Mission Trip Report - 15-23 January 2018

Overall Missions Goal: Serve God’s beloved poor.

Mission Focuses:
1. Visit the Port-au-Prince office of the organization called Food for the Poor. Discuss opportunities for them to help more with our school food program and to begin to help the Gandou community with other projects.
2. Repair community water site which had a constant water leak draining out the community’s main source of life-sustaining water.
3. Meet with in-country administrators of the organization called “Gift of Water” and begin pilot project on their new purification system utilizing a 2 bucket system that filters and chlorinates the water for point-of-use water purification.
4. Hold yearly mid-wife training session for 35 community mid-wives and provide them with supplies to do their work.
5. Interview and gather information from several of the extremely poor families in our poor families program in order to determine the best ways to help them rise from their extremely bad situations. Provide them with solar flashlights.
6. Document the progress on the new school building containing 6 new classrooms.
7. Install new power wire running from the generator and add a fuse box to replace the 16 gage cut-off appliance cord that previously powered the whole rectory.
8. Meet newest University Program students and discuss how things are going for them as we work together during the medical mission.
9. Meet with our graduated University Program students who have finished their two years of service and are now professors in the Gandou school and discuss the details of how the school is functioning and ways that we can improve our educational system in Gandou.
10. Discuss the status of our student tutoring program.
11. Witness and discuss the details of the goat microloan projects which was started in the community and has recently had much progress.
12. Document the progress of the Church construction and the cement plaster-like covering of the cement blocks.
13. Discuss the status of the home rebuilding projects and visit several of the homes being rebuilt.
14. Perform general repair and maintenance around the parish and especially with generator and motorcycle.
15. Provide health care for the people of our sister parish in the following ways:
a. Run medical clinic/pharmacy and provide the best possible medical care to the greatest number possible.
b. Run dental clinic and provide cleanings, extractions, and restorations.
c. Run eye clinic and provide glaucoma evaluations, prescription glasses, reading glasses, sunglass, and eye medications.
d. Create ID cards for patients for the best possible patient tracking.
e. Continue with our referral program and referral patient tracking which provides the support for the people in our sister parish to get health care in the cities of Jacmel or Port-au-Prince when we are not in Haiti.
f. Meet with our patients who recently had surgery at the CCH or St. Michele clinics in Jacmel or the St. Joseph clinic in Lavallee.
g. Visit the clinic of Dr. Affricot in Lavallee. Dr. Affricot is a doctor we just made a connection with and is the doctor that lives closest to Gandou and is the doctor that gets many of the emergency patients from Gandou when we are not in Haiti.
h. Organize the 350 patients in our referral database and sort which patients can go to the upcoming clinics in Lavallee and Jacmel.
i. Transport emergency cases from Gandou to the city (4 hours away) using our truck.
j. Perform consultation check-up session with all the children in our malnourished program in order to ensure the health of these especially malnourished children.
k. Meet with the families of several patients who need special medical care that is not available in Haiti and work through the details of obtaining their passports.
l. Continue to support, train, and encourage breastfeeding.
16. Provide opportunity for our team to experience poverty, sacrifice, life in Haiti and especially our sister parish in order to grow in humility and a better understanding of the ways that God is asking for us to live in service to others.

