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Back to School in Haiti

By August 5, 2021November 24th, 2021No Comments

2021 Classrooms

September 2, 2021

My name is Ginny Jacobson and I have been involved with St. John’s Haiti Partnership for over a dozen years.  I have two remarks regarding our partnership.
August 22, 2021 several of us from St. John’s attended St. Luke’s/St. James to listen to, and welcome, Louis Noncent, Principal of a partner school in La Bonne Nouvelle, Haiti.  Even though Louis was not from our partner school, his remarks emphasized the seriousness with which parents and students in Haiti take education; mentioning grades, the success level of students, and the many credentialed graduates who return home to teach.
The other point I would like to mention is that throughout the request for donations we talk about our PARTNERSHIP. St. John’s is, has been and, we hope, will continue to be generous in giving monetarily to our partner school. And we keep our partners in prayer. 
But our relationship is not one-way. Even though life has thrown Haitians; earthquakes, cholera, governmental instability, violence, poverty and Covid, they never hesitate to keep us in their prayers. Correspondence from our partners usually closes with their thoughts and prayers for us.
This faith, resiliency, even humor, is who our partners are…and worth remembering as we consider giving.

August 26, 2021

My name is Kari Anderson Slade, and I am representing our Haiti partnership, specifically a group of moms of teens that have gotten involved through planning to travel to Haiti 2 years ago, learning more about Haiti and getting to know our wonderful partners. At this time of layered challenges and crisis in Haiti, both political and in the aftermath of the earthquake, it is more important now than ever that we stand in solidarity and support with our Haitian partners. We must show them our love and support and continue to fund teachers’ salaries at our partner school to provide stability in the lives of the children pre-K through grade 10, as well as the teachers who support their own families through the salaries provided. By donating generously to the fundraiser for teachers’ salaries, you are working towards justice globally through an investment in the future of Haiti, the children. Please give generously. And know that those with children K-12 can talk to your kids about donating their own funds, however big or small, to continue to build their school library started by the youth of St. John’s. We have purchased books in French, English and Creole to send to our partners as a gift to the children and teachers as they begin a new school year with hope, amidst great challenges that lie ahead. May we always work for truth, justice, and peace through our actions in the world ~ your donation to our Haitian partners is one opportunity to do this! Thank you and find us at the donation table during coffee hour throughout the month of September – we take cash, check or credit! 

Students at St Philippe et St Jacques at worship on the first day of school, September, 2020

Dear People of St John’s

I’m sure that all of you have heard about the assassination of Haiti’s President, Jovenal Moise, on July 7.  Another national trauma in a country still recovering from the disastrous earthquake of 2010,  multiple hurricanes, and political instability. We have been in touch with Markendy Jean, the priest in charge of our partner parish, St. Philippe et St. Jacques, Michel Elissaint, the school principal, and Dr. Frantz Codio, the Country Director of Haiti Companions. They all tell us that things are calm around the towns of Gressier and Leogane, but there are dangerous gangs on the National Road that connects those towns with the capital, Port au Prince. This has caused a shortage of food and other goods in the markets in Gressier, and also a generalized anxiety among the population.

But, amid all the chaos, the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti Partnership Program is alive and well. Schools will reopen on September 6, and schools with US partners will welcome students whether or not their parents can afford to pay tuition. Last year at St Philippe et St Jacques, over 360 children received a quality education without paying tuition, because the generous members of St John’s raised  $22,000 to pay all the teacher salaries. This came from individual donations and half of Christmas and Easter offerings. What an incomparable gift, for children living in poverty and chaos to experience the wonders of learning! Education is the key to escaping extreme poverty, but many children in Haiti are denied this experience.

Once again, we are hoping to raise enough to pay the teacher salaries at St. Philippe et St. Jacques. Besides giving the gift of education to many children, we will provide their dedicated teachers with income to support their families. Every Sunday from August 15 through September 26, members of the Haiti Committee will be available in the Gathering Space during coffee hour to happily accept your donations. Donations can also be made online, placed in the collection plate, or mailed to the church. Checks should be written to St. John’s, with Haiti in the memo line.              

Haiti is a country with many challenges. It has a complex history and has endured many political issues and natural disasters that have made life difficult, but with better education, we have hope that the next generation will be able to solve many of Haiti’s  problems. St John’s has been supporting education at one school, St Philippe et St Jacques, since 2006. Hundreds of children have the chance of a better future because they have an education. During this particularly difficult year in Haiti, let’s show our partners that we still care. This past year has shown us the reality of our local and global struggles, and how critical it is to be in supportive relationship with each other. Please give generously to help provide stability and to stand in solidarity with our Haitian partners during this challenging time.


Dianne Pizey
Chair, Haiti Committee

On Saturday, August 14, there was a 7.1 earthquake in Haiti.  Thankfully, there was no damage in Gressier and our partners are all safe.

It has come to our attention that some in the congregation are concerned that, because of the political turmoil in Haiti, our donations may not be delivered safely to our partners.  I wrote to Rev Kesner Ajax, the Coordinator of the Partnership Program and he sent this reassuring reply (see below).  If you have any other questions or concerns, please speak to Dianne Pizey.

Do not worry about the arrival of checks and correspondence in Haiti. Agape Flights is the best way to receive checks and correspondence. Also Pere Makendy receives the money you send on a regular basis. The money arrived in the church account in Gressier and Pere Makendy will not have to travel to Port au Prince to pick up the money, Leogane is very close and has all the bank branches.

Thank you again for your support of Pere Markendy’s ministry in Gressier.

My best to you.