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Fall 2022 – How You Can Help

As expected, we have had to cancel our annual fall medical mission trip to Haiti again this year, due to security concerns. Sadly, the news out of Haiti is getting worse, not better. This recent (10/14/22) Associated Press article summarizes the current situation: “The U.N. World Food Program and Food and Agriculture Organization said unrelenting crises have trapped Haitians ‘in a cycle of growing desperation, without access to food, fuel, markets, jobs and public services, bringing the country to a standstill.’”

Multiple people have asked us: how can I help the neediest people of Haiti? There are two important ways you can assist our brothers and sisters in Haiti:

  1. Please pray for peace in Haiti and around the world. As we have all learned over the past half year, faraway conflicts in place like Ukraine have led to rising food and energy costs around the world, further contributing to instability and hunger in many countries, including Haiti. 
  2. You can donate to the Haiti Committee of the Church of St. Michael and St. Peter. 100% of donations to the Haiti Committee go DIRECTLY to our sister parish. All of our workers are volunteers, and these volunteers absorb the administrative costs of running the committee. That means that every dollar you donate goes DIRECTLY to school lunches for students, supplementing teacher salaries, and buying supplies for the medical clinic. 

We continue to hold fundraisers so we can support our twin parish in Chauffard. If you are in the Syracuse area, our next fundraiser will be our Book & Bake Sale from November 4-6, 2022. Father Raymond recently reported that the food he is purchasing for the school lunches has more than tripled in price recently, so our fundraising efforts are more important than ever. 

Summer 2022 – Political Situation in Haiti Still Unstable & NY Times Expose

Sadly, the political situation in Haiti has not improved since the assassination of the country’s president, Jovenel Moïse, last summer. Gangs associated with drug trafficking have taken over large areas of the capital of Port au Prince, so it is unsafe to travel there at this time. Therefore, we will not be sending a mission group to visit our twin parish again this year. However, we continue raise funds to support the local schools, and to pray for all Haitians.

On the bright side, the deep roots of Haiti’s current plight are being brought to light by the New York TimesAccording to the paper’s expose published in mid-May, “Haiti’s ‘double debt’ — the ransom and the loan to pay it — helped cement its path into poverty and underdevelopment.” The lengthy article describes the staggering payments Haiti was forced to pay to France in the early 1800’s. After Haiti’s independence in 1804, France demanded that the newly independent nation pay French slaveholders for the loss of their businesses. Haiti was unable to meet these demands, so the country took out loans with French banks that crippled the economy. 

This debt has been reported in the past, but what is new is the journalists digging through records of actual payments to figure out how much was stolen from Haitians. The Times found that Haitians paid about $560 million in today’s dollars. According to the article: “But that doesn’t nearly capture the true loss. If that money had simply stayed in the Haitian economy and grown at the nation’s actual pace over the last two centuries — rather than being shipped off to France, without any goods or services being provided in return — it would have added a staggering $21 billion to Haiti over time, even accounting for its notorious corruption and waste.”

July 2021 – Haiti’s President Jovenel Moïse Killed

Haiti in our Hands are very concerned about the growing turmoil that will engulf Haiti as a result of the killing of the country’s President Jovenel Moïse.

We pray for peace and calm at this time in a country devastated by poverty & corruption. Please see out Facebook pages for updates from Chauffard as we receive them.

Oct 2020 – Medical Mission CANCELLED

Like last year it is with regret we announce that we have had to cancel our Medical Mission for this year due to travel restrictions. This is always a highlight in our calendar and is difficult for us to accept.

We pray we’ll be able to visit our friends in Chauffard next year.

Oct 2020 – New Monthly Newsletters Section!

We have added a new section to our website. You can now download Kate’s monthly Newsletters. Our monthly newsletters contain news from Chauffard, upcoming events, fundraising and key activities.

Nov 2020 – Update on Covid-19 and the reconstruction of Chauffard church building.

Feb 2020 – The story of 20 years of Twinning between Syracuse & Chauffard.

May 2020Impending Humanitarian Crisis – Pan American Health Organization  .

Haiti is poorly equipped to deal with such an epidemic. The country is persistently in turmoil and enforcing measures to reduce the spread of this deadly disease is virtually impossible and at best impractical.

