HAITI OUTREACH PROJECT NEEDS YOU!
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.