Kaitlyn Guzik's blog

Unexpected Connections


Last September, The Haitian Project began implementing the Salesforce.com platform in our U.S. offices. As the Project has grown and works towards a second school in 2018, so has our need for a program that would allow us to continue to maintain a personal relationship with an ever growing community.  

Salesforce was the solution.  Even though Salesforce is the leading client information and relationship management platform used by major companies like GE and Bank of America, The Haitian Project received the program free through the Salesforce Foundation.  The Foundation has been very supportive of our mission in other ways as well, even makingtwo visits to LCS.  Currently, we are finishing up a pro-bono consulting session provided by the Foundation.Last Thursday, Salesforce held a conference in Boston to connect Salesforce users in the New England area. Along with providing access to Salesforce Experts and invaluable information on future tools for nonprofits, appearances were made by New England favorites such as the Dropkick Murphys and the New England Patriot's very own quarterback Tom Brady. Our staff was able to connect with Salesforce professionals to learn tricks of the trade and glean information on using the cloud technology more efficiently.


In the themes presented by the keynote speakers, we found that Salesforce and THP unexpectedly share a fundamental principle: a commitment to authentic engagement with our community.  Salesforce is a tool designed to enable organizations to have deeper and more meaningful relationships with their communities.  That is what THP has always strived to do, and a big part of why many of our benefactors have remained connected to THP for well over a decade. 




Chemen la Kwa

LCS students enact a living Stations of the Cross (Chemen la Kwa) Tuesday night. The fourth station is pictured above: Christ meets his mother, Mary.

In honor of Holy Week, the students in the Catholic and drama committees staged a living Chemen la Kwa (Stations of the Cross). Principal Marjorie Mombrun ('07) and Second Year Volunteer Kristin Soukup advised the students throughout the preparations and final performance. As an alumna and long-time staff member, this is a familiar and fruitful time for Mme Mombrun:

Our display of The Way of the Cross is something we do at LCS during the Lenten season to remind ourselves about Jesus’ Passion and how he suffered for us. Station by station we can understand what He went through and reflect on what it means for us. We remember how much God loves us and how he sent his Son so that we might be saved, and we think about what we can do as Christians to return that love.

On a daily basis, Mombrun and Soukup share the responsibility of leading morning and evening prayer for the community of Volunteers and staff. As Lent draws to a close, Soukup offers her perspective on this pillar of the Faith:

Prayer is fundamental to our life at LCS. The first thing we do as a community each morning is gather for prayer, before the school day and our work begins. In order to serve God through our work, we must be first rooted in a life of prayer and our relationship with Christ. As the Lenten season calls us to increase our prayer, we become more rooted in Christ and nourished by His Word. This enables us to better recognize God's presence in our life each day and continually offer our work as a prayer.

We hope you will remember The Haitian Project and the community at Louverture Cleary School in your prayers this week, as you are in ours. Thank you for your continued support of education in Haiti.


Haitian Bishops Call for Education Support


From Left: THP Board Member Dr. Scott LeGrand and LCS alumus Dr. Theony Deshommes ('03) work on spring cleaning in the LCS St. Francis & St. Clare guest house; Deacon Moynihan works with Dr. Deshommes to prepare a new green space on the campus.

This week, Monseigneur Launay Saturne, Bishop of Jacmel in Haiti, called on Catholic parishes to place a stronger emphasis on supporting education in Haiti. While there are many clinics and other activities supported by foreign parishes, Bishop Saturne and Archbishop Guire Poulard of Port-au-Prince see education as crucial to Haiti's development. Describing the current state of education in Haiti, Bishop Saturne stated:

"...we want people to come and get involved because the children cannot learn. The teachers are not being paid. The schools are in bad shape," he said.

"We need the type of help that builds our capacity,” he continued. "Without education we will remain in the current situation until the end of time."

The comments were a tremendous affirmation of the Project's mission in Haiti. THP President Deacon Patrick Moynihan notes, "I am impressed, moved and relieved to read Bishop Saturne's remarks. Nobody knows better than Haitians that random acts of kindness, no matter how well-intended, cannot provide Haiti with opportunity. However, education can."

Also this week, THP Board Member, Dr. Scott LeGrand, made his third visit to Haiti, which he spent getting to know the latest generation of Volunteers, visiting classes, and learning more about Haiti's medical system from Dr. Deshommes.

Having traveled to LCS before, I knew it was a special place filled with staff, students, and volunteers all working to change Haiti from within. Since my last visit 6 years ago, many things have changed- new walls have been poured, new faces fill the volunteer and several of the administration roles, and new programs have been further deveped and refined.  LCS's commitment to its motto of giving for free that which you have been given, however, remains stronger than ever, and there is no doubt in my mind that the work done at LCS is the work of Christ.

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