In September 2011, St. Paul initiated a community-wide outreach effort to bring improved health and comfort to some of the poorest people in the western hemisphere.
Gifts and interest were generated and St. Paul’s support of the Haitian Health Foundation (www.haitianhealthfoundation.orq) was formed.
The school recently announced in a press release that it has raised $53,808 during the last five years through student fundraisers, monthly Mass collections, coin jugs, etc. in support of this Haitian initiative.
“Working with the Haitian Health Foundation, we have helped build two concrete houses in the Makandal, slum of Jeremie, Haiti. The last several years, we have assisted with the hot lunch program for the nearly 1,000 students in grades K-9 at the St. Pierre School in Jeremie. Recently, $4,000 was sent to assist the relief efforts in the Jeremie area as a result of the devastation caused in October 2016 by Hurricane Matthew. Several students, parents and alums have travelled on life-changing mission trips with Haiti 180 (www.haiti180.orq), to volunteer at a local orphanage,” said the press release.
Ali Vojtila, the class of 2013, learned about Haiti and the Haitian orphanages while in her senior year religion class at St. Paul and decided to travel there on a mission trip that spring., explained the school press release. Since that trip, the release said, she has visited Haiti five times in the past three years with the organization Haiti180, where she helped build the foundation for a medical center, assembled a playscape for the kids at the orphanage, taught a little girl to swim, painted the exterior of the new home for the elderly and her favorite; she brought her parents to her favorite place.
She said, according to the press release, “Haitian living may be considered to be unrealistic to those who have never experienced it, but for these people, it is all they know. They are the first to say ‘thank you,’ the first to give you a hug, and the first to share a smile. Nothing goes unnoticed amongst these people.”
St. Paul will continue the fundraising initiative to help support the Haitian Health Foundation and their mission of improving the health and well-being of women, children, families and communities living in the greater Jérémie region through healthcare, education and community development, said the press release.