​​​​March 2023 News

Annual Chicken Dinner -
Our annual chicken dinner fundraiser is back, at the Batesville Knights of Columbus Hall. It will be Saturday, March 11 at 624 Delaware Road, Batesville, IN 47006. Meals will be served from 5:00 pm until 8:00 pm, carry-outs are available. Cost is $14 for adults (3 pieces of chicken) and $7 for children (2 pieces of chicken). Desserts are needed, especially pies. They can be dropped off at the K of C hall, on Saturday evening or dropped off in the foyer of Shad Hall (St. Anthony's Gym) from 3:30-4:00 pm.

Drought information from Father:      
Father writes: I am happy to wish you a good Lent season. 
I am writing you this little message to let you know that the situation is very difficult in the community. It's been a few months since you helped buy food to help people. 
I know it's hard to find money to eat, but I believe people would rather eat than die. 
You know that the rain never falls, which is why people can't plant any garden and everything they have seems to end, especially for the poorest people. 
Is it possible to send some money so that I can buy more than 200 bags of rice to put in the presbytery to help some people because it is difficult now. 
Food is very expensive and there is nothing in the Gardens. It is the first time since I have been in Gandou that it has never rained in January and February. 
Thank you if you believe it is possible. But as soon as the rain begins to fall, the situation will change, I hope. 
I asked for some details and he said, for 200 bags of rice, it would cost about $8000, but anything we could send would be helpful. 

​​Also, he sent the following: 
Yesterday, around noon, I received at the presbytery of Gandou, 2 young men whom I rarely see in the community, came to me and said, "My father, you alone can help us in this difficult time." We haven't had anything to eat since 2 weeks, I am obliged to give 15000 gourdes which in fact does not represent absolutely nothing to go buy something.
But as soon as the rain starts to fall, the situation will change, I hope. 
Allow me to inform you that for the moment a mamit of rice is sold at 1250 gourdes in Gandou, before we could buy at 600 gourdes. 
We also have a few other requests for funding to consider; Hannah talked with the teachers and cooks and there is a need for additional plates/silverware as well as cooking and serving bowls. 
There is a need to replace parts/repair one of the current stretchers.

Finally, eight years ago we repaired a home in Gandou, in exchange we had a contract with the owner to let some of the high school teachers who come from Jacmel stay there. The contract is now up for renewal and Father needs $500-600 a year to continue renting that or another house for the teachers.

Older news:​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
​Clean Water
– In October a trainer from the organization Gift ​of Water came to Gandou for a week to train our new water ​technician, Jean   Sauveur Beaucejour. We now have three ​local men who are overseeing the water program and visiting ​the families monthly. With the addition of Jean Sauveur, the ​program was able to increase the number of families ​participating. Two hundred new families received the ​two-bucket purification systems bringing the total number ​of families in the program to six hundred. 

Tax deductible donations can be made by check to​
​and sent to the parish office at
​St. Anthony ​Haiti Ministry
​P.O. Box 3,
​Morris, IN 47033​​

​​​​​Sea Container – We were still able to send our ​October sea container shipment to our sister parish.
​ This included peanut butter for the malnutrition ​program, over-the-counter medications for our Gandou ​medical clinic, toothbrushes and toothpaste for the school children, shoes and sewing machines for the microloan programs, and tools for the maintenance technician. The Haiti Ministry now has the use of one of the portable classrooms at St. Anthony’s to use as a warehouse. This has been great for storing donated items and allowing ample space to pack them and prepare them for shipment. 

Education – Our sister parish school has been able to continue operating as usual. This year there are 465 students in the school. Last school year was the first year our sister parish school was able to offer all of the grades and they had their first graduating class. We are looking forward to the second graduating class this year.

Medical – Following the assassination of the president of ​Haiti in July, we were forced to cancel our scheduled ​August trip. Due to the continuing and increasing ​instability, ​we are unsure about our winter trip. We are very ​fortunate ​that in August we were able to hire Dr. Jean Simon ​Marseille. Dr. Marseille is a Haitian physician who now runs ​our year-round clinic.

Dr. Marseille works with our four Haitian ​nurses and six health workers to provide day to day care as well ​as run our hypertension, malnutrition, and referral programs. ​ We are able to communicate with Dr. Marseille and the nurses over ​Whatsapp. This allows Dr. Marseille to consult with physicians and
​specialists here. It also allows the nurses to communicate the ​p​rogress of our other programs. Below is Dr. Marseille in the ​clinic and the second is one of the Whatsapp messages Dr. Marseille ​sent concerning a patient who came to clinic. 

