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Ceasing Operation

Dear friends of Haiti,

It is with a heavy heart that I bring sad news. ABC for Haiti will no longer be in operation. As of December 31, 2019 we will cease operations for two reasons, (1) a significant decrease in donations and (2) a medical diagnosis making it difficult to operate.

ABC for Haiti has been in operation for just over 9 years and underscores the importance of every donation. Your participation has led us to from donating $500 a month to $2800 including special projects such as water, out houses for sanitation, electricity, and start- up of a new school and sending young people to trade school. All while maintaining 95% or better of your donation was used to help the people of Haiti. All payments made after 12/31 will be returned to sender.

We (the Board of Directors and team members) thank you. We could not have done this without you. You will continue to be in our prayers.

Forever Grateful

Art

Lent 2018


Today is Ash Wednesday, marking the first day of the Lenten Season. Lent as you probably know is a time of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. These are the three basic tenets of the season preparing us for the joyous resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
During this time my additional prayer and fasting will be offered for you and your family. I plan to increase my almsgiving to ABC for Haiti by 50% for this period and will ask our team to increase their almsgiving as well, according to their individual budgets. I hope you too will pray & fast for our team and when it comes to almsgiving you consider ABC for Haiti.


teachers at formation

Thought you might enjoy a picture of the teachers your donations support in formation at the Diocesan University. They are learning to be better educated teachers. Just one of the extra projects your donations support

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May God Bless You with a Holy Lenten Season

Haitian Hearts – An Interview

I’ve linked a short 10 minute interview with Dr. John Carroll of Haitian Hearts.  The video is very interesting as Dr. Carroll discusses the current day situation in Haiti.  Dr. Carroll is the founder of Haitian Hearts and has been very active in Haiti for years. 

Dr. Carroll discusses the problems and needs of Haiti from the view of the common folks.  Many of you probably do not know there is a very elite segment of Haitian society that is basically in control of 10 million people. Dr. Carroll gives an overview of the current situation as far as health, infrastructure, and what has happened to the 13 Billion dollars raised since the earthquake.  He also shows an example of something which is very common in Haiti and which I’m sure you will find most disturbing. 

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/tavissmiley/interviews/founder-haitian-hearts-john-carroll

We as a small organization are very fortunate that we are not involved with the Government.   Because of this, 95% or better of what is donated actually goes to help the communities we are serving.  Our work is limited to a small community in the rural area of the Central Plateau in the area of Hinche.   We have been able to help the health situation with clean water systems and sanitation at the parish school, aid in the daily functions of the parish, and provide for the private education of children in the area, as well as working diligently to provide training for employment opportunities for adults.

Please take a few moments to watch the video and to know your dollars are reaching and serving the community in our care.  There is much work to be done and we rely solely on your dollars.  Remember your donation, depending on your tax situation may be tax deductible.

Donate today  http://abcforhaiti.org/donate/

 

 

Father Nova says “Thank You”

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Father Nova during his visit to All Saints Catholic Church, Mesa

 

Father Nova Garcon of Our Lady of the Rosary Parish, Sapaterre, Haiti says “Thank You”.

During the weekend of January 9 and 10 Father Nova had the opportunity to concelebrate Mass at All Saints Catholic Church in Mesa, AZ.  At the end of Mass Father expressed his thanks to Father Caruso, the parish, and ABC for Haiti and to all who support our work in Haiti, specifically his parish of Our Lady of the Rosary.

Listen by clicking on the arrow and discover what “Thank You” in Haiti means:

 

May God continue to Bless you abundantly

Art

 

Our Lady of the Rosary

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In preparation for their feast day, Our Lady of the Rosary Parish, Sapaterre, Haiti, is beginning a Novena (for those of you who may not be familiar with a Novena, it is nine days of prayer), starting September 28. The Novena will end on October 6, culminating in the celebration of the feast day of Our Lady of the Rosary on October 7. We invite all of you to offer a prayer for the next nine days in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Haiti.

Feast Days in Haiti are cause of great celebration and prayerful preparation. I’ve had the pleasure of being at Our Lady of the Rosary several years ago during the preparation and the feast day itself. I assure you it is like no celebration you have experienced in the U.S.

