Truly, the children of Haiti and in particular, the children of St Vincent’s Center for Handicapped Children in Port au Prince Haiti, are in the eyes of the world the least of God’s children in the kingdom.
We are celebrating our 11th year of ministering both physically and spiritually to the children of St Vincent’s. The team members led by Dr Susan Nelson have witnessed many changes both exciting and challenging us to our very souls.
In 2010, Haiti suffered one of the greatest natural disasters in recorded history. Over 250,000 people were killed in a blink of an eye and millions were left without shelter for extended periods of time, some for years. This catastrophe did not leave St Vincent’s untouched. Seven children and staff were killed in the earthquake, and the building our children called home was rendered uninhabitable.
After a short stay in Montrouis, the children returned to the boys foyer where the older boys had been living before the quake. This is where they currently are living and going to school; not an ideal situation for the staff or children.
But remarkably, the children are coping, learning and even thriving mentally, physically and spiritually in less than optimum circumstances, thanks in large part to your help.
The Episcopal Church USA along with the Diocese of Haiti has purchased a large piece of land out of the chaos and grime of Port au Prince, upon which the new St Vincent’s will rise as a shining beacon to all children with physical challenges.
We envision doubling the size of the school to accommodate more physically challenged students. Spacious and well-lit dormitories powered by solar panels will provide a great space for our children. Vegetable and fruit gardens will supplement our children’s diet. A sustainable aquaponics garden will provide both fish for protein and a steady year-round crop of vegetables.
There will be green grass for our children to play at being children. A soccer field and even a basketball court are in the future. Who knows whether the first Haitian will enter into the NBA. Now they will have a chance. A decent kitchen for the cooking staff where the temperature is not over 120 degrees. A safe and secure environment that will serve notice to the world that our children are valued and loved by God as God’s own.
So come and join us in this ministry. When you travel there on one of our two trips a year, I promise you, you will return changed for the better. If you are unable to travel, rest assured your money, every penny, goes to the care and nurturing of these kids at St Vincent’s. I am proud to call these children: Drew’s kids.
Deacon and Founder
West Tennessee Haiti Partnership