BEST SUMMER EVER
2018 Camp Is First for Haiti’s CCCC Kids
“Each of you has been blessed with one of God’s many wonderful gifts to be used in the service of others. So use your gift well.”
1 Peter 4:10
I would like to thank God, all CCCC supporters, and St. Margaret’s Church in particular for the realization of a wonderful camping program that benefitted 69 children in Cazale, Haiti, who otherwise would have had no summer activities in which to participate.
It has been a monumental year for Cazale Community Cultural Center. We opened the after-school program in 2017 with just 30 kids. By November, we had added cultural activities for the youths and an artisan workshop on weekends for young adults. We ended the year with 85 children in the after-school and cultural programs and 30 young adults in the artisan weekend workshop!
We completed the 2017- 2018 school year with the center operating at full capacity, and capped the school year with a successful one-week camp in July.
About a week before camp, there was unrest in the streets of Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s capital. The U.S. State Department issued a travel warning, and people were naturally fearful of traveling there. For context, as a condition for getting a loan from the IMF, the government agreed to raise gas prices from about $3.00 to about $4.50 a gallon, a move most observers agree should have been implemented gradually rather than precipitously. In any event, things went back to normal once the price hike was rescinded and 69 kids were able to attend camp and experience a wonderful week of learning, service and fun!
Our original plan was to accommodate 50 participants plus our staff. Upon arriving in Cazale, we met with additional parents who were desperate to send their kids to the camp. I consulted other CCCC members and decided to put our trust in God and allow the extra kids to join us.
Things started very slowly on Saturday as the school bus hired to transport the kids to the campsite could not make it up the dirt road. Our departure time was pushed back by over three hours while we made additional arrangements. But once we arrived at the campsite in the early evening, the excitement was palpable. The cheers and songs the kids were singing alleviated my anxieties about their long day and the fact that they hadn’t had anything to eat since breakfast. We settled down, had our first nightly meeting after a late dinner and everyone was encouraged to get some sleep, in anticipation of the busy day to come.
On Sunday, we attended church service at St. Paul Episcopal Church, and four of our campers proudly served as acolytes, The local priest was very grateful as he had no acolytes present that Sunday.
From that day on, we started our days with song, praise and meditation as we worshipped and thanked God. Mathurin, our very capable music teacher who blessed our week with his talents and leadership, lead us in songs each day. Our days became anchored by praise and worship at both ends, and my favorite memories of the week were merely listening to their voices flow seamlessly from one song to another in perfect harmony.
We held workshops in health, hygiene, etiquette, faith, community service. The kids also had art and music classes, and of course, sports and swimming. We also realized that the kids really wanted to learn English and that a few were attending English classes outside of school. We incorporated English classes into the curriculum, and they became very popular with all campers. In the afternoon, campers had a choice of art, sports or English lessons, and many chose English. The night-time activities consisted mostly of musical theater. The kids displayed some great talents!
All participants enjoyed three meals a day for the entire week in addition to organic fruits donated by the villagers and other guests who traveled from Port-au-Prince. They received professional coaching and tools they can take home and use for the rest of their lives.The children were grateful for this rare opportunity.
With 69 active kids of various ages, I praise God for the limited number of minor injuries suffered during the whole
week there. Even though I felt a little underprepared with all the last-minute adjustments that had to be made, Mathurin and the kids had evening programming planned out nightly, and I was able to focus on other things.
It was such a blessing for me to be part of it all and I thank everyone from St. Margaret’s for making it possible.We only charged $7.50 per child for the week. Many families who could not contribute that small amount were able to supply us with home-grown plantains, beans and avocados to enhance our meals and eight ladies volunteered their time in the kitchen. We capped the week with a beautiful farewell show performed by the kids on the last day.
CCCC is a dream that came into reality. This camping event strengthened my desire to provide help to the children of Cazale. To St. Margaret’s Church and to all who traveled from abroad to make this camp a success (Victoria, Mario, Brielle, Tara, Mazarine, Yolanda, Carline, Camille, Fr. Nathanael Saint-Pierre), I thank you on behalf of the entire CCCC team.