Dr. Jean “Bill” Pape of GHESKIO describes the precarious situation Haiti finds itself in. Please keep Haiti in your prayers.

April 2020 – “We are not prepared at all” – BBC

The situation is Haiti continues to be monitored and recent information reports three registered Covid-19 related deaths; in reality the number is higher given the access to healthcare countrywide.

Upon deep consideration, it is frightening to think the impact such an infectious and deadly disease could have on such an impoverished nation like Haiti where people won’t be able to socially distance and hygiene is difficult given the lack of clean running water. The BBC ran an very thought provoking article in recent days.

Medical Mission 2020 – Volunteers Needed

Our annual medical trip to Chauffard is scheduled for 2nd – 9th December this year. After not being able to travel last year due to concerns over security, we’re keener than ever to visit Chauffard and see our friends.

A trip to Chauffard to support our medical efforts is a truly special experience that will stick with you for the rest of your life.  We need doctors, nurses, and non-medical helpers.

Our wonderful 2014 Medical Mission team

To give you an idea, check our Medical Missions page and read the Testimonials of previous volunteers. Do contact us if you are interested.

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March 2020 – Confirmed cases of Covid-19

There are a total of two confirmed cases of coronavirus in Haiti as of Thursday 19th March. Government has closed the two international airports for the next two weeks.

In a country where most people don’t have access to running water let alone a healthcare system one wonders how Haiti will come through this pandemic.

We will keep our supporters posted on any confirmed cases in Chauffard.

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December 2019 – School Kitchen Renovation Complete!

In December of last year we received the wonderful news that the school kitchen of Chauffard was fully renovated. You will see from the April photos below that the kitchen was in desperate need of renovation and was extremely difficult to work in. Much credit goes to the wonderful cooks of Chauffard school for persevering through these conditions to feed the pupils.

The renovation consist of 6 new stoves and 2 filled gas cylinders. The building walls were restored and painted.  You can compare the before and after photos below.

Transformation of Chauffard School Kitchen

Thanks again to the anonymous donation we received earlier in the year of $2000 for this project.

Locals who worked on the project.

The six new stoves.

The two new filled gas cylinders.

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Fundraising – Joseph McCullagh completes the Yorkshire Marathon!

Joseph McCullagh completed the Yorkshire marathon last Sunday and rumour has it he didn’t collapse or require medical attention!

In doing so he managed to raise a fantastic $2600 for the people of Chauffard. If you would like to donate the link is still live:

Justgiving Donation

Many thanks for all the support from his friends at the Spa Striders running club, his running buddies Luke & Lloyd and especially to his wife Claire cheering him on and putting up with him over the 16 weeks training!

The morning of the marathon, nerves building!

At the finish line…absolutely nackered!

Joseph was well supported by his wife Claire…and Mr. Potato!

Worth it all in the end….

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Fundraising – Joseph McCullagh & the Yorkshire Marathon

On Oct 20th, Joseph will be taking part in the 2019 Yorkshire Marathon to raise money for Haiti in our Hands. Training is tough and he is by no means a runner so it will be painful. Look up his Facebook page for the justgiving link (posted below) or donate via PayPal on the link to your right.

If he doesn’t complete it in under 4 hours, all donations will be matched!

Justgiving Donation

Running for Haiti

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August 2019 – School Year Complete, Medical Mission 2019 & Chauffard School Kitchen…lot’s to report!

Another school year complete with no interruption to teaching or school meals. The kids finished with an end of year party and are looking forward to their break. It is a fantastic achievement to have supported Chauffard through another full academic year. Many thanks to all our donors.

The plans are on-going for this years Medical Mission. The team is not yet complete and there are roles for photo taking, information gathering and helping to run the pharmacy. Please do get in touch if you’d like to help this November.

All materials for the school kitchen have now been bought and work will start now the summers holidays have started. Watch this space for updates.

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April 2019 – Chauffard School Kitchen: Renovation to start…

Haiti in our Hands are delighted to announce we are in receipt of an anonymous donation of $2000 to allow us to renovate the kitchen of Chauffard School.

As you can see from the photographs, this work is desperately needed. The cooks work in awful conditions and they do an extremely good job considering their facilities.