Meeting with the Organization called “Food for the Poor”
Several years ago our parish of Gandou was connected with the organization called “Food for the Poor”.
 Food for the Poor started suppling some rice and beans for our school at no cost to us, but it was nowhere near enough to cover the needs of the school.
 Also over the past several years the number of students in our school has doubled so the amount of food needed to feed the kids in the school has greatly increased.
 Over the last year we have been working on growing our relationship with Food for the Poor.
 Food for the Poor has an office in Port-au-Price and during the last two trips we have stopped into this office and met with the managers there.
 We have found them to be wonderful and very helpful people.
 At the start of this trip we stopped into the Food for the Poor office and met with the manager in charge of food distribution. We were asking if Food for the Poor could increase the amount of food they provide to our school.
 She explained that Food for the Poor recently decided to focus their efforts toward school feeding programs and they could increase the amount they supply our school. They explained they could increase the amount of rice and beans the supply from ½ a ration every month to 2 rations every month (1 ration = 8 bags of rice).
 This is still short of the 5 rations per month (40 bags) of rice that Father needs to feed the current number of kids in our school.
 With our school enrollment going up each year we will need even more food next year to feed the school kids.
 While we were meeting with the manager in charge of the food distribution, we told her about our malnourished child program. In this program we use our ID card system/computer database to track patients that come into our clinic that are extremely malnourished. We have the patients come into our clinic once per month for our Haitian nurse (Germain) to weigh the patient, track the weight, do a health check on the child, and provide the child’s mother with food to feed the child.
 Food for the Poor shared that they also support malnourished programs like this. They asked for the number of kids we have in the malnourished program and we pulled out our binder which has the names, pictures, and details of each of the children in the malnourished program. Currently we have about 40 kids in this special program. She said they could start helping to provide program as well.
 Food for the Poor said they would come to Gandou and do an assessment of our malnourished program sometime in the future. We are excited about working with them more on this program in the future as well.
 We were so happy to hear that Food for the Poor will be able to increase the amount of food for the school they are giving us and they are able to start helping with our malnourished program.
 The last thing we talked to the leader of distribution about was help for the medical supplies for our clinic.
She explained that Food for the Poor does sometimes have medical supplies they can provide. She said if we email her our needs list she can have her medical clinic warehouse supply people check for each item and she could provide it to us. We plan to start working closely with them on this in the future as well.
 We asked if we could also talk to them about other projects like home rebuilding, school desks, etc and they said we needed to talk to another person there. This other person would not be in the office until the next week.
 At the end of the trip we made a call to this other person who through the Grace of God was available and again stopped in at their office again.
 We talked to them about the fact that between last trip and this one they had sent someone to Gandou and did an assessment of the situation in our sister parish.
 The outcome of this assessment was that Gandou is so remote, and so hard to get to, that Food for the Poor really can’t help there by leading any building project. They decided that we would need to lead our own building projects.
 Their assessment group concluded that Father Voltaire himself was going a great job doing construction projects in Gandou and he has figured out ways to deal with the great challenges of our remote sister parish.
 Based on this outcome and the fact that they can’t help us with any of our building projects, we wanted to know if they could still help us with building supplies like boards, nails, cement, and doors.
 Food for the Poor said it is likely they can’t help with these things because it would be out of process for them, but they could ask around to make sure. They said to email them with the list of supplies that we need and they would check to see if there is anything they can do.
 We asked them about a list of other projects we had in mind. This included, a truck, truck tires, well drilling, solar panel electric systems, and fence to go around the school. They responded that they don’t have any of these things to help us.
 They did say that it might be possible for them to supply us with some school desks. We told them we needed 300 and they said they might have 100 of all different shapes and sizes. We asked for them. They said to provide Father Voltaire’s phone and email address and they would check on the number of desks they have and contact Father to talk through the plan.
 They also talked favorably about providing some computers for a computer lab at our school. This is something that need to keep following up with them on.
 It appears to be so useful to have stopped into the office and gotten to know the people at Food for the Poor.  We praise God for this connection. We plan to keep growing our relationship with them in the future.Together ​I believe we can do much for the poor.

​​Repair Community Water Site

During the June 2017 mission trip our team clearly documented the great need to repair the community water spigot site.
 This community water site consists of a simple capped spring which is between 2,000 and 3,000 feet from the rectory. The capped spring includes a water holding tank which has a pipe connected to it in order to feed water down the hill and slightly up a portion of the next hill which gets the water to within 1,000 feet of the rectory.
 At this site the water pipe comes up out of the ground and goes into a wall that has 4 spigots. These spigots are used by the community to fill water buckets/jugs which are then carried (typically by the children) to the homes of the people.
 The problem was that the valves on the spigots were all worn out and would not shut off any more.  Furthermore the pipes which were cemented into the wall were PVC pipes and they were all cracked and broken.
 This means that the water constantly ran from the capped spring out the broken valves. During the rainy season this was not a problem, but during the dry season this caused the community to run out of water.
 Our team saw this as a huge health concern, so between the June 2017 trip and the January 2018 trip a design was fashioned for a way to rebuild the spigots, replacing the PVC pipe with steel pipe.
 Pipes, fittings, anchors, clamps, drills, and drill bits were all procured in the USA and sent to Haiti.
 The new design would require holes be drilled into the old cement wall and many anchors secured to hold the new pipes.
 However during the installation of the first test anchor it was found that the cement wall was made from cement blocks rather than solid cement, and the quality of the cement was so poor the anchors would not hold anything.
 Faced with this issue the team designed a completely new station mostly utilizing the components we had. The new design would require a completely new concrete station to support the spigots but promised to solve the issue.
 The next morning the team went to work but encountered issue after issue which without the intervention of God the Father would have stop our success. The following is the short list of issue to give reader a flavor of what was experienced after the new designed was conceived:
  • The main shut off value up the mountain source was frozen open and could not be shut off
  • Required PVC union could not be sourced locally. ~4hr one-way trip down the mountain to Jacmel was required
  • The truck engine mounts broke during the trip to Jacmel leaving the engine laying on the ground.
  • Upon finally getting the parts from Jacmel it was discovered that it was the wrong size requiring a second trip to Jacmel.
  • A trench exposing the water line had to be dug and refilled three different times to allow for water access while the new station was being constructed.
 The project was finally finished on the last day in Gandou and was a major blessing for the local town.
 Because of the great need of the community for water to sustain life, the successful completion of this project is arguably the most valuable project we did during this mission and this work will pay off for years to come.

