try to keep these to one page so before I go I would just like to thank you for your support this past year and if you should by any chance need an additional tax write off, or you’re feeling a little more generous this time of year or you’re just so proud of what we have accomplished with your help we certainly would welcome anything more you can do. There is so much more to be done!  Oh! and wouldn’t you rather help someone other than Uncle Sam??

Click here to donate: http://abcforhaiti.org/one-time-donation/

Cholera in Haiti – Please Donate Today

Cholera Affects Our Lady of the Rosary

Cholera ward in makeshift hospital

Cholera ward in makeshift hospital

There have been so many news reports of late about the resurgence of Cholera in Haiti, I thought it might be a good time to answer a few basic questions about cholera and what is happening, not only in the headlines but in our little corner of Haiti, Our Lady of the Rosary Parish and its 3 chapels.

What is Cholera – an infectious and often fatal bacterial disease of the small intestine, typically contracted from infected water supplies and causing severe vomiting and diarrhea.

How is Cholera acquired?  Cholera infections are most commonly acquired from drinking water in which V.cholerae is found naturally or into which it has been introduced from the feces of an infected person.  Other common vehicles include contaminated fish and shellfish, produce or leftover cooked grains that have not been properly reheated.

Recent headlines are saying that the United Nations had played a role and admitted that they were partially responsible for the outbreak of Cholera in Haiti. Below, are just a few of the headlines over the past few weeks (click on headline for link to news article).

Dodging Accountability at the United Nations (The New York Times)

The U.N. has admitted that it played a role in the cholera outbreak in Haiti (ScienceAlert 8/21/16)

U.N. ran from role in Haiti’s cholera outbreak (Miami Herald 8/21/16)

Appeals court upholds U.N. immunity from Haiti cholera suit (Jamaica Gleaner 8/20/16)

United Nations drafts program to fight cholera in Haiti (Prensa Latina 8/19/16)

Cholera Bacteria

Cholera Bacteria

With all this said, there is still no real help or hope in Haiti. It has almost been 6 years and the people of Haiti are still struggling. Sources are calling the increase in cholera infections an outbreak; to me that’s still an epidemic. We are fighting hard, and everyone’s donations and help have been amazing. We currently have over 200 individual single buckets systems in place in the parish, we funded a purified water dispensing station on the parish grounds, and your donations and help has funded a six seater outhouse for the school with 2 hands cleansing stations.

At the chapel of LaBeque we are working on getting a well drilled to bring water to the community and especially the school there which has close to 400 children.  At the chapel of Kou Kadichon there are people who are getting sick with cholera, but, in Father’s words they are “receiving care”. I would like to see and encourage that your dollars create conditions in order to avoid cholera.

Father preaches not only the Gospels, but he teaches sanitation, keeping their home areas clean, washing their hands often. However, his tiny little church only holds so many at Mass and when he prays the Mass at the chapels, it is simply under an open sided, roofed gathering place, so only so many can attend.  The word is getting out about the need for sanitation and I’m sure when school starts up again it will be a main topic, but again, we have 2 chapels that have no school and no school instruction on sanitary conditions.

WE NEED YOUR HELP PLEASE! If you have donated, please consider once again donating to ABC for Haiti. All donations are needed and greatly appreciated! Here’s a list of our Immediate Needs:

Drill for a well – this will bring clean water to the community

Build Father a Church that has a roof

God bless you for your past contributions and we are blessed by your future ones.