The kitchen will be upgraded with convenient gas bottles and proper cooking hobs. We will update you when the work is complete.

The amenities in the kitchen need to be upgraded

The cooks of Chauffard School Kitchen work in terrible conditions

The Cooks of Chauffard School Kitchen

Joseph McCullagh outside Chauffard School kitchen

The smoke in the kitchen is dangerous to the cook’s health

The wonderful staff of Chauffard School Kitchen

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Appeal: School’s Lunch Program

This is a challenging time in Haiti. We need your support now more than ever. The school lunch program continues at the 5 schools in and around Chauffard for 4 more months. Help us raise the $20,000 needed to keep the children in good health!

You can donate directly with our Paypal link on the side page. As always, 100 % of donations are sent to Chauffard.

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March 2017: Medical Mission 2017 – 8th to 14th November

Dates for this year’s medical Mission have set. The team will be in Chauffard from 8th – 24th November. Places are filling up fast so if you’d like to be involved please get contact us. For more information on our health care in Chauffard, read our Medical Missions section.

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November 2016: Medical Mission treats over 1100 patients!

Like every year we send a team of doctors, nurses, pharmacists and helpers to arrange the 3 day clinic to provide healthcare to the people of Chauffard. This year we treated a staggering 1100 people. Thanks to all our volunteers and donors.

Our wonderful pharmacists in the pharmacy.

Our very cool medical staff! 🙂

The Medical Mission team of 2016 sitting down to their evening meal at the Rectory

The mothers of Chauffard await to be seen.

Dr. Jerry at the phone box!

Dr Tom with the people of Chauffard on their day off

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November 2015: Medical Mission another success…this time in the school.

Like every year we send a group of medical staff to Chauffard for our annual Medical Mission. For Dr. Tom and Dr. Jerry it is their 6th time; a wonderful achievement and we are very grateful. Our team was able to treat approximately 100o patients.

Nurse Cynthia and Dr. Jerry treating the people of Chauffard.

Dan with the school children of Chauffard.

The Medical Mission team of 2015.

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Sept 2015: Update on Bahrain Rugby Club Fundraiser

Last Friday 11th turned out to be a wonderful night for all who came along. The Tax Dodgers put on a great performance and had the Rugby Club rocking all evening. DJ Ollie performed wonderfully as well in getting the crowd warmed up.

Earlier in the day, the Arabian Celts men and ladies put on a fine exhibition of Gaelic Football. The music then kicked things off after Manos put on a delicious curry for everyone.

The total raised on the night was $8500. Haiti in our Hands are delighted to receive so much and are very grateful to the sponsors of the evening; Bahrain Rugby Football Club, Bahrain Irish Society and Arabian Celts GAA. Without their generosity such a good night would not have happened.

Money raised will continue to fund Chauffard School and contribute to the rebuilding of Chauffard Clinic.

Haiti Committee of Saudi Arabia - the brains behind the operation.

Thanks to Mary and Joan above for working tirelessly to make the day such a success!

The crowd danced all night long!

The crowd danced all night long!

The Tax Dodgers Rock the Bahrain Rugby Club on Sept 11th 2015

The Tax Dodgers Rock the Bahrain Rugby Club on Sept 11th 2015

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Sept 2015: Reminder of Bahrain Rugby Club Fundraiser

Tomorrow night, Sept 11th, at the Bahrain Rugby Club we will be having a fundraising night. The main act of the evening is the island’s hottest band The Tax Dodgers.

Bahrain's Hottest Band

Bahrain’s Hottest Band – The Tax Dodgers

Festivities kick off at 3.00 pm with an exhibition of Gaelic Football from the Arabian Celts mens and ladies senior teams. Our very own Joseph McCullagh is a team member.

The famous Arabian Celts of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia

The famous Arabian Celts of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia

Music and food will start at 5.00. Raffle tickets will be on sale throughout and we have some great prizes. The Tax Dodgers will start at around 8.00. Be there for a great night.

All funds raised will go towards funding the school of Chauffard and also to the construction of Chauffard Clinic. Two very worthy causes and as always 100% money donated goes directly to Haiti.  

Special mention to the Arabian Celts, The Bahrain Irish Society and the Bahrain Rugby Football Club for their support of this event…sincerely appreciated. 