The Novena is joyous, boisterous (for lack of a better term), active and prayerful. The little church was packed both inside and outside of prayerful, joyous participants. There was no quite, humble prayer. It was loud and vigorous and everyone inside and out prayed, hands raised, voices singing and praying, bodies swaying to the beat of the music. You can’t help but be caught up in the moment, and even though we don’t speak the language, praising God is unmistakable in any language. They were and will certainly be filled with the Spirit for the next nine days.

It’s not only a parish event but a Diocesan event, with priest from all over coming to concelebrate Mass and join in the festivities, visitors and dignitaries are also invited. This year Fr. Nova will have a different priest lead each night of the Novena. I guarantee, if the priest was available, the immediate response to be part of the celebration was “YES”.

On October 7, the feast day, there will be a Mass with many priests from the Diocese available. Normally the Bishop would also attend but since the Bishop has recently gone to his Heavenly reward I am sure there will be an official representative of the Diocese present. There will be singing and dancing by the children, the Offertory is something to behold as the gifts are from the goods available. They bring gifts of chickens, turkeys, goats, pigs, vegetables, cooking oil, bottled water, and rice and beans, etc. That’s right; they actually carry them in on their shoulders and offer them to the parish at the Offertory. After Mass there will be a great celebration with much food and drink, music and dancing and it will last, depending on the time of day for the Mass well into the day or evening.

I remember when we were there they wore me out. I had to go to bed before it ended sometime in the wee hours of the morning.

My dear brothers and sisters, you have been so generous in providing your dollars to help those in need. Take this opportunity to join yourself with the people of Our Lady of the Rosary during these nine days of prayer.

God Bless all you do!

Humanitarian Crisis in Haiti

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Dominican Republic makes decision to deport Haitians

 

The government of the Dominican Republic which shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti has decided to deport all Haitians and evidently other nationalities as well who are without the proper documents. Deportation may officially start as early as tomorrow July 7. Haitians have been serving in this nation for years as migrant workers, working in the sugar cane fields and performing jobs residents of the Dominican Republic have long since refused to do. Many of the Haitians have been living in the DR for years, bearing children, and grandchildren. These generations of children will literally be without a country, born in a country that does not recognize them and with no ties to Haiti.

The official deportation of these people may have not officially begun but there are already thousands who have made the trek back to Haiti only to find they have no home, food, or water and certainly no income. Many more families are living on the border in slum conditions not knowing what to do.

So the question might be how does this affect us and how does it affect Action By Christians for Haiti?

I received correspondence for Fr. Nova of Our Lady of the Rosary and he has informed me that parents are arriving at his parish doorstep in need of assistance in the way of food, shelter, and clothing. Apparently many of the children are staying behind on the border where they at least have something to eat and minimal shelter. The parents are begging for assistance. Father Nova tells me Caritas is helping slowly and Food for the Poor will also. I do need to tell you that Father Nova already receives some help from Caritas but it is not entirely free. The added burden will come at an additional price.

Since the earthquake of 2010 he has seen an influx of people who have settled in the area, putting a strain on his already meager resources. There is no telling how many of these displaced persons will settle in his parish.

So what am I asking of you today? 1. To stay informed, these situations never go smoothly or without violence. 2. Pray for these poor people – life is hard enough as it is and now it will only get worse, and not just for those being deported. The people who already live in Sapaterre and struggle daily will now have the added burden of sharing their meager subsistence with others as they begin to arrive. 3. Begin to consider how you can be of help. 4.  Crowded conditions in the area and improper sanitation could cause an outbreak in infection disease such as Cholera, which we have so far been able to keep at bay at Our Lady of the Rosary, not to mention the possibility of malnutrition among the children and elderly.  Our organization will be meeting next week and one of the topics will be this issue and what if anything we are able to do.

Please click on the links below and become informed. Also follow us on facebook where I will try to keep everyone informed and provide the latest news.

http://www.rawstory.com/2015/07/haitians-forced-from-dominican-republic-recall-racism-and-abuse/

http://www.liberationnews.org/haiti-far-ready-receive-deported-dominican-republic/

As always we give thanks and praise to God for your generosity.

 

Art Brouillard

President, ABC for Haiti

 

If you would like to comment please contact us at info@abcforhaiti.org

News from Haiti

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It’s been a while since I updated you with news from Haiti.

First, I hope all of you fathers had a Happy and Blessed Father’s day with your families.

Second, I apologize for the time between the last blog and this one.  Unfortunately life got in the way and took up more of my time than I anticipated and while I still worked for the poor in Haiti I just couldn’t find the time to write.