​​Point-of-Use Water Filtration Pilot Project with “The Gift of Water” system.
For many years now we have been trying to get started on a water filtration project for the people of Gandou.
 Since clean water is so vital to health we feel we must begin a project to purify the water for the people to drink.
 There are many different systems available utilizing many different water purification methods.
 Over the last 6 months one of our team members has been researching the different systems available. He has analyzed their strengths, weakness, effectiveness, costs, and sustainability.
 One of the systems that rose to the top was a system sold by the organization called “Gift of Water”.
 Several of the other parishes that are twinned with a parish in Haiti use this system.
 During this trip it was decided that we should purchase two of these systems and take them to Gandou with us as a pilot project to see how they work.
 Overall the systems worked very well for us. We were able to filter the water we needed for the week in the Medical Clinic Waiting Area and the Dental Clinic without using any Culligan water.
 One system had a flow issue and the unit used in the dental clinic went well. After speaking with the Gift of Water director, the issue with the water flow can be easily resolved. The carbon in the second filter will swell and if the filter has too much carbon it will restrict the flow. To resolve the issue then a little bit of the carbon needs to be removed from the filter.
 After the trip a spreadsheet was setup for a budget for the funds needed to implement the project for the families of Gandou.
 The amount of funds needed to provide purified water to a larger number of the homes in Gandou is staggering, even with this simple and relatively cheap 2 bucket system.
 Paul is going to go back and double check on some other water systems just to make sure we have not missed something that requires less finances to sustain.
 Since the trip, Paul has been in contact with the director at Gift of Water and they are excited for us to begin.
 Paul has also been in contact with the project manager in Port au Prince. There would be an initial assessment of Gandou and a meeting with Fr. Voltaire that would need to be set up to begin.

​​Patient Waiting Room

​​Each trip we try to pick some areas where we can advance the care we provide and to implement new things to improve our overall efficiency.
 This trip our major focus within the medical clinic was on implementing some new things in the waiting
area. These advances included the following:
  1. New waiting room layout.
  2. Patient going through blood pressure check station.
  3. Baby going through new weight and circumference station. .
  4. Janine hand out spoonfuls of peanut butter to the hungry waiting patients.
  5. The children in the waiting room eat the peanut butter and drink their purified water.
  6. Mother and children get a spoon full of protein to help them through the day. 
They love it!
o Implementation of new waiting area layout which allowed for us to collect several additional pieces of information on the patient.
o Every patient ID# was checked against the blood pressure program list and if the patient was in the blood pressure program, the waiting room people worked with the health workers to find the patients monthly blood pressure check information and to pull it out and have it ready for the
doctor to see. This greatly increased the efficiency of the doctors because as soon as the patient sat down the doctor knew if the patient was in the blood pressure program and understood how well the program was working for that patient.
o Weight checks for all children including babies on a new higher accuracy scales.
o Every patient under 1 was started in our patient information tracker. The goal is that someday every patient has a tracker. The tracker will allow the doctors to know key items about the patient which will help them through decision making on the patient. For example key vitals are measured
and tracked every time the patient comes into the clinic. The weight is tracked on young children relative to a growth chart. Also if a child has an issue with wheezing then the doctors would note that. If the patient had a completed referral then that would be noted. This is to fill in a gap in our
current system which only tracks a patient until the referral is done. After the referral is done the referral is closed out in our referral system and no further tracking is done. If the patient comes in again there was nothing to tell the doctors of this. This new system is to fix this. It is the same as
the patient medical records that we use here in the USA.
o Every patient ID# was checked again the referral program ID# list to understand if the patient was in the referral program or not. If they were it was noted on the patient form so the doctors immediately knew this and could get a status update on the particular need of the patient.
o Over the years we have also saw just how thirsty and hungry the people in the waiting room are.  We decided we must provide better for them so more peanut butter was sent on the sea container along with spoons and many of the patients got a big spoon full of peanut butter and glass of
water. This helped to ease their suffering a bit.
o Finally we have seen how the mothers struggle to get their sick little kids to wait for hours and hours in our waiting line. By the time the kids get into the clinic not only are they hungry and thirsty but they are also often poopy and wet. This trip we brought some cloth diapers with us to
give to some of the patients in this situation. This is a small act of love that brings such joy to the mother’s heart.
o Adding all this to the waiting room was very difficult. The amount of work required to do all these things in the waiting room without slowing down the doctors any is extremely staggering, but through the Grace of God our wonderful waiting room ladies made it possible.

