First -Year Project Report

Co-Missioners and Joan Martin, Port-de-Paix, Haiti
Year I:   July 2002 - June 30, 2003

Photos of First Year Projects

 In August, 2002, 1 arrived in Port-de-Paix, Haiti with much encouragement and many prayers to support me -- from Arizona, Indiana, and Florida. I had no definite job awaiting me, and no set objectives I wished to accomplish. The following information is a description of some of the major foundation stones that have been put in place over the past year.

 My position has been one of listening, observing, and trying to understand the people and problems of Haiti, specifically in Port-de-Paix. I have been able to learn enough Kreyol to carry on small conversations, although what I think I understand is often not quite correct. I have been able to meet both of the Bishops and most of the priests, sisters, and brothers in the Diocese. I have been able to travel thru the Diocese to visit most of the parishes and many of the medical dispensaries.

I have been invited to work with three of the diocesan Commissions: Caritas (agriculture, sanitation, water, and women's programs), Amor en Accion (school nutrition and teacher salary and the Medical commission (training and co-ordination for many of the nursing programs). Thru these Commissions, I have been able to meet many of the doctors (Haitian and Cuban), nurses, agronoms, teachers, and catechists. I have been able to talk to them about their problems, programs, and hopes for the Diocese of  Port-de-Paix. It has been a time of building relationships, establishing a base of trust and respect, trying to understand needs, and sharing in disappointments and accomplishments.

With the help of many people, I have been able to establish telephone and e-mail connections with the US, a Fonkoze banking account for transfer of funds, and shipping arrangements by boat. I have been able to contact most of the US parishes that twin in the Port-de-Paix diocese, and I have been able to meet with most of the visiting, groups both medical and pilgrimage. It has been a time of blessing, illness, joy, frustration, prayer, and patience.

The following projects have been initiated on a short-term trial basis. Their continuation depends upon the commitment and resources of several American groups. 

  • Bombardopolis-- assistance with paying teacher salaries; beginning of a school nutrition program for 320 students (including the purchase of plates and spoons); assistance with catechist meetings and materials (Bibles and songbooks).

  •  St. Montfort clinic & Sr. Adeline -- assistance with paying salaries for 2 nurses and for buying medicines ; the beginning of a visiting nurse program to the nearby cay pov. (Fraternity), the beginning of a neighborhood nurse program to encourage infant and maternal immunizations, and education for pregnant women ; providing a medical microscope and a refrigerator for storing vaccines.

  •  Caritas Mobile Clinic-- assistance with paying salaries for 2 nurses and a driver/mechanic; assistance with the purchase of medicines; assistance with vehicle repair bills.

  •  St. Montfort -- assistance with purchase of a generator; assistance with funeral expenses.

  •  LaCroix -- assistance with school nutrition program for 520 students.

  • Bormeau -- assistance with a malnutrition program for 30 little children.

  • Hospital Immaculee -- beginning of a food/medicine assistance program for pediatrics and tuberculosis patients.

  • Pastoral Fund -- establishment of a fund for assisting diocesan needs --  food for priests and seminarians; emergency vehicle repairs; catechism programs; housing for new orders of Sisters in Port-de-Paix; ordination expenses.

  •  Tuition -- assistance for two nursing students who are postulants, with the LaSallian Sisters.

  •  Agricultural projects --assistance with the purchase of seeds for a Caritas. program; assistance with two seminars in Ti Rivye ; discussions about possibilities for the Caritas farm in Magranbwa ; discussions with Sr. Irenee about the School Farm at Andreau.

  • Women's projects-- assistance with a Caritas workshop on Women and Violence.

  •  Roof construction-- three completed, one still under construction.

  • Medical Center-- initial plans and estimates of costs for a medical/surgical center in Port-de-Paix.