West Tennessee Haiti Partnership

Fwd: St. Vincent’s Center – One Year after the Earthquake

       Dear Friends of St. Vincent’s Center,

On January 12, 2010, an earthquake hit St. Vincent‘s Center at 4:53 pm. The 7.0 magnitude earthquake’s epicenter was just 16 miles west of Port-au-Prince.  The buildings collapsed and walls fell over causing the death of seven students and three staff members.  One hundred and thirty children were taken to the soccer field at College of St. Pierre to a makeshift tent city.  About two weeks later, Fr. Sadoni moved the children to the former Episcopal Seminary at Montrouis, about 30 miles north of the city.  The children have since returned to Port-au-Prince are living in an undamaged building next to the Boy’s Foyer.  The Friends provide funds to re-model office space for 15 classrooms and purchase new furniture including desks, chairs and tables.  The total library was lost so we also purchased new textbooks, school supplies and an office computer. 

After the earthquake “The Friends” received funds from the Diocese of Connecticut for emergency food and staff salaries.  The Diocese of Chicago sent funds for the prosthetic program. Also during 2010, “The Friends” continue to address the needs of the older orphaned students to move out into society with useful skills by providing scholarships to attend local high schools and colleges.  The prejudice barrier that prevented handicapped children from attending secondary schools has been broken.  Our students are competing well in regular classrooms, making us proud and providing role models for others by their academic and social success.

Recently, Dr. Susan Nelson, a Board member of the Friends, led a medical team down to treat the students and staff at the Center.  We provided some of the funds to purchase medications to stock the pharmacy.

A Japanese non-profit funded building temporary space for the medical clinic, the Director’s office and the Brace Shop.  We are working on repairing the “old” Brace Shop building so we can move back to that space at the Main Campus.  Another major project is to reestablish a functional potable water system.  The Cholera outbreak continues in the city and at this point in time some 3000 persons have died in Haiti from this epidemic.

Projects that remain to be addressed include the need for orchestral and band musical instruments to reestablish the music program and providing non-electric typewriters.  The development of musical ability provides a marketable skill that helps graduating students to become self-supporting.  Typing services are needed and marketable.  Since electricity is unreliable in Haiti, use of non-electric typewriters is mandatory. Anyone with musical instruments or manual typewriters in good working condition can contact “The Friends”.

“The Friends” are dedicated to doing all they can to improve the life and lot of the handicapped children who depend so completely on the Center. 

God Bless you all,

Hope Lennartz RN  MSN
Volunteer Executive Director of the Friends of St. Vincent’s Center   

You can contact us at:

E-mail:   [email protected]
Phone-  860-233-8366
Address:  Friends of St. Vincent‘s Center
                  c/o St. James’s Episcopal Church

                  West Hartford, Conn. 06107

19 Walden Street

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