​​Dental Clinic
This trip we had the same wonderful team member as last trip helping us setup and manage the dental clinic.
 We asked our very capable teenage girl to help with the pre-dental clinic inventory and clinic set-up which greatly helped to make the huge job more manageable.
 We also requested the help of one of our University students, Wilson, to help translate for the patients during the dispensing of the medicines. He is always such wonderful help.
 Again this trip we hired Dr. Peterson from Haiti and the 5-member Haitian dental team. This time the Haitian dental team brought members of their group that have all been to Gandou for our clinics before which seemed to make things run a little smoother.
 We will keep praying for some dentist from the USA. We need them not only because we have so many patients, but also because our Haitian dentist long to work with some doctors from the USA.
 We noticed as we unpacked, that items for certain areas were in many different storage containers. When we packed up at the end of the trip we tried to take a little extra time to pack items that go in certain work areas all together and mark on the contain where that item will go. Hopefully this will expedite the set up for next summer.
 We would also like to retype the inventory list and rearrange a few things so that all items to inventory in a certain area are listed together in the inventory. This way, what is packed in one container will all be together on the inventory, saving the hunt time during set up.
 Fran had purchased individual pouches with toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss all in a small zip pouch, just like we get from our dentist at home. People were pleased with these. We added a full size toothpaste to the small one in the pouch since we did have a good supply.
 We had about the same number of patients as last summer. I did not record how many were children. There were some but I think about 85% were adults.
Here are patient counts:
                                                             Total patients                 Extractions                 Fillings                 Cleanings
Wednesday(1/2 day)                                   38                                   35                              13                           28
Thurs                                                            81                                   92                              21                           30
Friday                                                           92                                  121                             35                            22
Saturday                                                    110 Exam only(5)            119                             26                            32
TOTALS                                                      321                                   367                             95                          104
Roughly 64% of procedures were extractions

Eye Clinic
 This is the 3rd trip in a row that we have done an eye clinic along with the medical and dental clinics.  
 We have not been able to find an eye doctor in the USA to join us for one of these missions. We will continue to pray for this.
 Dr. Jean Eddy from Haiti is an absolutely wonderful and super hard-working doctor. He has been a great addition to the team.
 We have been very impressed with his skills as an eye doctor. The only limitation he seems to have is that we lack all the equipment he really needs. We need to find a way to grow our eye clinic and eye services in Gandou.
 Dr. Eddy was able to see a large number of patients and his help makes a huge difference in the lives of these people.

​​Patients that Must Have Care in the USA
 Some of the medical conditions that our patients have as they come into our clinic are so bad that there simply is no clinics in Haiti that are capable of caring for them.
 The patients must be transported to another country for care and/or surgery.
 We have been working on several of these cases over the last couple years.
 The first case is a patient with and mass growing behind her eye. We are begging Children’s Hospital in Cincinnati, OH to take this case. This case has become extremely urgent. Over the last six months it is very clear to see that this little girl’s eye has gotten much worse. Please pray we can get
Children’s to accept this case.
 The next patient is a little boy that needs hear surgery. We are linked up with Partners in Health to help this boy. We must get his passport and visa done. We are working with Father to get this done. We are praying it will be done soon.
 Finally we have a third case were we have a boy who has little to no control over his rectal sphincter. He soils himself all the time. It is again believed that Children’s Hospital could help him. We have been talking to them about this case. Please also pray that they will accept his case.

​​Provide Emergency Medical Care As Needed
• There were many extremely bad medical cases that came into our clinic. Several of the cases were patient that had diarrhea and/or vomiting that were dehydrated, malnourished and near the point of death.
• Several of these were cases where the mother of the child got sick and died or is sick enough that they are no longer able to care for their baby.
• In cases like this in Haiti it is like a death sentence for the child because in Haiti if the baby can’t take breast milk from the mother then there is nothing else to give them. Often in these cases we hear of the baby getting things like “sugar water”.

