West Tennessee Haiti Partnership

St. VIncent’s School Update

This information comes from Hope Lennartz, director of Friends of St Vincent’s:

Currently classes at St Vincent’s School have resumed for 8th graders only, about 60 kids who are preparing for the National Exams so they can go on to high school.  These exams are usually in June but were moved to the fall due to the earthquake and the delay of school openings.  Formerly there were 2 catholic high schools in Port au Prince which were wheelchair accessible, for our St VIncent’s kids to attend.  These have been destroyed, so it is unclear where our kids will be able to attend high school at this point.

There are about 30 girls and 30 boys now staying and attending classes in what was the Boys Dorm before the quake.   This summer Father Sadoni plans complete renovation of the offices at the Boys Dorm, into classrooms, so that he can  have about 200 students in class.  This will include 100 dormitory students and 100 day students.  Every day Father Sadoni gets phone calls from parents wanting to know when the school will open again. He expects that by September, he will have about 70 blind students and the remainder will be deaf or missing limbs, including children up through the 6th grade..  He also wants to reopen the brace shop in the fall.

He is limited by several circumstances, including the fact that apparently the sand found in Haiti is not compatible with rebar for building concrete structures.  After the quake, the Episcopal Church hired architects and engineers to examine the church’s property throughout Haiti.  They found that the rebar decays in the concrete made with Haitian sand, so that sand will have to be brought in from elsewhere.  Also the government has placed a moratorium on new construction until they establish a code for buildings to be earthquake proof and hurricane proof. 

Also the school lost a $3000 Braille copier that fell off a table during the earthquake.  There are efforts to see if this can be repaired in Haiti or sent to the States for repair.  Several braillers were miraculously discovered in a locked closet and were not looted after the quake.  Typical news from Haiti, heartbreaks and joys all mixed together.

The most joyful news is that Pere Sadoni is getting married!  He will marry Daphine, whom some of us met in December 2009, on Dec 21, 2010.  The Feast of St. Thomas.  Congratulations to Pere Sadoni; many prayers offered for blessings on Leon and Daphine.

Susan Nelson

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