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May 2015: Saudi Fundraising Success

Thanks to everyone who attended last night’s fundraiser and made it such success. We raised a fantastic $11,000! This is an incredible amount and we thank all who contributed to the night with a particular mention to all those who volunteered to be auctioned off!

Keep an eye out for more fundraisers coming up!

Last Night's Fundraiser was a huge success!

Saudi Haiti in our Hands Committee above of Mary, Joseph, Joan and Paul

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May 2015: Chauffard School Meals

Many of our supporters are now aware that the World Food Program (funded by the UN) has ceased providing school meals to the schools of Chauffard. These school meals were the main meal the school children would receive each day and a big reason to attend.

Haiti in our Hands have been funding the school meals since the announcement early this year but as you can imagine this is a significant financial commitment of thousands of dollars per month. We are in need of funds to continue this commitment and in the long term we will need a permanent solution.

Please keep us in mind when making your donations to your respective charities; we understand we are just one of many worthy causes people give to. All money sent to Chauffard is spent locally and bought at the local market price. 100% of money donated is sent to Haiti.

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Nov 2014: Medical Mission 2014 has been a success and the new school Chauffard!

The Medical Mission team of 2014 safely returned from their mission and have great news to report.

They were able to treat approximately 1000 patients and the doctors says they seen a noticeable improvement on the health of the local people. They managed to bring 20 large bags of medicine to stock the pharmacy with during the week and going forward.

Many of our team from last year were able to attend with a few additions to this years.

Our wonderful 2014 Medical Mission team

Our wonderful 2014 Medical Mission team

A big thanks to Fr. Raymond for hosting us and all his helpers who looked after us so very well with food and accommodation. Thanks to all the translators for their support in communicating to the locals. Thanks to our wonderful volunteers for making the trip down to Chauffard and helping our Haitian friends. Here’s to 2015!

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Nov 2014: Chauffard School Construction is Complete!

Another success of the Nov 2104 trip was getting to see the finished construction of the Chauffard School. The school as you all know collapsed in the earthquake of 2010. Haiti in our Hands put in place a temporary school whilst we looked at permanent options. Then we got Caritas involved with much deeper pockets than ours. We met with them in summer 2012 with a mutual goal of building, furnishing and funding the running of the school long term.

The photos will show you the excellent building that has been built. For those of you that have been to Chauffard will appreciate the achievement of putting a building like this in the mountains of Haiti.

The new school of Chauffard

The new school of Chauffard

The new school of Chauffard

The new school of Chauffard

The new school of Chauffard

The new school of Chauffard

The school still requires some work. It needs a new ceiling and an electric supply. This will be new goals of ours for the school as we continue to meet the running costs of the school. But I think we can all agree it is a wonderful building and we are delighted for the children of Chauffard.

The children of Chauffard in their new school

The children of Chauffard in their new school

If you would like to contribute to the school in any way, for example teacher’s salaries or the children’s school meals please contact us or donate. Thank you.

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August 2014: Arrival of Toyota Land Cruiser to Chauffard…finally!

After what seems like a very long time, we are pleased to announce the arrival of the Toyota land Cruiser to Chauffard. It took a bit of time and effort to get through customs but we got there.

The new addition will be of great help for the up and coming Medical Mission 2014 and thereafter. See below for photos of its arrival and the celebratory mass to bless it.

Fr. Raymond rightly looks very pleased.

Fr. Raymond rightly looks very pleased.

The new arrival to Chauffard

The new arrival to Chauffard

Fr. Raymond celebrates mass to bless the new Land Cruiser

Fr. Raymond celebrates mass to bless the new Land Cruiser

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May 2014: The dates for Medical Mission 2014 have been set…are you going?

The dates for the annual Medical Mission trip to Chauffard have been set.

This year’s team will fly from New York to Port-au-Prince Haiti on Wednesday November 12th to arrive in Chauffard the Thursday, November 13th. The Medical Clinic will run on the Friday, Saturday, and Monday. The team will head back to Port-au-Prince and then to fly back to New York on Tuesday, November 18th.

If you are interested in taking part on the trip, or want to know more, please get in contact with Joseph at josephmccullagh@hotmail.co.uk.

We have lots of information under our Medical Missions page.