New Clinic Land
• For several years now we have been wanting to build a clinic for the people in Gandou. We have been struggling to find the land we need to build a clinic.
• Between this trip and the last trip, a perfect piece of land became available just south of the rectory.
• Father Voltaire went straight to the bishop and talked to him about the piece of land.
• The bishop approved the purchase of the land using the diocese funds.
• This has made this piece of land available to us to build our clinic.
• Father Voltaire has said he would like to start building the clinic right away.
• We are not yet ready to build and we have significant planning to do, but it does feel like God has just dropped this perfect piece of land into our laps and is asking for a clinic to be built.
• This is a heavy burden and we ask God for the strength to do His Most Holy will.

Mid Wife Training
• On our first trip to Gandou the priest told us he was losing on average 1 mom and 1 baby in child birth per month.
• We could not stand the thought of this suffering. We can’t even imagine the suffering that must be involved in mother being in labor for days in the heat, realizing her baby has died, then she herself will also die a slow and painful death.
• One of the ways that we decided we must help with this is by training mid-wives. We sent many women from the community through a formal one-time training.
• We also continually provide additional training and supplies to these mid-wives to try to help them.

• In the past we were happy to get 1 pharmacist per trip, but as we have added more doctors and improved our efficiency, we have now run into the issue where even 2 pharmacists are not enough.
• This trip our poor pharmacists would work super hard from the start of the day until 9:30pm at night without a break.
• For the future we must ask God to provide 3 pharmacists for each trip.

Goat Micro Loan Project
 Over the last 1.5 years we have been working to kick off our first goat microloan project.
 We are so excited to now have the program kicked off.
 The families that are selected to receive 5 goats would have to be able to provide care, shelter, and enough land to feed the goats.
 During our trip our team members met with the two men that run the program. Both have the first name of Daniel.
 Our team members visited the families, spoke to them, and took pictures of the signed contracts.
 The team members discovered that the program is going very well.
 There have been a couple goats that have already had babies.
 The families with the goats are ecstatic about the program and the children love them.
 One of the families had their male goat die. The family was very upset. In this case our team member provided the money for them to buy another male goat.
 Just after the trip we got pictures of the program leaders administering the goat vaccines that we had brought with us.
 Everyone is excited to see this program grow and expand as the goats we have give birth to more goats.
 We will stay in close communication with the program leaders to keep track of the number of goats, the overall program status, and the plans as more goats are born and provided to new families.
 We really want to get the goat micro loan project going because everyone agrees that once we get a family going with a goat micro loan project we can take them out of the poor families assistance program.
 If the program continues to go well we should consider expanding the program by purchasing more goats. Our current funding for this project is very limited, but we may need to start knocking on the door of our Lord for much greater funding for this project.

Motorcycle Repair and Training
• We are still working on training the health care workers to drive the motorcycle.
• Since the last trip the motorcycle shows 30 miles of use. This is good since these would have been all training miles, and in the hills of Gandou 30 miles is a long way.
• The motorcycle had a flat front tire and it would not start.
• Changing a tube in a tire without the proper tools proved to be a real challenge. After a long search, a metal tent stake was found to do the trick. After the tire was removed from the rim utilizing a tent stake, the tube was replaced and the tire reassembled.
• Starting the motorcycle was the next task. After replacing the fuel and finding a secondary battery the motorcycle was up and running.
• Key learning - Honda motorcycles are very cold nature but once warm they are like the energizer bunny
• There was no time for conducting any training this trip. Too many other projects were in the works.

