You can find Louverture Cleary’s
main gate half way down Santo 5. Here, people come and go, bringing things in and
taking them out. Some neighbors enter to sell their home-cooked snacks. Other
visitors may be coming in to look for a job opportunity or for a quick
basketball/soccer game, or just a seat to watch it all. All sorts of people come
and go; no one is a stranger when he or she leaves.
We receive donations across the U.S. from almost 50 parishes every
year. This year, we have received gifts
from more than 14 parishes already! We especially want to recognize All Saints and
Madeleine (Portland OR), St. Bernard's (North Kingstown RI), St. Joseph’s
(Newport RI) St. Luke (Shoreline WA) as well as Queen of All Saints and St.
John Berchmans (Chicago IL) for quickly & generously responding with second
collections and parish fundraisers.
Phil Aaronson picking up Volunteer John DiTillo ('08 - '09 and 2010) at the Santo Domingo airport
A month after the earthquake, John DiTillo (’08-’09 THP
Volunteer) walked into baggage claim at the Santo Domingo, DR airport. He brushed the sleep off from his journey and
peered around for his connection. A smile of relief stretched across his face
as he locked eyes with a short, amiable man holding a sign with his name on it.
Volunteer Mary DeAgostino (far left) accompanies Jules Jean-Anold (in green) at St. Francis de Sales Hospitalin Port-au-Prince
My final year at Notre Dame was a whirlwind of medical
school applications and interviews, thesis research and writing, leading campus
clubs and planning activities, working as a teaching assistant, as well as
studying for science classes. When I achieved admission into medical school last
April, I began to reflect on the preceding four years and the strengths I had
gained from my myriad of activities. Suddenly, immediately entering medical
school for four more years of study did not seem like a great way to share my
gifts with others.
Volunteer Mary DeAgostino (far left) accompanies Jules Jean-Anold (in green) at St. Francis de Sales Hospital in Port-au-Prince
We are all human beings and share the same planet. Even if
we are black or white and live in different places, by essence we are all
equals. Since we are all human, there should be a mutual relationship among us.
Moreover, each of us should know well one’s fellow. Therefore, I am pleased to
introduce myself to you.
He left Haiti
on Monday, the day before the earthquake, for a routine trip to the U.S., and
returned Friday, 100 years later. It was just chance that THP’s President and
community leader happened to be in the U.S.
and away from his home in Haiti
when the earthquake happened. He stated, “Not having undergone the shock has
made it easier to lead those who did forward. But, I have experienced enough
aftershocks to hate those like the devil.”
All in the community rejoiced when Patrick was back on
Haitian soil bringing energy, much needed resources and a renewed spirit. As
one of our supporters put it, “How beautiful on the
mountain top are the feet of those who bring the good
news.” In addition to his normal duties heading the school, Patrick has also been
playing a key role since the earthquake helping the local Church, networking
NGOs and assisting medical teams involved in the relief efforts. Updates from
the school and his journey can be viewed at www.haitianproject.org. On the Home
page, please scroll down and click on the Earthquake Updates links.
The earthquake caused hundreds of thousands of injuries, and
long lines of people stood outside the Missionaries of Charity Hospital and
Orphanage as the Sisters tried to help as many injured as they could. Like most
caregivers in Haiti
at the time, their resources were running low; they had been getting little
sleep and were short on medical help.
Fortunately, from among its 15 graduates in medical school, LCS was able
to send Théony Deshommes [LCS ’03]. Théony is far enough advanced in his
medical studies to be serving as a doctor and has been working around the clock
to save lives and heal the injured all over Port-au-Prince, from the Sisters’ orphanage
to Food For The Poor’s medical clinic.
Nou Pare PouRebati
Ayiti, e ou?
– “We are ready to Rebuild Haiti, and you?” – had been posted prominently on
campus for all to read long before the ground shook on January 12th.
When not advancing their studies, Louverturians are translating for doctors
with the Memphis Medical Mission or at St. Francis De Sales Hospital or the
Missionaries of Charity. They have
intensified their efforts with the Timoun Program, which provides hot
lunch and structured activities to children, and continue their cleaning on
Route National 3 and now in the yards of neighbors, clearing rubble so
rebuilding can begin. Most importantly, they continue to build themselves and
will one day become one of the hundreds of graduates, like Théony Deshommes,
who now lead the call to rebuild Haiti.
Christina Crow helps OEA Director Minel Lofficial stock up supplies in Louverture Cleary School's kitchen.
We often marvel at how The Haitian
Project continually draws out the unique and oftentimes hidden skills of those
involved. When people meet Christina Crow they first notice her tall, steady
stance and her quietly calm disposition. After working with her, though, one quickly
finds out that Christina is intensely driven and not shy about filling
necessary, and sometimes unglamorous, leadership positions.