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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

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

EXPERIENCE

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In February this past year, two friends of mine, Mike from Minnesota (on the left) and Doug from Rhode Island (on the right)visited Haiti with me for the experience of a life time.  We had a project to do but that was just a means to the end.  To experience the situation in Port-au-Prince as we travelled out of town was eye opening.  Living the experience for a week among the poor of the Central Plateau at Our Lady of the Rosary was inspiring for them to say the least.  I hope I have adequately captured their reactions and experience.

Michael is a very detail oriented person and needs to know what, when, where, and how at all times no matter the situation and yet somewhere in all this “need to know” is a big heart of compassion.  From the minute we got off the plane in Port-Au-Prince Mike had one question after the other about life in Haiti and at times found it very hard to understand how it could be like this.  For example, where do the people work, make money to buy things and food?  It was difficult for him to understand the people we serve in the central plateau have very little resources.  There is no industry and they basically take each day at a time, selling food on the street, maybe selling a few vegetables or herbs they grew in their yard, maybe selling a chicken or two.  Maybe a little carpentry or brick work if it is available.  Whatever comes their way!  Now as soon as we went out to meet the people of the parish, Michael began to understand and his big heart began to show.  He was warm, and kind, and loving to everyone and loved the children and having his photo taken with them.  He wanted to give everything he had with him, unfortunately unless you have enough for everyone you can’t do this.  Michael had to do something and he did.  One morning we were sitting under the tree by the road and recess began at the school.  There is a man who sells sugar cane to the children who have a few pennies.  Michael made sure every child got sugar cane that day.

Doug is an easy going kind of happy guy and more or less takes things in stride.  Doug was in need of a spiritual boost and he sure came to the right place.  It’s hard not to get a spiritual boost when you see the poverty, yet experience the warm welcomes, the smiles, the joy, the faith that God will somehow provide, these people have despite their situation.  Here when they pray “give us this day our daily bread”, they depend and believe it will happen. Doug’s biggest connection was with the children. Doug has always been good with children, a stern and loving father always wanting his children to make a good life and now a devoted grandfather. The photo above I think says it all.  If there is one theme with Doug and his experience it is Education.  He recognizes Fr. Nova’s commitment to education of his parish, his aides, and those he teaches at a variety of schools in the Diocese.

Think about it – Jesus spent His life teaching the people of His time and continues to teach us in His Holy Gospel.

If you were to ask either of these men I’m sure there would be no hesitation in encouraging you to make a visit to Haiti or some other place to experience the good that is being done for others.  You cannot come back home without a change in attitude and without making new friends with each other and those your serve.

It was a blessing for me to have them with me and I hope there will be many more who will want to learn by experience.

Art