The Haitian Pilgrim Program for 2010

As the opening message of this web site explains, the Haitian Pilgrims have worked towards helping the village of Boileau, Haiti become self-sustaining. For the last decade we have helped them help themselves through education, micro-credit, agriculture training, medicine, and wells for clean water. The parishioners of St.
Philip the Apostle Catholic Church in Lewisville, Texas have supported this effort through significant contributions and fund raising events.

When the earthquake hit in January we all knew we wanted to do more for the Haitians, but in what way? It was quickly agreed that our immediate action would be Emergency Earthquake Relief.

The Earthquake Emergency Relief – From St. Philip was used for:
– food and water – 50%
– medical help (doctors and medicine) -30%
– housing -20%

Haitian Pilgrims used our contacts in Haiti to channel the funds only to organizations:
-who promised 100% would be used for Haiti Earthquake Relief
-who we had worked with in Haiti before the Earthquake – in place and experienced

St. Philip contributed $75,000 to Emergency Earthquake Relief. Because of a visit in April and the close communication we’ve had since January, the Haitian Pilgrims are certain that those funds have been effectively used for the intended purposes. And, once again, 100% of all donations reach Haiti since all the work is done by volunteers: there are no administrative expenses.

But where does this leave us 6 months later??

Our brothers and sisters of St. Therese’s parish in Boileau, Haiti continue to be in desperate need of our prayers, financial support, and partnership. They were indeed very blessed that their village was spared the physical destruction caused by the massive earthquake. However, as foretold in the movie, “Field of Dreams,” … If you build it they will come. Many victims of the earthquake have come to Boileau for medical care, education, and a safe place to live. How wonderful that our facilities were blessedly saved so that we could continue to help others and our opportunity to help the poorest of the poor has grown significantly. We must continue to help them help themselves. Going forward, donations and gifts will be used to fund the projects in the village of Boileau.

Education: approximately 30% of assistance
Funds raised will provide the school with the ability to educate the growing number of children in Boileau, many of whom were displaced by the earthquake:

– school has grown from 200 to 625 students over the past 7 years;
– approximately 150 earthquake refugee students
– about 275-300 students from Boileau who could not afford to attend before
– added 3 class levels; have gone from K-7th to K-10th grades
– doubled the number of students continuing past 5th grade (previously, about 75% of students dropped out of school at 4th or 5th grades due to high cost of books and need for children to help at home)
-100% of the students passed the national tests – good quality teaching (within Haitian context)
– added a computer introduction class to start teaching the basics using the laptops donated by St. Philip parishioners. (Teaching what’s a mouse, monitor, document, program, etc. Do not have Internet access.)
– provide school lunch “as often as the funds allow”

Medical Care / Clinic: approximately 30% of assistance

– medicine and other medical supplies
– salaries for doctor and clinic staff (lab technicians, nurses)
– fuel for generator to run medical and diagnostic equipment (e.g. electronic microscope)

Agriculture / Livestock: approximately 20% of assistance
We will provide agricultural support so the farmers can continue to recover from the losses they experienced in previous hurricanes. They will receive seed, seedling plants, and animals such as chickens, goats, piglets, and if at all possible, a cow or bull.

– help to improve amount of food their gardens can produce
– training in planting, fertilizers, and irrigation
– seeds & seedlings, tools
– livestock – such as goats, lambs, and pigs; also have now advanced to cows for milk and meat

Micro-credit and Community Development: approximately 20% of assistance
Growth-Our micro-credit program continues to teach people of Boileau how to create a new business, manage its success, and become financially independent. At any given time, 150 people are receiving funding to start a new business, and coaching to enable their success.

-community development is encouraging the village to plan and act in a coordinate fashion; they are now able to think about a future

Although the Haitian Pilgrims continue to ask the good folks of St. Phillip, and others, to assist the financing of the Boileau project, our most significant request is for your continued prayers that our Lord blesses the people of Haiti as their daily struggle to survive continues. Thank you.

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