I received some news from Father Nova the other day outlining some of the expected costs in developing two projects that he feels will, one: help bring an income to the parish, and two: will help provide work for others.  We are still working out the details; however, it will mean an increase in cash flow from us will be needed.  We can talk about that later.

Also in the news, we were also hoping to begin putting out a monthly newsletter but we are having some technical difficulties I hope we can eliminate and begin in July.

In an attempt to increase our support base we are trying a crowd funding project for clean water on Indiegogo.com;

https://www.indiegogo.com/explore?utf8=%E2%9C%93&filter_title=clean+water+for+haiti

the object of course is to gather more financial support and to hopefully draw more people to our cause. 

The big news from the Caribbean and Haiti is affected, there is a “new” disease chikungunya traveling through the Caribbean which is causing lots of painful illness, in the entire region.  I have added the link at the end of this blog so you can read about it if you haven’t already heard about it.  Unfortunately there is nothing we can do as an organization to slow this disease as it is borne by mosquitoes (the photo of the mosquito is gruesome but a fact of life).  A word of caution if you should be traveling to the Caribbean, bring mosquito repellent and proper clothing and check the center for disease control website for warnings and precautions to take.

As always we thank you for your continued support and know that you are in our daily prayers.  I ask you to keep us in your prayers and to pass along to your family and friends why you feel supporting our organization is a benefit to you and those we help.      

In closing, I would ask, if you are so inclined, if you would be kind enough to write us and give a short testimony on why you support our organization.  You can remain totally anonymous if you desire; although I would at least like to be able to attach your first name to your testimony. 

Here is the site about this dreadful disease: 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/22/chikungunya-caribbean-dominican-republic_n_5372647.html

God’s Blessings and Peace to All

Art

Class is in session at LaBeque

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After a restful night’s sleep I awoke to the sounds of everyone starting their day.  For the staff it begins with preparing the morning meal.  The morning meal was comprised of eggs, spaghetti, bananas, peanut butter and Haitian bread with café.  Not exactly what we would consider a traditional breakfast but very common or at least seems to be when we are visiting.  The café is much stronger than we generally make and quite delicious, it brings back childhood memories of coffee when I was young.  Back in the day we lightened and sweetened our coffee with evaporated milk.  It’s been my experience so far that sweetened condensed milk is the choice for mixing with your café.

I was quite surprised after the morning meal that Fr. Nova was going to take us to LaBeque for a visit.  It was on the agenda but with his foot being injured I assumed it would be too much for him to drive there.  The roads are dirt and present quite a challenge, I teased Fr. Nova on one part where the vehicle was almost sideways, inviting everyone to move to the other side of the vehicle so we wouldn’t tip.  There was also another part where we had to cross a small wash and Michel and another young man that was hitching a ride with us guided us across so we wouldn’t get stuck in the mud.

The first place we stopped at LaBeque is the church that has been under construction for some time.  Since our last visit there are several more classes being held there and Fr. does hold Mass there.  However, the construction is poor and Fr. has informed us he doesn’t plan on spending any money on it for the time being at least.  I was glad to hear this since it will be quite the project if one decided to make a church out of it. 

Off to the school at LaBeque where class is in session.  This was one of the highlights of the trip for me.  School was in session and just about lunch time.  We were able to visit each class where we were warmly welcomed.  Being the professor that he is, Fr. Nova couldn’t help but ask questions about their studies.  During lunch I was quickly inundated with little ones wanting to visit, see me, and get their photos taken.  I felt like the Pied Piper and was a little nervous I was disrupting the school day. No one seemed to mind and it gave Father a good chance to visit with the school principal. At one point Michel was taking photos of me with the children and said “Mr. Art you are in so much trouble – they will never want to leave you alone”, I loved it. In one of the classes Father asked if anyone would like to visit Arizona with him and the entire class raised their hands.  Oh, if only it were possible.

Maybe someday we will bring a couple adults and young men and women to visit with us.  It’s so hard to wrap your head around the poverty, the difference in what is available to them as opposed to what is available to us and our children and to experience the joy that abounds in their hearts.  It is also a dream to bring them here to talk to our children so they understand the differences.  There is a quote from Blessed John XXIII – “I have looked into your eyes with my eyes.  I have put my heart near your heart.”  Oh, for that day when we can do that with each other and begin to really understand the need; the need to give to them and to receive from them, eye to eye and heart to heart.