Poor Families Project
• Meeting with the poor families was very important to understand the people of Gandou. We met with about 20 families. After our meeting with each family, we distribute peanut butter, a solar light, dresses for the girls, t-shirts for boys, rosaries, and shoes.
A few items to note:
  • The amount of money they get from our program is minimal. (~$50 USD per 6 months)
  • Most have a space for a garden but lack seeds.
  • A donkey was something that many families ask for
  • Many would like farm animals (goats, cow, sheep, chickens)
  • If given a micro loan, many would buy goods to resell at the market
• Fr. Voltaire did not give some families money because they had children in the school that were being sponsored. This is something we asked him to do. In the past when we asked what the people did with the money we gave them they replied that they used it to get their kids in school. Therefore we asked Father to choose these families as the next families that get a student sponsorship.
• Many of their houses needed repairs
• Challenges and suggestions
  • A budget would need to be explained to the people that are given micro loans so that they understand how to manage their money
  • Each family is given the same amount regardless of the number of people in the family
  • Fr Voltaire mentioned that there is a need for additional food in March, April, and May during the growing season. Most families plant all the seed they have and do not keep any to eat.
  • Crop rotation may need to be addressed
  • Introduction of terracing the side of the mountain to create planting areas and to control erosion.
  • Setting up a trade school or one day workshops to teach them how to sew, farm, etc.
• Follow up
  • Cross reference the families listed on the home repair to the poor family list
  • Cross reference the poor families to the children in our school
  • Cross reference the poor families to the families with the goat project
  • Check with Food for the Poor to see if we can buy sewing machines or farm animals from them
  • Suggest to give out seed for gardens on the January trip so they have it to plant in March
  • Can we increase the amount of money that Fr. Voltaire gives out
  • Can we purchase food in Port au Prince and take to Gandou to give to the poor families during the trip?
​​​School Construction
On the trip in June, 2017, they had started digging the footers, shown below on the left, for the new classroom building.  On the trip in January, 2018, they had made a lot of progress on the new classrooms. After the classrooms are complete, the rooms will need to be furnished with desks and chairs, chalkboards. One of the existing rooms will be used for storage of the team’s equipment used during medical and dental clinics. Another existing room will be turned into a library where students will be able to use. The building project includes painting the exterior of the new classrooms. So that all the classrooms would look the same, Fr. Voltaire asked for funding to the paint the exterior walls of the existing classrooms. The school would benefit greatly if there were solar power at the school. This would provide lighting in the classrooms and a source for charging the 3 computers used to help teachers teach the different languages. Also, Fr. Voltaire asked to install a fence around the school grounds. The school staff have problems with the farm animals of some the neighboring residents coming on the school grounds looking for something to eat and interfering with recess time.

Education in Gandou
Last school year, there were not enough classrooms for all the students to attend school at the same time. So grades K1, K2, K3, 1-6 went to school in the morning and grades 7-10 went to school in the afternoon. The 2 sessions for school created a lot of problems. So four temporary classrooms were built for this year. With the additional classrooms this year, all grades are able to attend school at the same time including the addition of grade 11. In Haiti the full curriculum will cover grades K1, K2, K3, 1 – 13.

​​Education Program Funding Needs
The people of Gandou see education as one big way of helping their young. Over the years, the Gandou ministry has been expanding their involvement in the education program. The ministry needs help with the future funding of the following:
  • Providing needed chairs, desks and supplies for students.
  • Providing needed chairs & desks for teachers
  • Providing needed shelves & cabinets for the library
  • Sponsoring students
  • Supporting the college scholarships
  • Painting the exterior of the existing classrooms
  • Install a fence around the school grounds to keep the animals out
  • Install solar power at the school.
• Classes are often conducted in the dark.
• The materials they use for teaching such as visual aids or recordings for language, need power.
• Teachers can only charge laptops, iPad or other electronic devices at the rectory. It will last one day. They need a charging station for the teachers       at the school.

• More dictionaries English / Spanish, English / French, Haitian Creole / other
• Someone suggested that there are grants available in Canada or France for books in French. Could someone research this? I can testify that I have problems locating books printed in French.
• We are told that each primary teacher teaches Creole and French to all levels. Books are all in French. English and Spanish begins at 7th grade
• Printer / copy machine - needed to run the school well for so many things.

