Since 2005 our Haiti Partnership committee has worked in Haiti, first at St. Paul’s School in Montrouis . Since 2008 we have devoted our efforts to support St. Vincent’s Center for Handicapped Children in Port-au-Prince. We take medical teams of doctors, nurses, dentists, optometrists, foot surgeons, and physical therapists to operate clinics at the school. We raise money to buy medicines and vitamins for the children. Our funds also go to help buy food and clean water at various times, depending on the local situation in Haiti. We are an agency of the Diocese of West Tennessee, which is a 501(c) 3 organization.
St. Vincent’s Center for Handicapped Children was established in 1945 by Sister Joan Margaret of the Community of St Margaret. It’s goal is to educate handicapped children, including blind, deaf, and physically challenged students. Since Sister Joan retired, the school is owned and operated by the Diocese of Haiti. Resident children include true orphans as well as students whose families live far away from the capital city and so board their children at St Vincent’s. Most of the 300 students are day students. Our organization is run completely by volunteers who donate their time, talents, and resources to fund service trips, medical supplies, scholarships, and travel expenses.
Any monies we raise go directly to St. Vincent’s Center for Handicapped Children in Port-au-Prince.. In addition, we try to fund education scholarships, medical supplies and vitamins, and volunteers’ travel expenses. Some of our grants have helped fund the refurbishment of St. Vincent’s water supply and school facilities.
Since November 2008, semi-annual medical service trips led by Dr. Susan Nelson and Rev. Drew Woodruff have delivered medical supplies and brought staff members who hold a clinic at St. Vincent’s for several days. Dr. Bheki Khumalo works with a local orthopedic surgeon to perform corrective surgeries for children with foot and leg deformities. A team of dentists has been to the school, providing the only dental care the children have received since the earthquake of 2010. In the spring of 2016 a team of optometrists from Southern College of Optometry held its first clinic for the children and staff of the school. The service team purchases medications from a local Haitian pharmacy, in efforts to support the local economy and obtain medications labelled in the local language, Haitian Kreyol. We also stay at a guest house owned and operated by Haitians.