Haiti-Maine Partnership

PARTNERSHIP
Our partnership in Duny began in February of 2009. We have visited many times since then, and we have had two guests from Haiti at St. Luke’s. We collaborate to support the basic needs of the school children in Duny, Haiti and are building relationships with people in the community.

EDUCATION
We feel strongly that supporting education is essential to development and opportunity in Haiti. We began with plans to build a new school building. Construction of the new school was completed in 2014.  It is built of cement cinder blocks with horizontal and vertical rebar support for hurricane and earthquake protection.  With nine classrooms and one office, they are able to educate children in grades kindergarten through sixth grade.
There is no electricity and the water is temporarily disabled because of the recent hurricane.  The teachers and students work with limited supplies. There are about 125 children that attend this elementary school program. Most children are only able to attend 2 to 3 years of school. High school education is not available in Duny.  Very few students can afford high school, but if they do pursue it they have to go elsewhere.
There are 9 teachers and an administrator at the school.  These salaries are funded through the Haiti Education Foundation which is independent of St. Luke’s partnership in Duny.

December 10, 2016
Haiti-Maine Parish Partnership
St. Simon/St. Jude, Duny-St. Luke’s Cathedral, Portland

NEWS AND UPDATES

The biggest concern right now after Hurricane Matthew is the lack of water. Over the last fifteen years, water in Duny has run through a gravity based pipeline from a spring in the hills above the village. Normally, the water arrives at a small shed in the center of the village so residents can fill buckets there to carry home. Today, however, residents must walk long distances with their buckets because the pipes from the spring were destroyed. The rain runoff has ceased and people have to travel far to find any water. Much of it is contaminated surface runoff.

Wisly’s brother has been in the hospital this week in Port au Prince due to an unknown infection. He is now recovering at his mother’s house, but is still very weak.
Wisly still works hard for the school and he is trying to get bids for a new water supply and is seeking an assessment of the structural solutions from Haitian NGO DINEPA.  Updates will follow in January.
Pere Goursse has returned home with his wife and new child to face many challenges. Pere Goursse must help his three churches rebuild homes, livestock supplies, and the church of St. Simon/St. Jude itself. The current building in Duny was completely destroyed. In addition, the medical clinic in Trouin has no medical supplies, not even bandages or over-the-counter pain relievers.
Russ Collins of Trinity Church in Virginia visited Trouin and Duny in November. He assures us the people of Duny give thanks to God for our support in their time of need.
September through December 2016, financial support from St. Luke’s went to:
  • Hot meals for students
Our partners in Duny were able to replace the lunch food lost during the hurricane through the generous and quick response of the quarters program at St. Luke’s
  • School bench desks
  • Several benches were constructed for the classroom
  • A water pipeline was dug underground from the water house in the village to the school so the students would have drinking water and hand-washing water.
  • Minor repairs to school ground
  • In November we sent $150 to repair the roof of the food storage building.
  •  Scholarship
    • Funds for 12 scholarships were sent to the school. Wisly and the school committee selected recipients based on need and scholastic ability.
  • Water pipe connection
CURRENT GOALS
  • Maintain current lunch program pledge of $500 a month
  • Raise teacher salaries to parity with other local communities. We will seek other Maine churches or individuals willing to sponsor teachers in Duny, connecting potential donors to HEF.
  • Restore water supply to the community. The local OPDD (Organization of Residents for the Development of Duny) met in the second week of November to consider drilling a well instead of restoring pipes overground. A well would be less susceptible to damage in big storms that frequent the Caribbean. An estimate is forthcoming.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Funds raised at St. Luke’s for our partners in Duny have gone to these projects.
  • Minor repairs to school grounds after Hurricane Matthew
  • Ongoing lunch program
  • A sturdy school building
  • New benches
  • Underground water pipeline and faucet installed at St. Simon/St. Jude School
  • Scholarships
  • A storage shed for food.
  • Tuition for the school director’s university degree.
HAPPENINGS IN NEARBY TROUIN
  • St. Marc’s is the parish church to which St. Simon/St. Jude mission church belongs. While St. Luke’s Cathedral is directly supporting St. Simon St. Jude, there are other churches in the US who are supporting St. Marc’s. Trinity Church in Washington, VA is one of those partners as is St. Francis in Macon, GA and often their generosity spills over and benefits our parish.
  • Wilson Naude, our driver and support person on the ground in Haiti, recently benefited from a fundraiser heavily supported by St. Marc’s partners to send him to trade school. (ATTACH PHOTO)
  • One of the ways Trinity and St. Francis have been helping is by donating money to Voix et Actions (Voices and Actions), a Haitian NGO. Residents of Duny benefitted from these funds by receiving breeding goats and chickens after Hurricane Matthew.
DONATE
Money currently donated to the Cathedral Church of St. Luke designated to Duny helps the St. Simon/St. Jude School in many ways.
  • Lunches for students are estimated to cost 25 cents a day per child.
  • Scholarships for individual children.  A $100 annual donation pays for tuition, books, and a uniform for one child.
  • If you prefer to direct your donation to a particular effort listed above please indicate this on the check, otherwise simply indicate DUNY in the memo field and the Haiti Committee in partnership with the leadership in Duny will make the best decision possible for the good of the whole community.
  • Coming soon we will be accepting donations to augment teacher salaries through Haiti Education Fund.  Look for updated information on this program in January.
    • General hurricane relief and structural maintenance of the facility.

RELEVANT LINKS and READINGS
Haiti The Aftershocks of History
by Laurent Dubois
Haiti Education Fund
New York Times
Voices in Action
Learn more about the Haiti-Maine Partnership.

HISTORY OF PROJECT

Our partnership in Duny began in February of 2009. Since then we hace collaborated to support the basic needs of the school children in Duny, Haiti and are building relationships with people in the community.

DUNY

An Agricultural village in the hills west of Port au Prince near Trouin.  The primary language spoken is Creole.

HAITI

Haiti is one of the most densely populated and poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere. An estimated 80 percent of the population of 7.9 million people lives in abject poverty. Less than half the population is literate and only one quarter of the population has access to safe water. Only one-fifth of the land is arable, and the country is 98% deforested. The per-capita income is less than one U.S. dollar per day. Yet, despite crushing poverty, the Haitian people are known to have a warm, celebratory, and dignified spirit – devoted to the reality of a God who created, sustains, and loves the world.

THE SCHOOL

The school of St. Simon/St. Jude is housed in the simple wooden structure seen above.  It is also used as the church on Sundays. The building measures about 20 feet by 50 feet.  Inside there is a simple chalkboard and some benches.  There are two latrines, no electricity or running water.  The teachers and students work with limited supplies. The leaky roof was recently replaced using funds collected during the Haiti Walk at St. Luke’s.  The result of replacing the roof is that school will not be cancelled in the case of rain, this in turn has a positive affect on the continuity of learning.

There are over 200 children that attend this elementary school program. Most children are only able to attend 2 to 3 years of school. High school education is available only in other towns to those that can afford tuition and boarding.  Very few students can afford this option.

There are 7 teachers and one serves as an administrator at the school.  These salaries are funded through the Haiti Education Foundation which is independent of St. Luke’s partnership in Duny.