Referral Program - Our referral program has been slowed down due to the many problems in the country. We are unable to send patients for treatment to Port-au-Prince. We can still send patients to Jacmel, but services there are limited. Also, we normally work with several other non-profit organizations that have week-long specialist clinics throughout the year. Nearly all of these have been cancelled this past year. Despite the setbacks, we have had some successes. Our health workers and nurses are becoming experienced at working with the existing services in Jacmel. Over the last six months we have had twenty-four referral patients who had
​surgery or were treated in the city. 

Class of 2021
​For the first time ever, all 13 grades of school were offered at ​our sister ​parish school this past school year. Before graduating, ​the 13th grade ​students had to pass a national graduation exam. ​The results were ​recently released and we are proud to share that eight ​of the eleven ​students passed. This 73% pass rate greatly exceeded the ​national pass ​rate of 55%. In addition to a graduation exam, there is
​also a national 
​exam for ninth graders that must be passed to be allowed to continue ​high school. Sixteen of the seventeen ninth graders at our sister parish ​school passed the exam this year. Again, this 95% pass rate exceeded the ​national pass rate of 81%. Congratulations to all our students and ​teachers for their hard work, and thank you to all our student sponsors ​who helped make this possible. ​​
Mechanical Student - July 2021
Frantz Joseph is a young man from Gandou who has ​been attending diesel ​ mechanic school through our ​vocational student sponsorship program. He ​is graduating this month and will be returning to
​Gandou to ​complete the one-year of community ​service that the sponsorship ​program requires.
​Frantz has worked with our maintenance teams during 
​our medical clinics while he has been in school and has ​shown ​mechanical abilities beyond just what his training has provided.  ​ In addition to keeping the generator running and repairing the parish ​vehicle as needed, Frantz will be able to provide general maintenance ​for the parish and school. He will work with our maintenance committee ​to implement some of their projects including maintaining the ​capped-water spring and cistern, electrical wiring in the school, and solar ​system maintenance.

A dedicated team traveled to Gandou during March to hold a delayed medical trip. The team worked with our Haitian physicians, dentists, nurses, health workers, and translators to hold a successful medical and dental clinic. During the week, the team saw 937 patients in the medical clinic and 268 patients in the dental clinic. The physicians also saw most of the children in our malnourished program and several patients in our referral program. They also met with the local midwives and provided them with much needed supplies.
In addition to medical care, our team worked on several of our other programs as well. Team members met with families in our Family Empowerment program to assess their needs and see how we can empower them to improve their situations. We also met with individuals in the Micro Loan and Goat Programs. We had the opportunity to visit some of the recently rebuilt or repaired homes in the community as well.
Also our maintenance team worked on the water supply to the Gandou area. There is a capped spring that feeds a small concrete reservoir near the parish center. The line from the spring to the reservoir was damaged and the reservoir was unusable. Our team worked with local men to dig up and repair the line. Fr. Voltaire recently sent an update of the reservoir that it is now full. The team also assessed the school roof to see what needs done to install gutters and downspouts that would allow the school to collect rain water. Currently the students are carrying water to the school each day.
Although we have four nurses and six health workers employed year-round to provide a basic medical clinic and run our malnutrition, hypertension, and referral programs, there is still no physician serving our community. We are currently talking to Haitian physicians about the possibility of working full-time in our clinic.
Gift of Water
Through the Gift of Water program, four hundred families have received two-bucket filtration systems in their homes. Two local men have been trained as water technicians to visit the families monthly and monitor their systems. In April, a third water technician was trained to allow expansion of our project. An additional two hundred families will receive filtration systems this summer. We hope to expand again to an additional two hundred families later in fall of 2021.

Student Sponsor Pictures
Student sponsor pictures are being mailed out this week for the 2020-2021 school year. We apologize for the delay. These pictures are usually sent out in late winter following our January trip. Due to Covid-19, our January trip was delayed until March this year to allow more of the volunteers from here to be vaccinated. Because of the volatile political situation in Haiti at the time, only a small team made the trip. With the lower number of participants, everyone was needed in the medical and dental clinics and no one was available to take the student pictures. We have been working with Fr. Voltaire since then to obtain the pictures. This has been a slow process due to limited internet in Gandou and several school closings due to the political instability over the last few months. The current school year in Gandou will end in July. Renewals for student sponsors will be mailed out in the fall as usual. Thank you to all our sponsors!