Carefully winding our way out of the school grounds with children running after us saying good bye we headed back to the parish.  It was obvious Father was hurting and tired from the trip.  He went to take some rest.  Michel and I took our seats under the trees and discussed our visit.

 

 

Visit to Our Lady of the Rosary – Page 2

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Wednesday continues

 

After lunch we relaxed in the yard under the trees and just sort of took in the fact that I was once again in Haiti, I’m not sure what it is but I always seem to feel very relaxed and at home in Haiti.  Maybe it’s the simplicity of life or the hospitality or both.  Anyway, Michel and I chatted a little while Fr. Nova took care of some parish business.

The sky was beginning to look like rain so Michel and I decided to take a walk across the street from the parish and visit the people.  They immediately recognized us and gave us warm welcomes.  It is so much fun to see how the children have changed over the past year and of course the parents are always welcoming, asking us to sit and always eager to have photos taken.  Of course you can’t go from one family without visiting the next one. They are so welcoming and wouldn’t hear of you passing by without stopping for a photo and a quick hello at best.  The parents are always proud to show off their children and their humble homes. They all know each other and it doesn’t take long before you have a group of children following you from one home to another.

You’ll not only want to view the photos with this blog but also the photo gallery of all the families we visited this day.  Please realize these are photos of them at home in the simple lifestyle they live every day. Notice the smiles and the dignity they show taking photos in front of their homes with their families. 

Someone mentioned my last blog was short.  They are meant to be short. I am hoping you will take the time to read the words and not only look at the photos but study them.  Take a close look at the children, their parents and their homes.  Try to consider living with no electricity, no running water, no flushing toilets, not gas/electric stove to cook on.  Hiking to the nearest water supply and bringing back water and having to purify it before using it.  Consider no refrigeration and the food you eat needs to be cooked and consumed the same day.  The food you eat has to be purchased or butchered each day.  There is no way to keep it to the next day without taking a chance of it spoiling and making you ill. 

Then, ask yourself, how would I react in this situation?  Would I have the strength and constitution to deal with this every day of my life?  Then, once you have the answers to these questions ask yourself again, is there something I can do to help?  Do I know someone in my life that needs to know about this – someone I can share this with, someone who will be touched by this knowledge of how others in our world live so differently from us?  If so, pass this on.

2013 – A Year in Review

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As we begin this New Year of 2014 all of us here at ABC for Haiti along with our new pastor, Fr. Nova at Our Lady of the Rosary in Haiti want to wish all of you a healthy, happy, prosperous and Blessed New Year!

2013 was another successful year thanks to your support.  Here’s what we were able to accomplish in 2013.

Education27 children have been sponsored for an elementary education at the Parish school, an increase of 3 over last year.

4 students have entered the University – all 4 are studying under the medical program.

Life Skills – we were able to provide 12 treadle sewing machines to start up the Trade School Program.  We were also able to provide funding to purchase work tables, supplies such as scissors, tape measures, etc, and cloth..  This program will not only teach women and men to sew but will also employ 2 teachers to teach the classes.

Don’t you just love the domino affect your donations create machines are provided, money is spent in Haiti to purchase additional supplies, helping the local economy, teachers are hired and skills are taught that will hopefully end with employment or the start of a home business.

CommunityWe were able to provide the funding to complete the roof on the church building under construction at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Chapel at LaBeque, one of Fr. Nova’s three chapels (sort of what we consider a mission church) that he is responsible for.

Parish Supportnot only were we able to continue, non-stop, the monthly stipend to Father for the general support of the parish but we were able to increase that monthly support to help pay off the debt incurred by taking a loan to begin construction on the chapel roof.

Clean Water Systemsnone provided in 2013.

Last but not leastWe provided funding to throw a “Christmas Party” for 200 children.  As soon as I figure out how to set another page on the site I will post pictures of the party.

More than 95% of your donation went directly to support these programs!!

You are always in our prayers and we pray God will continue to Bless You and Your Family for your generous support of those in need.

Your team at ABC for Haiti

          Each individual Christian and every community is called to be an instrument of God for the liberation and promotion of the poor, and for enabling them to be fully a part of society.  This demands that we be docile and attentive to the cry of the poor and to come to their aid.  (Pope Francis, Apostolic Exhortation, 187)