Harvest for Haiti Update
Many of our parishioners have given generously at our monthly Harvest for Haiti collections. Over the last year, we have raised $10,000 to donate to our partners at the Rich in Mercy Institute. Recently, one of our coordinators for the Harvest for Haiti campaign, Mitch Farrell, met with the Director of the Rich in Mercy Institute, Dr. Rich Gosser, to discuss the progress our donations have helped to make over the last year.
Haiti seems to have one catastrophe after another. Only seven years ago, the poorest country in North America suffered from a terrible earthquake in its capital. The earthquake killed over 200,000 people, and left close to 1 million with no home. The unemployment rate in the country nearly doubled. To make matters worse, in the fall of 2016, a major hurricane destroyed numerous villages along the southern edge of the island. Farrell accompanied Dr. Gosser to Haiti only months after the hurricane, and witnessed multiple homes, schools, and villages damaged by the storm. These sites would become the focus of Rich in Mercy in the months to follow. With the assistance of donations from Mount Saint Peter Parish, Rich in Mercy has made tremendous progress. Dr. Gosser explains, “We are funding the first phase of tree planting in Ducis where our collaborators will begin to restore fruit and other food-bearing trees that were destroyed by hurricane Matthew… We are finishing up construction on 12 houses in Ducis and [we] have a grant for the Little Sisters of St. Therese for repairs to 7 of their mission houses in the south. We are planning to help fund the construction of a new clinic for the Little Sisters of St. Antoine in the mountain village of Trouin… We also are supporting educational scholarships in Ducis. Through the education program we are building “human capital” by offering educational opportunities (at the elementary, secondary, vocational, and university levels).”
In addition to new efforts assisting in relief from Hurricane Matthew, our donations continue to support Rich in Mercy’s “Education for Change” fund as well as general projects to support small business development, agriculture, and the installation of fresh water wells – to name a few.
As Dr. Gosser explains; “The [fund] supports scholarships based on merit and need for approximately 100 students from the Solino neighborhood of Port au Prince - a neighborhood characterized by violence, hunger, unemployment, disease, and despair.” Dr. Gosser also notes that our donations allow Rich in Mercy to “meet additional needs in the areas of sustainable agriculture, infrastructure (wells, solar electricity, etc.), small business development (moto transport, sewing, value added food products, etc.), and public health (clinics and clean water) – all of which contribute directly or indirectly to human capital building.”
These achievements would not be possible without the support of Mount Saint Peter Parish’s contributions. The Rich in Mercy Institute joins the Harvest for Haiti Committee in thanking the faithful of Mount Saint Peter Parish for their support. In the year ahead, the Harvest for Haiti Committee plans to achieve even more than monetary support by providing opportunities for the Parish to learn more about the country of Haiti. In this way, we can serve as a kind of ambassador for the country, and in turn, educate others so that our support for Haiti may grow more and more.