On my first trip to Haiti, I was visiting a school that our volunteers had built in Northern Haiti. We were there at lunch time, and the people in charge gave me a large basket with sandwiches made on buns with some kind of filling. I was told to pass them out to the students at the school. I began and was enjoying the happy faces of those young beautiful black children. As I worked my way around the school yard, I noticed that there were some young children with their hands extended toward me, though they were not a part of the student body, I was told I could give them some of what was left over. As I worked my way through the exterior of the yard, I realized that I would not have enough to feed those hungry, sweet faces, so I began breaking the buns in half — but as I moved on I had to quarter the sandwich as there were too many hands outstretched and big brown eyes staring at me in anticipation. As a mother, I felt such a sense of responsibility toward these children — it was as if I were at home setting a table and there was not enough food to go around — the anguish I felt at seeing those lovely faces looking to me to feed them and I, with nothing left in my basket, I had to look away—and I sobbed. Those darling children have never left my heart and that is why today I am asking you to share some of your abundance and give to our children in St. Phillip & St. Jacques in hopes that they may get an education and never need to go hungry again.
Vicki Madsen (St. John’s member)
new photos provided by principal Michel Ellisaint
Last week Dianne Pizey reminded us of our ongoing commitment to the people of Colin/Gressier and their parish school of St. Philippe and St Jacques. She pointed out that the school has grown, both in the number of students attending and the grade levels being educated.
After months of unrest resulting in the cancellation of school, our partner school has decided to open for in person classes. This means that they too have the additional cost of sanitizer, water for hand washing and masks to keep students, teachers and staff as safe and well as possible.
Thank you to all who have generously donated! For those of you who have not had a chance to donate, any amount is appreciated.
Haiti Committee Member
Since 2007, St. John’s has been in partnership with the Episcopal parish and school of St Philippe et St Jacques in Collin/Gressier, Haiti. Our partnership is one of many in the Diocese of Haiti Parish Partnership Program, which partners Episcopal parishes or dioceses in the US with Episcopal churches in Haiti. Over the years, St. John’s has supported both the school and medical clinics, but since 2016 our sole commitment has been to pay the teacher salaries at the school. As the number of students has grown and additional grades have been added, the total budget has risen to $2,200 per month. We have been paying salaries for ten months, for a total budget of $22,000.
Over the past school year, schools all over Haiti were closed for most of the time, first because of political unrest, and then because of Covid-19. However, the Haiti Committee made the choice to continue paying the teacher salaries, and because of the generosity of St. John’s parishioners, we were able to keep that promise. School will resume on August 10, and our partner priest, Father Markendy Jean, is hoping for about 350 students, from preschool through tenth grade.
Once again, we are asking for your donations to help pay these teachers’ salaries. Because of our commitment, children are able to attend school without tuition, which most parents can’t afford. Without our partnership, many of these students would not be attending school at all. And by paying the teachers’ salaries, we ensure that they can afford to feed and care for their own children. Please donate what you can. You can donate online here (use the line titled “Haiti”).
Thank you very much!
Dianne Pizey and the Haiti Partnership Committee