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May 2014: Father Raymond to visit Syracuse June 2014 

Father Raymond will be travelling all the way from Chauffard to visit Syracuse in June this year. He will be speaking at all the masses at the Church of St. Michael and St. Peter the weekend of June 21 and 22. The mass times are: Saturday at 5 pm, and Sunday at 7:30 am, 9:00, and 11:15 am. There will be a parish luncheon with Father following the 11:15 mass in the church hall. Please try to get along. 

Once we know how long Fr. Raymond will be with us we will confirm details of the evening for the Medical Mission dinner and the Haiti Committee picnic, the Haiti meeting, and other social events.

Watch this space.

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December 2013: Medical Mission 2013; another success story!

The annual Medical Mission has taken place and as expected our wonderful team of volunteers have done another excellent job. This year the team was a little smaller than usual but no less productive. The team consisted of Dr. Jerry McMahon, Dr. Tom Abbamont, Nurse Deb Schu, Nurse Cynthia Allis, Nurse Louise Hayes, Medical Assistant Michele Greco, Rachel Krisak, and Flo Lewis.

Our wonderful Medical Mission Team of 2013

Our wonderful Medical Mission Team of 2013

The team were able to treat around 1000 people which is exceptional considering the reduced size of the team. Again, the patients travelled far and wide to receive what may be there only medical attention throughout the whole year; some patients even travel by foot through the mountains over night to arrive on time in the morning. Our volunteers were keen to point out how grateful our Haitian friends are to receive medical attention.

Thanks to our translators Max, Gaspard, Dony and Ricardo and to our Haitian doctor Dr. Alix.

As with all these medical Missions, a lot of effort goes in behind the scenes to have them run so smoothly. A special thanks to Kate McMahon for her efforts in coordinating everything, Kathy and Bob Lane for transporting the 18 bags of medicine to JFK and to everyone who contributed in any way at all; the people of Chauffard are grateful. Check out our testimonials to learn more about the experiences of our volunteers.

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December 2013: Update on Chauffard School

The Medical Mission of 2013 was an excellent opportunity to get an update of how exactly the construction of Chauffard school is coming along. Volunteer Rachel took time out of her busy medical itinerary to take some snaps, make a video and speak with Caritas directly.

Caritas will complete construction by March/April next year by when we start to use our funds. Plans are not finalised for exactly how these will be allocated but staff salaries will continued to be met and ideas are plentiful as to how to use it from electricity to feeding programs. We’ll keep you posted. Check out the photo of the construction to date; very exciting times for the people of Chauffard!

Click on the photo to watch a video taken on site…be patient, may take some time to load!

The foundations of Chauffard School

The foundations of Chauffard School

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December 2012: Medical Trip 2012 has been a great success!

The Haiti in our Hands team have returned safely from their 3rd Medical Mission to Chuaffard and have great news to report. The team consisting of Dr. Jerry, Dr. Tom, NP Debbie, NP Jennifer, RN Cynthia, OT Kathy, Medical Assistant Michelle, Pharmacist Thomas and Non-Medical assistants Emily, Rachael and Susan seen a huge number of patients at the clinic they set up. Our team saw 215 patients on the Friday 9th November, 252 patients on the Saturday 10th and 358 patients on the Monday 12th. That’s a total of 825 patients in 3 days! Such a wonderful service to the people of Chauffard and we are very proud of them.

The people of Chauffard are incredibly grateful. One family even awoke at 2am and walked 4 hours to make the clinic; it goes to show how appreciated the clinic was. Thanks to Sister Anne-Marie for her organising, the translators Angie, Gaspard and Paul for bridging the gap and also to Alies for making everything run smoothly. A special note of thanks to Kate McMahon who oversaw everything and kept us all up to date on the progress.

The Haiti in our Hands Medical team of 2012

The Haiti in our Hands Medical team of 2012

Dr Alix sees a patient

Dr. Tom treats a very young patient

Thomas in the Pharmacy

The children of Chauffard about to go to school

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October 2012: Medical Mission 2012 is all set to go!