Scholarship Program
How the College Scholarship Program works:
      Once a student has been selected for a scholarship, he/she signs a contract agreeing to certain criteria to maintain while in college. Then after
      ​graduation the student returns to Gandou and works for 2 years.
We currently have:
  •    3 teachers who have graduated college and are now teaching at Gandou
  •    1 student (Frantzette) who will graduate from nursing school in June, 2018. July is graduation (She is yet to be advised of the exam date                ...the National exam is for all of Nursing...could be anytime July til December.)
  •    2 students who are in their 3rd year of nursing
  •    2 students who are in their 3rd year of education
  •    2 students who are in their 2nd year of education
  •    1 student who is in his 1st year of agriculture
​​​Looking to the Future ​ We have started to investigate the particulars for expanding scholarship program to include trade fields (ex. Plumber,
     ​carpenter, masonry).
Home Building (Rebuilding) Projects for the Extremely Poor
 One of the most eye opening experiences for people that go on the Haiti mission is when they get to visit the homes of people in the community (on Sunday).
 So often people come back from these experiences with a new prospective on the level of poverty that exists in this community.
 Our people often report that the suffering these people endure in these homes must be tremendous.
 In the United States we have many animals that live in far nicer homes than these people live in.
 It is difficult to image trying to live through the kinds of rains and winds that Haiti has in these little make-shift homes.
 Furthermore, typically our team visits the people that live closer to the Church in Gandou. These homes are the nicer homes because they are closer to the main part of Gandou and the “road”. It is in the further out spots that things get far worse.
 Ever since the 2010 earthquake we have been trying to help the people rebuild some of these homes.
 We have repaired and rebuilt a handful of homes, but there is a need to do hundreds of homes.
 Many of the people had damage to their homes during the 2010 earthquake that was never fully repaired and more damage done during the more recent hurricanes.
 During 2017 we had sent Father money to rebuild a couple homes. As Father would start the project he would email us a picture of the home before the repair/rebuild and a picture during the repair/rebuild and a picture after the repair/rebuild. See the pictures above.
 During this trip a couple of our people made a visits to the homes that were rebuilt and they got to talk to the families.
 We are finding this to be a great project that is helping these people to gain roofs that don’t leak, walls that don’t have holes in them, cement floors to finally get the dirt out of their homes.
 These home improvements not only help the health of the people, but also bring to them a dignity they deserve as Children of God.
 We felt our project was good, but needed to move to a larger scale in order to help the many people in Gandou.
 Also in 2017 we made a connection with the Organization Food for the Poor. Since they do home rebuilding projects Haiti, we asked for their help to rebuild some homes in Gandou.
 Food for the Poor sent out some people to Gandou to do an assessment.
 The outcome of their assessment was that Gandou is too remote and too difficult for them to deal with logistically and they reported that they could not help by leading any building projects in Gandou.
 They did however suggest that they might be able to help us in other ways and we are working to find other ways for them to help.
 Because of this, a donor came to us with a $20,000 matching grant opportunity. He said that he would match any donation we could get up to $20,000 to do home rebuilding/repairs in Gandou.
 We started a campaign and ended up with a total of over $60,000.
 We are very excited to start this project. We have asked Father to finish the home rebuilding projects he is currently working on then to start this new and larger project.
 Father has reported that he can hire many local people to be working on several homes all at the same time. This will not only help the people to do the repairs they so desperately need and can’t do on their own, but it will also employee local people from the community and a little bit of work to the community. This is a win-win for the community.
 Father sent us a list of 33 homes that need repair or rebuilt. The average cost to fix these homes is about $3,000. The total cost is $100,000. We don’t have this much money, but we will get the project started and do as many as we can.
 Because this project is so important we are asking Father to do everything he can to complete as many of these homes as fast as he can.
 Since the trip we have gotten several emails from Father with pictures and updates on home repairs. We thank God for Father Voltaire and for matching us up with Him. He has a super strong capability of getting construction projects done, and he seems to be the perfect priest for this type of project.
 We are so excited to work on this project this year. Please beg God for good weather, quick progress, and for the additional funds we need to continue the project.

Medical clinic, pharmacy, and Total Numbers
o God blessed us this trip with 4 providers, 2 pharmacists, and 3 nurses.
o The team was absolutely wonderful. Extremely hard working running clinic for more than 12 hours every day.
o Clinic Results/Numbers totals were about 1023 patients that went through our 4 days of clinic. In addition to this there was over 30 children in the malnourished program and more than 30 midwives that the doctors spent lots of time with. If you add these numbers to the 321 dental patients receiving 571 dental procedures and more than 150 patients that went through our eye clinic you get a total of about 1600 patients cared for.
o It is through God’s Grace alone that any of these things were accomplished. We thank God for the all He has done and continues to do. We offer to him this ministry, all our feeble efforts, and our lives in service to His most beloved poor.

Father’s List of Top Priorities
o Each trip Father Voltaire provides is list of top priorities to us.
o We try to understand these projects, try to find funding, and add our input into each.
o During this trip Father provided the following:

