HAITI OUTREACH - 2017 ARCHIVE
Our partnership with friends in Haiti is going strong!
The Cazale Community and Cultural Center Is Thriving!
DeColores! I’m happy to share with you that in the one month since our center opened, local school principals have already provided positive feedback about the CCCC After School Center – the children are arriving for school prepared! Our one-on-one tutors are really making a difference in precious young lives.
We’re also excited about our new “Rhythm in Dance” program. Fifteen children have begun connecting with rhythm through movement, dance and drumming. Christela, our dance instructor, oversees this program on Saturdays.
In late September, we hosted a wonderful artisan showcase to coincide with Fête St. Michel (Feast of St. Michael). It was a kaleidoscope display of handcrafted jewelry, handmade sandals, drums, woodworks and much more. The children took great pride guiding many visitors through the exhibits.
The 34 children who currently attend the after-school pro-gram are supervised by a staff of four people: the director, a certified teacher and two tutors. They are truly committed to the center and take the lead in proposing new programs to further the advancement of the community. Right now, we’re looking into adding a new artisan skills track for young adults. New programs must be scheduled for time periods that don’t interfere with our primary mission, which is mentoring and tutoring the children after school.
We’re committed to continuously improving the center. In addition to the Saturday dance curriculum, a snack program has been added, giving the children a quick bite to eat when they arrive at the center. On behalf of the staff and the children, I’m deeply thankful for your support!
St. Andre’s Episcopal Church in Cazale, Haiti, Needs Our Help!
I recently found out that one of our parishioners, Soledad Jacques, has been conducting some tremendous outreach efforts for an Episcopal church in Haiti that St. Margaret’s has supported in past years. As I learned more about Soledad’s efforts, which have been aided by help from her family and friends, I realized that we, as her church family, should get involved and help the children of this church program.
Please read Soledad’s eloquently written article, and then read my article that follows, on how we can help Soledad and St. Andre’s Church! ~ Dan McGee
AFTER SCHOOL PROJECT
Several years ago, the Scoutmaster of the St. André Episcopal Church of Cazale chapter reached out to me with the goal of securing funding to help with the annual camp expenses for their scout members.
After assessing the need and dis-covering the value of this endeavor, I communicated my intentions to help them to my friends and family and, with their full financial support, was able to cover most of their transportation and food cost that year. From that time on, I grew a special relationship with the St André boys and girls scout chapter. I made a promise to fund them and with God’s blessings and the unwavering support of their New York friends, no scout has since been denied the opportunity to attend camp for financial reasons. Kudos to all who have donated yearly and to St. Margaret’s church for their generous donation in support of the scouts a few years ago.
While I intend to continue my support of scouting, my last trip to Cazale, Haiti, revealed a problem that I feel needs to be addressed as soon as possible. You see, unlike previous years when I visited Haiti during the summer when school is out, I travelled there this past January and was able to observe firsthand the necessity of an after-school program. I saw school children linger from dismissal to nightfall with little to do. The vast majority of them have no set-up at home to do homework or study their lessons, so they continually return to school unprepared and unable to consolidate their lessons. Upon my return to New York, I spoke with my siblings and we decided to donate part of our old childhood home to host an after-school program. I see a need for a simple place with tables, chairs and lighting where these amazing children can do homework and also have a place where they can engage in extra-curricular activities and have fun.
My goal is to start with an after-school program this coming September. I do not plan on waiting until I can have all the amenities that the center will require for the need is too great. I would like to provide the children with all necessary school supplies and materials for the planned activities. I’ve already spoken to the priest in charge at St André Episcopal church as well as a local teacher who will oversee the after-school program, and I believe that once we have the aforementioned basics we can start the program and build as needed. I am beyond hopeful that with everyone’s prayers, support and, most importantly, God’s continued blessing this program will be a success and we will be able to impact the lives of many children.
St. Margaret’s Outreach Summer Drive for St. André’s Church, Haiti
Now that you’ve read about Soledad’s efforts, it’s our turn to take it to the next level. We are asking all of you for your help with this donation drive - which will take place during three of the Sundays in July: July 2, July 9 and July 16. The children in St. André’s church school are ages 6-14. We are looking for the following donated items for both school and after-school activities:
- Rulers & Pencil Cases
- Pens, Pencils, Crayons
- Coloring Books
- Board Games
(sample games: Chess, Checkers, Candy Land, Jenga, etc.
And of course, we will gladly accept any financial donations you’d like to make. (Please make checks payable to St. Margaret’s Church with the words – St. André’s Outreach – in the memo.)
We’ll hang a poster in the Narthex to remind you of the items needed and a large bin will be nearby where you can drop off your donations. Outreach checks can be given to either me, Kim or Debbie. Soledad will be shipping our donations down to Haiti toward the end of July and will be traveling there with her Mom in mid-August to hand-deliver the donations and set up the program. I can’t think of a better way to reach out to help God’s children.
Thanks so much and God Bless!
~ Dan for St. Margaret’s Outreach Committee