West Tennessee Haiti Partnership

7/15/22 Update: Read the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs recent update regarding the road blockade in Southern Haiti.

5/22/22 Update: Read The New York Times’ recent feature revealing how Haiti became the poorest country in the Americas

3/14/2022 Update: We are pleased to announce that West Tennessee Haiti Partnership has sent a donation of $54,694 to Children’s Medical Mission of Haiti. CMMH is the governing body that manages the funding and operations at St Vincent’s.

Because of political violence and the COVID pandemic, we have not been able to send a medical service team to Haiti since 2018.  We want to continue to support the school, the clinic and its staff.  I am pleased to report that Pere Irnel Duveau, the priest in charge, is taking excellent care of the school and the clinic.  There is an active medical staff consisting of multiple orthopedic doctors and pediatricians, and a new physical therapist.  Our donation will be used to cover doctors salaries plus the physical therapy staff for 2022.   We also sent a small amount ($450) to cover a “getaway weekend” for Pere Duveau and his family to stay at Eucalyptus Guest House.  We are grateful to Ernso Jean-Louis for hosting Pere Duveau’s family for some relaxation for a couple of days.  

Secondly, an acknowledgment of Dr Paul Farmer’s recent death and a recommendation to view the film “Bending the Arc” which can be found on Netflix:

We are saddened to join the world in grieving the recent death of Dr. Paul Farmer.  His love for the Haitian people was evident in his devotion to providing quality and affordable health care to them over many decades.  I highly recommend you view the film Bending the Arc, which can be found on Netflix.  It reviews the beginnings of Dr. Farmer’s work and the founding of Partners in Health.

Early morning on August 14, Haiti was struck by an earthquake – 7.2 on earthquake scale, which is stronger than the 2010 earthquake.

The epicenter is near St Louis de Sud, about 100 miles west of PAP.  See the map below.

We have reached some of our friends in Haiti and have learned that  St Vincent’s School and the people who live there are unharmed.  The people in Port au Prince are shaken, but  see very little structural damage.  St Vincent’s medical clinic has 5 orthopedic surgeons on staff and at least one is on his way to Grande Anse, the province struck by the earthquake.  Another was in Miami the day of the quake but plans to return in 2 days to assess the damage and help where he can.

WTHP is setting up an earthquake relief fund to purchase medical supplies for the clinic.  I suspect St Vincent’s, with its 5 orthopedic surgeons, will become a referral center for the injured.  

Please pray for Haiti. Glory to God for the people who are unharmed.  Prayers for the injured and the people trying to help them.  Please donate what you can to help us support their efforts.

View the update on Earthquake relief from Bishop Oge Beauvoir with Food for the Poor and Elizabeth Lowell with St Vincent’s here.

Susan Nelson

Update 8/18/2021 from Pere Duveaux:

Helping people is our job in Saint Vincent, and we are engaged in this fight in anonymity right now. I must tell you that the distribution of aid in times of disaster is a very sensitive process because quite often the most affected are not served. There are very bad memories in the country about the distribution of disaster relief. After Hurricane Matthieu hit in 2016, it was a disaster, as aid was stored and distributed for political purposes. There are NGOs which also distribute aid but which keeps the same strategy and the aid is not channeled in the right direction on the one hand and on the other hand a very large part of the funds received are spent in the administration like purchase and rental of luxury vehicles.

I think there are small organizations that know the local people better and that could effectively support them and help channel aid.

You know that before coming to Saint Vincent I had been in Jérémie and I was there in Mattew’s time. I could lend a hand as there are a lot of people calling me either from Cayes or Jeremie looking for help. I don’t have an expert distribution organization, but I am in contact with leaders who will follow my guidelines, if they find something to distribute, they will, and send me the list and phone number of beneficiaries. What kind of help can we give?

Help people find food now.
Help with medical care.
Help find an emergency blanket to keep them from the rain.
Help rebuild a damaged or destroyed house.
Help families relocate.

We are in a hurry to do what little we can do at the moment to bring relief and save lives. The explanations I give do not prevent NGOs from being responsible for large-scale projects. I am open and ready to form a small team to lend a hand and report back to you on it. God bless you.

Père Duveaux

Director of SVC

Update from Haiti 34 Hours After the Earthquake

Thanks to the wonders of internet, WhatsApp, Facebook, and our years of connections over the years, we have reached most of our friends in Haiti and learned that they are safe, although some have lost their homes.  I have copied some of the information below from e-mails for the Haiti Partnership – an episcopal organization that partners Episcopal parishes in the US with Haitian churches and organizations.  I have also spoken with Dr Pierre Woolley, orthopedic and trauma surgeon who works at St Vincent’s Clinic.  Dr Moise, another orthopedic surgeon, has flown to the earthquake area today by helicopter to assess the situation.  The roads to this part of the country are blocked by gangs as well as road damage from the tropical storm followed by the earthquake.  The roads are impassable, so the only way to get to this part of the country is by air.  We expect the  seriously injured to be air lifted into Port au Prince and the other injured to be managed at local hospitals in the area as best they can. 

Frenel is unharmed, says his mother’s house is OK but his family’s house is damaged.

Clauricianne and her husband are alive, but their house is destroyed and they lost everything.

Pere Kesner Ajax is safe and unharmed in Les Cayes but says many buildings are down.

Phone connection is very spotty.

Bishop Oge Beauvoir and Pere Jean Fils Chery are working hard to coordinate the relief effort from Food for the Poor.

There is apparently not a lot of damage in Jacmel, but people are very shaken.  There are reports that everyone is outside because of fear of aftershocks.

It was strongly felt all over the country, but the major damage seems to be concentrated in the far southwest, particularly Les Cayes and Jeremie, and probably the smaller towns nearer the epicenter.

Thank you again to all of you who are forwarding messages from your partners and friends.

In the midst of all this chaos, Mackenson and Victoria had a baby boy named Kessinger St Victor, the day before the earthquake. Glory be to God.

WTHP is organizing an Earthquake Relief Fund and will be sending funds for Dr Woolley and the orthopedic surgeons to use for housing and food for the injured as well as medical supplies and other needed items. Dr. Woolley anticipates many injured people will be airlifted into Port au Prince and will need support.

If you want to donate to this effort, please visit our website or else you can mail a check payable to WTHP directly to the Diocese of West Tennessee, 692 Poplar Ave, Memphis TN 38105 and please mark “FOR EARTHQUAKE RELIEF” in the memo.

These funds will go directly to the Haitian doctors responding to this crisis.

Many thanks for all your prayers and support.

Susan Nelson







Haiti in the News: 10 Years After Haiti’s Earthquake, ‘This Music Will Never Stop’

 Read the NPR story about Holy Trinity Music School’s unwavering musical spirit here



Check out pictures from the March 2018 trip!


Grayson’s Blog

Read up on Grayson’s experiences as an intern at St. Vincent’s here

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