~ Soledad Jacques
For more photos and updates, visit us at
Help Support Our Mission Trip to Haiti in July!
Donation: $25 - Must Pre-Register
INTRODUCTION TO HAITIAN FOOD, MUSIC, ART & CULTURE
FUNdraiser - HAITI 101 - Sat., June 16, 7-9 PM
COME JOIN US
Saturday Night, June 16, 7-9 p.m.
This fundraising event will help support our mission trip in July. Several church members will travel to Haiti to run a one-week summer camp for children who attend the Cazale Community Cultural Center afterschool program established by our parishioner, Soledad Jacques. Not everyone can make the trip, but everyone can have a fun time learning more about life in our companion diocese.
Our evening will begin with a short introduction into Haiti’s unique history and culture. Entertainment will include dance, music and stories. You’ll enjoy sampling local cuisine; local handmade crafts and artifacts will be on display, and gifts will be raffled.
This event is by reservation only. Kindly reserve your tickets ASAP by emailing or Questions? Call Janet at (516) 713-8418.
Suggested Contribution $25
Please make checks payable to:
St. Margaret’s Church
St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church 1000 Washington Ave. Plainview, NY 11803
This past year has been a blessing for me. Not only are the children are doing much better in school, but we also have developed a close-knit bond within the com- munity.
The children recently went on a day trip to a cascade waterfall. I watched their video through tears of happi- ness; their faces were shining with joy.
I’m so excited about our mission trip to Haiti this July. Please join us on Saturday, June 16, for a night of history, great food, music, prizes and much more. Our goal is to share our love of service with a wonderful group of youngsters, to help cover the costs of sending 50 kids to camp, and to give support to those making the trip on behalf of the people of St. Margaret’s.
WHAT WE DO
The Cazale Community and Cultural Center is a non- profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of young people living in Haiti. We aim to enhance positive social interactions and help the youth build self-esteem and confidence. We do this by offering tutoring and year-round extracurricular activities.
We currently have one after school center in Cazale, Haiti, that is serving about 60 students in elementary and middle school every day with the help of two high school tutors and an adult supervisor. The center is open after-school from 2 pm to 7 pm and on Saturdays from 10 am to 5 pm. Weekend activities include board games, dance, arts and sports. In coming years, we plan to have educational and cultural excursions to various locations in Haiti.
Beginning in 2018, we will host a one-week summer camp every year for the youth in Haiti in collaboration with youth in New York. This summer camp will build off of the topics discussed during the after-school program including promoting community service, health and hygiene, confidence and self-esteem, and the overall goal of loving your neighbors as yourselves.
More information at:
MAY 2018. HAITI UPDATE
Summer is coming – and that means kids all over are looking forward to camp! With your help, the Cazale Community Center in the Diocese of Haiti is making headway in providing “camperships” so that 50 Haitian children can attend a one-week summer camp in July. Fr. Isaias and Christie, along with Fal, Derek and Veronica Gibson, expect to join Gina and me on this very exciting mission trip. It only takes $60 to sponsor one child for a full week of fun and fellowship. We have already raised enough money for 10 children.
We’re aware that not everyone will be able to join us in person, but we certainly want you to be with us in spirit! So, here comes Haiti 101: a Saturday evening of Haitian art, history and culture. You’ll enjoy authentic Haitian food and try dancing to some of our best Zouk and Kompa music. Haitian artists will display paintings, as well as arts and crafts items.
You’ll also learn a bit of our past history, who we are and how we got here; our educational system and language; and our religious and cultural traditions.
It will be a fun evening for all at a date in June to be announced. Gina and I look forward to seeing you!
~ Soledad Jacques
2017 ARCHIVE: OUTREACH TO HAITI
DECEMBER - Soledad Jacques thanks everyone who has supported the Cazale Community and Cultural Center in Haiti via donations and prayers. She will travel to Haiti this month to continue developing partnerships and programs in the year ahead.
~ Soledad Jacques