Rheto (12th grade) and Philo (13th grade) students form an "LCS" to show their readiness for the school year ahead.
by Katie Guzik (THP Volunteer)
Cries of recognition, laughter and excitement fill the campus as Louverture Cleary School (LCS) students return for another year of hard work and education. This energy comes as no surprise, as The Haitian Project (THP) community has a great deal to be excited about: new students, new curriculum, new staff and new facilities.
Just in time! The renovation of the J.J. Dessalines building, which suffered damage during the 2010 earthquake, is complete. During the past year, Volunteers, students and Staff spent many days working alongside the LCS maintenance team pouring sheer walls. The maintenance team has worked hard throughout the summer installing plumbing fixtures, a new septic tank and electricity to prepare for the return of the students for the year ahead. Dessalines will house 70 of our young men and provide three additional classrooms as well as housing for two members of staff. It’s exciting to bring another building back online!
On September 8th, The Haitian Project celebrated its 11th Annual Big Get Together in the Rockford, IL Diocese. Giving the evening new flare, St. Thomas the Apostle Parish hosted the event adding live music and an all-out art show. “Every year the big get together has gotten bigger--this year it got really big,” smiled Deacon Patrick Moynihan. However, the focus of the event remained unchanged: coming together to celebrate the work.
Laura Borgenheimer teaches English class during her 2010-2011 Volunteer year.
By Emily Marquet (THP Volunteer)
She’s known for her bright, sunny smile and her equally bright and sunny personality. Laura Borgenheimer may be a Volunteer Alumna, but she remains actively involved in the community. Last May she rejoined the LCS community for three weeks to help out in some of her old roles and conduct research for her master’s thesis.
Jean Roger Polidor (LCS '06) at work maintaining communication with LCS graduates and the business community in Haiti.
By Reese Grondin (VP of Operations)
Through his seven years as a student at Louverture Cleary School, Jean Roger Polidor took to heart the charism that drives and shapes the LCS Community. He learned, in his words, “to treat other people with dignity and to share.” As head of THP’s Office for External Affairs (OEA), Polidor wants to help others as a leader and positive influence.
Jim Reulbach of Massachusetts, banker, father and THP benefactor, has been involved for only six months, but he’s looking to take advantage of a lifetime of opportunities to give back through THP.
HPN: You first heard about us when you read the Brown Alumni Magazine article on Patrick Moynihan and his brother?
JR: My colleague’s husband went to Brown. She showed me the article because she knew I used to report directly to Brian when I worked for Fleet Bank. Before Fleet I was with Bank of Boston and we had a bank in Haiti. I went to Haiti for business, fell in love with the country and the people and knew I wanted to do more to help. When I learned about Brian and his brother’s connection to Haiti– you know, it was a “perfect storm” type of thing.
THP Volunteers take a break from Kreyol class in the chapel with hteir teacher, Carlos (back center).
By Amanda Gaal (THP Lead Volunteer)
The 2012-2013 Volunteer group has landed! Although we haven’t been here long, we are already learning the many benefits and smells of the compost pile and tackling the never-ending task of picking rocks out of the incinerator. Although our lively and hard-working group is diverse with a variety of college degrees and work experiences, we do have one important thing in common: We are ready and willing to learn from our students, staff and each other. And we’re ready to work.
Rebecca Finney (center) with her brother, Fr. Finney (left) and dad, Peter Finney, after helping with the J.J. Dessalines building construction during a May visit.
By Sunny-Dae Larson (THP Volunteer)
Rebecca Finney stumbled upon The Haitian Project website one night while searching the Internet for service opportunities. Immediately upon reading THP’s mission, Rebecca recalled thinking that “it was a perfect fit. I wanted to be in a community, to serve, and to live out Catholic social teaching,” she said. She ended up serving two years as a Volunteer and is pursuing a Master of Social Work (MSW) at Columbia University.