- This mission is in its initial stages, with first collection to take place in January 2017
Activity: Provide help to the Livelihood Assistance for Mothers Program at St. Jude’s parish, a Missionhurst Parish, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The program assists women with seed money to start and maintain small businesses, with the goal of becoming self-sufficient. The initial target is $10,000, which would be sent from St. Ann via Missionhurst in Arlington direct to St. Jude’s. Such a donation would fund 25 women for one year, and fund the monitors who mentor the women’s progress. Monitors are trained in general accounting, business practices, and lending. The money is not considered a loan, but rather charity with a purpose, that being the establishment of successful businesses and ongoing mutual support among the women. A separate Adult Literacy Program is provided for the women.
- Parishioners can be involved in: preparing display boards for the Narthax, developing a communications plan, preparing handouts; manning information stations during collection weekends, and speaking at Masses.
Volunteers: Adults of all ages.
Time Commitment: Varies
Contact: Diane Murray, firstname.lastname@example.org; Tom Dickenson, email@example.com; Sandy Cleva, firstname.lastname@example.org
For years of political and economic turmoil, Haiti is often awakens by black smokes rising everywhere. It has become a symbol of struggle, of revolution, of demand for justice and respect for human rights. It became the voice of the voiceless.
Black smoke rising in the streets of the city is the voice of the voiceless poor Haitian… and it really means something bad or worst is going to happen next…
The country remains hostage to poverty and insecurity. At least 70% of the people, especially in the major cities are living in congested areas where there are no running water and proper sewerage. The streets become the living rooms for the many poor Haitians.
People come into the city in hope for a better life, only finding more misery…
The church of St Jude sits at the heart of the slum area…we hope it to be the heart of compassion to the many desperate poor people..
The Parish of Saint Jude in Delmas 31 sits in the heart of a slum area, where about 70,000 to 100,000 people living shoulders to shoulders, hoping together that someday life will be better.
Women stood still under the unbearable heat just to sell few things…their sacrifices is often not paid off, but they will keep on coming, they have mouths to feed…
Some people struggles with joy, others surrendered to hopelessness. The many faces we see everyday in the streets of Port au Prince is reminder how complex the reality of life in Haiti. These harsh realities often fell on women shoulders. Everyday, mothers have to struggle in keeping their children alive. Hard work and hunger made them prone to disease such as tuberculosis, the major health problem in the country.
Mothers have to struggle everyday to keep their children feed, clothed and educated
She is a 40 year old woman.. suffers from tuberculosis. Works with a smile..she has a daughter waiting at home for food…
Today, we try to work as parish faith community in slowly responding to the pressing needs of the many poor Haitians, especially the women, mothers and children. In our simple ways, we try to address the fundamental need for health care, nutrition to malnourished children, provide basic pre-natal care and educate the community to be responsible about their environment. The latter remains to be a very challenging task in the community. Here are some of our responses to the growing needs of the community especially after the 2010 devastating earthquake.
Collected plastic bottles and aluminum cans
Clean water for every household:
Many poor families in the parish community have no access to clean and potable water. Through a private donor, the parish was able to link with the “Gift of Water Project” that provides a 2 way buckets filtration system for potable water use. Today, we are able to distribute about 300 of these buckets to families in the parish community. Each household beneficiary followed a short training course on the importance of clean and safe water and on how to use the system. A constant monitoring is provided to each families.
Families receiving formation on clean water project
Currently, a new exciting project is being realized in the parish: “Rooftop Gardening.” The project develops a model of transforming rooftops into vegetable gardens. In early October 2012, we piloted two rooftops. We start to grow plants that are close to Haitian cuisine like tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, eggplants, okra, squash, beans. Using old tires, metal barrels, used bucket, we offer another way for families to see that there so much they can do in their lives. It is creating a lot of interest in the parish. This project aims to provide living alternatives to families living in slum areas in Port-au-Prince.
Saint Jude Clinic:
Furthermore, the parish was able to build a clinic facility. The clinic was inaugurated and officially opened last October 2012. Today, it constantly receives average of 20-30 patients every day. A medical student intern, with few parish nurses generously offers their services for free. The clinic provides HIV testing, pregnancy testing, regular monitoring on diabetics and those with high blood problems. Sick people receive a free medicine from the pharmacy where most of the medicines were generously donated by so many from the United States. The clinic is a mission clinic opens to receive doctors; health practitioners and volunteers from the states who wish to come and help the Haitian people through medical mission programs.
NEW PROJECT (A DREAM)- VOCATIONAL SCHOOL
Haiti’s unemployment rate is above 60%. Even with new industries coming, many Haitians are still unemployed. One of the main reasons is lack of technical or skilled workers available. The parish hopes to open a vocational school to train women and men acquire skills that will help them find a job in the country. Haiti is slowly attracting investors to open new garment factories; new hotels and resorts are growing as well. Rehabilitation effort after the 2010 earthquake is on steady phase. Government, churches and private sectors are slowly rebuilding their damaged or destroyed properties. All this creates job opportunities.
The parish sees the need to offer training or formation on the following:
- Sewing – Garment industries is booming in Haiti. They are in constant need of skilled women in the field of sewing.
- Sewing Machine Mechanic – There is a high demand on sewing machine mechanic in all garment factories. This skill is often considered to be a man’s job. Through this, we can empower many fathers to work and be able to support their families.
- Hotel Staff – The rise of many hotels in Haiti offers a possibility of jobs like cleaning ladies and kitchen/dining hall personnel and other related up-keeping jobs. A hotel owner once complained that it is very difficult to find someone who can keep the hotel rooms and baths ready without “direct” supervision.
- Electricity, Plumbing, Carpentry – These are regular skills that anyone can learn and be able to work on their own. With training on electricity, plumbing and carpentry, they can easily find a job anywhere.
- Health Care or Care Givers – Many rich and able Haitian families wants their elderly to stay in Haiti due to the cost of living in the US or Canada. Many are expressing their desire to find trained “care givers” to take care of their aging or sick elders.
The parish believes that Haiti today is changing. We believe that is best to invest our energy, effort and resources to a more practical and enduring projects. Haiti will only change if we can offer a possibility to every Haitian family a chance to change their own lives, a possibility they can find here in their own country.