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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

It’s That Time of Year Again

Attention

Line Up – Remember when?

Preparing for Mass

Preparing for Mass

Heading home

New Back Packs for everyone

New coat of paint at the parish school

New coat of paint at the parish school

New benches

New benches

It’s that time of year again, not only here in the U.S. but in Haiti as well. Summer is unofficially over and school is in session. September 7 marked the first day of school at LaBeque, a chapel of Our Lady of the Rosary.

This past week, September 14 marked the first day of school at the parish school, Our Lady of the Rosary, at Sapaterre.

Father Nova and I generally keep in touch on Sunday mornings and when I e-mailed him he was on his way to LaBeque to pray the Mass with the children for the start of their new school year. The pictures above are of the children of LaBeque in formation, getting ready for Mass in the church and wearing their new school backpacks. This year each of the children received a backpack, donated from another charitable organization. The children were very happy to have them and Father Nova was very happy for them, as are we. All total between LaBeque and Our Lady of the Rosary schools, 500 backpacks were given to the students.

Father was also able to arrange for a fresh coat of paint on the outside of the parish school, you might remember back in February this year myself along with Mike and Doug made a trip to Our Lady of the Rosary and along with several locals painted the inside of the class room, and with our help Father was able to replace 20 school benches with brand new ones.

While we are very happy for the start of school and the gifts given, it is not that time of year for the chapel at Chereval. We are a little saddened that we are still unable to start even a small school at Chereval. If you remember from previous blogs, when I visited them in February this year their only request was a school for their children. They know the way out of poverty is through education. They didn’t ask for money, they didn’t ask for clothing, not even food. All they wanted and still want is a place for their children to begin getting an education – a hand up, not a hand out.

Between the chapels of  Chereval and Cour Cadichon, there are probably another 300 plus children in need of an education. Wouldn’t it be nice next year to say It’s That Time of Year for Our Lady of the Rosary and all 3 of the chapels assigned to Father Nova?

With God’s Grace and your support all things are possible.

God Bless

Art

Haitian Food

photo                    water closet 2

Digging the Water Closet                                                                      Stalls Under Construction

photowc                                                                                                        99% complete and ready for use

 

600_lunch_provided_for_during_school_year

School children with Diri Ak Pwa

Before we get into the nitty gritty of fine Haitian Food just an update on how things are going in the parish.  As you can see by the pictures the children are back in school and the water closet or as we know it the rest rooms are nearly 100% complete and are available for use – just minor last minute details to finish up.  You may not think this is such a big deal, but believe me it is.  We take sanitation for granted, in Haiti nothing is taken for granted and to have a proper place to take care of your business and a place to wash your hands is a very big deal.  It’s one of the most important things they can do to prevent disease.

We are also in the planning stages of spending a couple of weeks in late February to early March at the parish doing a little work.  We will be painting the inside of the classrooms, trying to improve the environment for both students and teachers.  We will not only as a group from the states work on this project but will employ parents of the children to help us.  As always when we have projects we try to get the parents or others in the parish involved to let them know we are a helping hand and not a hand out.  We want them to own and be proud of what is going on in their families and parish.

Now – take a second look at the photo above of the little one with the delicious looking plate of rice and beans, in Haitian Creole – Diri-ak-pwa.  Take some time and try making a batch – it’s quite tasty and filling; add a little goat meat and some veggies and you’ve got a very satisfying meal.  Okay, so maybe goat meat is out of the question – it is a little expensive here in the states, but some nice grilled chicken also goes very well; unfortunately for these children and their families; most of the time the meal consists only of the rice and beans.

Here is the recipe for this staple of Haitian life – want to experience just a slight taste of their diet – make enough to last the week and eat it every day.  Of course, you’ll have the luxury of keeping the left overs in the fridge and reheating them in the microwave instead of having to make a new pot each day.

Oh yeah, when your family. Friends or co-workers want to know why you are eating Diri-ak-pwa every day tell them about us and ask them to join our family in support of the poorest of the poor in Haiti; better yet, invite them over for a meal of Diri Ak Pwa and grilled poul (chicken).  It’ll give you a great chance to sit and chat about why you feel serving the poor is such a wonderful opportunity and blessing.

God Bless

Art

Haitian Diri Ak Pwa

Ingredients

1/4 cup butter

1 onion, finely chopped

1 bell pepper, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup tomato sauce

2 cups red kidney beans, cooked (canned okay, drain first)

1 teaspoon thyme

2 teaspoons oregano

1 bay leaf

1 cup long-grain white rice

1 3/4 cups water (or stock)

Directions

1.  Heat the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion and bell pepper, sauté until the onion is translucent.  Add the garlic and sauté for another 1-2 minutes.  Add tomato sauce, beans, and herbs.  Simmer for 5-10 minutes to meld flavors.

2.  Stir in the rice, sock or water, and salt and pepper to taste.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover tightly and simmer for 15-18 minutes.

3.  Remove from heat and let set covered for another 5-10 minutes.  Then stir lightly with a fork and serve.

Bon Apeti !

                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Another New School Year Begins

DSC_0235              school children 2013 044                

Action by Christians for Haiti is excited about several new programs to make the school year most rewarding for children, teachers, and pastor!

Just like here in the states and around the globe, another new school year begins at Our Lady of the Rosary.  Children and parents will be doing the best they can to prepare for school which is scheduled to start September 8 and  most children  of Our Lady of the Rosary I am sure are eager to get back to their studies.

We at ABC for Haiti are also eager for them to return.  We have been able to fund several new projects that we hope will help make their 2014-2015 school year a pleasant experience.

First, we have funded the building of a water closet, in our terminology a rest room, actually an outhouse.  Yes, a rest room.  Don’t forget, indoor plumbing is not very common in the rural areas of Haiti where we do our work.  So, it was very important to be able to provide a water closet that will consist of 6 stalls, 4 for the children and 2 for the teachers.   Water will be available for washing of hands for sanitary purposes.

Second, we have been able to fund our second increase in teacher salaries bringing their salary to a competitive level with other teachers.  This will enable Fr. Nova to insure he has qualified teachers and know his children are receiving the best education possible.

Third, we have also funded the salary for a secretary for Fr. Nova.  You would be hard pressed to imagine how busy and exhausting a day the pastor has trying to maintain the parish, provide support for his people, and to keep up with his professorial duties assigned by the Bishop.  Not to mention praying and preparing for Mass and the sacraments as well as keeping in touch with and serving the 3 chapels also assigned to him.  A secretary will be quite the blessing.

Fourth and very important indeed, we were able to add an additional 13 children to our sponsorship program bringing the total of children sponsored for elementary education at the parish to 40.

Last but not least, we are putting together a working mission trip to Our Lady of the Rosary for sometime in February to paint the classrooms at the parish school.  More details will follow as soon as they are worked out.  Start thinking today – maybe you would like to make the trip with us?

Mèsi Bondye pou générosité ou

Art