The Haiti in our Hands team have been busy preparing for our 3rd Medical Mission to Chauffard.  The team as always will consist of Doctors, Nurses, Occupational Therapists, Medical Assistants and lots of good people to help out with the running of the clinic. We will have 4 exam rooms and the clinic will run for 3 days. Nurse Anne-Marie of Chauffard has been busy organising things on her side and as always we are sure the clinic will run smoothly.

Our team will set off on Wednesday 7th of November and return Tuesday 13th. Thanks to the Catholic Medical Mission Board for the 21 boxes of Medicine last month; it is very much appreciated and is going to a very worthwhile cause.

On our trip we have Dr. Jerry, Dr. Tom, NP Debbie, NP Jennifer, RN Cynthia, OT Kathy, Medical Assistant Michelle and Non-Medical assistants Emily, Rachael and Susan.  We have a wonderful team and we are sure they will serve the people of Chauffard well. A massive thanks to Kate McMahon of Syracuse for organising everything; it wasn’t an easy task and she has done a great job. We wish our team well for the trip, we know you will do a great job and safe travels.

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May 2012: Update on trip to Chauffard

The Haiti in our Hands team have returned safely from their successful trip to Haiti. The team consisted of Greg Cross and Joseph McCullagh with their friend Sr. Kathleen Osbelt. They were kindly escorted by Alies Orisme for the duration of their trip.

They met with the new Priest of Chauffard Fr. Brissault in order to get to know him better but also welcome him to Chauffard. The team were warmly greeted with a wonderful meal at Chuaffard on Friday evening prepared by our friends. The meal provided a good opportunity to chat with Fr. Brissault. It quickly became apparent that Fr. Brissault is as committed to the people of Chauffard as his predecessor Fr. Estiverne was; we wish him well.

Fr. Brissault (centre) with the team

The following day the team got busy setting up the clinic. Dr. Alix Joseph and his colleague and friend got set up in their respective rooms and the donated medicine was placed in the pharmacy. They spent 5 days seeing as many patients as they could with help from Sr. Anne Marie.

Dr. Alix gets ready to see the patients

After the clinic was up and running the team got busy sampling the local water. Our last Medical Mission revealed the water was making the locals ill so it is necessary to understand what contaminants are in the water. Alies kindly brought along the rights jars for the job, they were filled and sent of to a local laboratory for testing. Once the results come in, plans for a suitable water filter will be made and become a big task for Haiti in our Hands.

Greg Cross samples the water

Swiftly later that day they met with Caritas Swiss; a large global charitable organisation aiming to alleviate poverty worldwide. They have an office based in Port-au-Prince and have been working in Haiti for 30 years. Our contact here is Thomas Friebel, a German civil engineer, with whom we had a meeting set up prior to our arrival. In short, Caritas Swiss have plans and funds to help rebuild the school of Chauffard. They presented their plans and were delighted to learn about our involvement in Chauffard. They are very keen to work together to build a school as big as possible so as many kids as possible get educated. They were very impressed with their plans and very excited to see their enthusiasm to help our friends of Chuaffard. Read the school plans or contact JosephMcCullagh@hotmail.co.uk to find out more.

The next day they visited Fr. Estiverne in his new parish. He is settling in OK and has big plans for the new parish. It is is a very different place compared to Chauffard called Arcahaie located on the outskirts of the capital city. The 4th and final day was spent was spent speaking with Pure Water for the World. They provided information on various filtering solutions and sent the crew away with lots of wonderful ideas.

This brought the trip to a close. Everyone made it back to New York in one piece! The next trip may be later in the year possibly in November time. Our focus now is to raise enough money for the school and providing safe drinking water. Please support us if you can.

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May 2012 – Trip to Haiti

Haiti in our Hands will be making a trip to Chauffard in early May. The team will make their way to Chauffard on Saturday 5th of May with the aim yo investigate how we can clean the water supply, kick start the construction of the school and improve the local pharmacy.

Wish our team luck!

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2nd Anniversary of the Earthquake

The 12th January 2012 is the 2 year anniversary of the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti. We remember the hundreds of thousands who were killed, the countless thousands who were left homeless, maimed, injured, orphaned and the terrible scar this has left on the history of this country.

We also look forward with hope in the progress that has been made by ‘Haiti in our Hands’ and the many other organisations working to improve life there.

Email josephmccullagh@hotmail.co.uk to find out more!