​   #1. Finish the cement (“plaster”) coating on the inside and outside of the Church
  • Father reported this is Jesus’s house and this work needs to be done.
  • We had previously send some money to start this work on the inside of the Church and it was completed from the front of the Church (towards the altar) to the back except for the area in the very back.
  • To finish the area in the back will cost between $8,000 and $10,000. To do the outside will cost between $20,000 and $22,000.
  • Father asked for our help to find this funding. Currently we don’t have any of this funding.
  • Father reported the work would take 1.5 months to finish the inside and 3 months to finish the outside…depending on the weather.
  • Father helps us with so many projects and works so hard on things, we would really like to do this project for him. This would mean much to him and to our Lord.
         #2. New rooms to add on to the rectory
  • As we do more in our sister parish and bring larger and larger teams we need to address some of the needs in the rectory.
  • Currently the generators we send to Gandou are stored in the old chicken building. This is not really much of a building given it has some old chicken wire for sides and a leaking and sagging roof. The roof and sides are leaking bad enough that the generators don’t really stay dry we have seen some generators failures we think are connected to this poor shelter area we have.
  • Furthermore most of the cooking done at the rectory is done on a fire outside when it is not raining and inside a cooking “shed” when it is raining. When they build their fire in the “shed” the smoke fills the “shed” so bad I don’t see how any of the cooks can stand to stay in there. Father’s goal is to add a way to cook with propane in the new cooking area. He said in addition to smoke this is to prevent the cutting of the trees to build the fire. The trees are so needed in Haiti to hold the soil on the steep mountain sides. The worst thing that can happen is for more of the trees to be cut, more erosion to happen, and the people to be able to grow less and less crops.
  • In addition to this we store our dental clinic supplies in one of the rooms on the roof of the rectory. These rooms are made from ply wood and the roof leaks and the walls have gotten wet so many times from hard blowing rains that the walls are rotten and have holes in them. The dental supplies often get some amount of water on them and sometimes we find the suitcases wet and some of the supplies ruined.
  • Finally father feels bad about the ways that we sleep each time we come to the rectory. He would like everyone to have a bed and be off the floor. He would like to be able to host more people. He would like people to get a better night sleep. He would like to have more than one bathroom for the 12-15 plus women that often come on our trips.
  • In summary Father’s goal is to add 4 rooms to the back of the rectory (storage, cooking, generator, bedroom).
  • These projects for the rectory have historically been very difficult for us to fund because 100% of our donations go to the common poor people of Haiti. Therefore for projects that include rooms for us to stay in we need a donor to specifically state they want their donation to go to this.
  • We don’t have an estimate for this work yet, but since it includes several rooms it will not be a small amount of money. If you feel called to support this, please let us know and we get an estimate and work through the details

    ​#3 Father needs a new truck.
  • Father’s truck is about 10 years old and has been up and down the mountain so many times that whole truck is worn out. On the second day of the trip while we were in Port-au-Prince we were having lots of trouble with getting the truck started. We had to have the men from the trip push the truck down the road as fast as we could while Father dumped the clutch and tried to start it.
  • While we were working to understand the issue with the truck we were looking under the hood and found that Father had to have the truck body/frame welded back together where it had broken from rough roads he is always traveling on.
  • Just after the trip we got an email from Father saying that his transmission broke on his truck. He sent pictures and it appears that one of the shafts in the transmission broke. We praise God that Father was ok because it would not be good for a failure like this to happen on the hills of Gandou.
  • The cost to fix the transmission will likely be in the $3,000 range.
  • Our goal is to again work with the German organization that provides trucks to priests in Haiti. This organization simply asks for help with 25% of the cost of the truck. 25% of the cost of the ruck will still be in the $10,000 range and we don’t have this funding yet. However in order to get a truck, Father Voltaire’s bishop has to pick him as being one of the most in need priest and so far he has not been picked as the priest with the most need. This says much about the needs of the other priests in Haiti.
  • Father has written a letter to his bishop asking to be considered for the next truck. We will pray that he approves. 

    ​​​​ #4 New Clinic

  • Father would like us to start construction of a new clinic. We would love to start this project as well.
  • Currently we have a very old small clinic that way too small for our clinics. In order to get room to run our clinics when we travel to Gandou, we shut down the school and use the school buildings for our clinics when we go to Gandou twice a year.
  • There is so much more we could do for these people if we could build this new clinic.
  • We now have the land (in a perfect location) we need to build this clinic. We just need to raise the funding to begin the construction.
  • Father Voltaire said he would really like to build us this new clinic before his time in Gandou is done. If Father was able to build some of this clinic before his time is up then we would need to start on the clinic very soon. Because of funding this is not an option at this time.

    #​​5 Fence and gate for the school and wall around the new land for the clinic
  • ​​Father said that he has trouble with people’s animals walking around the school area.
  • Father would like to create a boarder around the school area to help the kids better concentrate and to keep the school area cleaner.
  • Also Father would like to start with the clinic construction by building a security wall around the clinic area.

If you would like to donate to any of the projects above, tax deductible donations can be made by check to St. Anthony Haiti Ministry and sent to St. Anthony Church, PO Box 3 Morris, IN 47033 or to St. Louis Haiti Ministry and sent to St. Louis Church, 13 St. Louis Place Batesville, IN 47006. Please mark all donations clearly for “Haiti”. If the donation is for a specific Haiti project, please include a note indicating this.