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Developing community assets for the long haul.

Almost every structure and resource of St. Francis Parish serves multiple functions. Water for people, gardens and animals. Kitchens to prepare school lunches and church celebrations. Classrooms to educate children and later, host a mobile clinic. All infrastructure is designed with multi-tasking in mind.

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Empowering Communities

Infrastructure is a visible expression of the value of the people who use it. Individual buildings and schools house important foundations of community life. Well-built structures designed by local engineers reflect the culture of Haiti and signify hope through progress. Projects are dreamed, designed, and built by the highly capable local workforce and funded by US partners. The construction jobs provide income for families and local solutions to local problems. Quality buildings serve the community for decades; someday, old men will walk by and say “I built that”.

Serving Generations

The Partnership invests in the new construction and maintenance of many buildings throughout eleven communities. Older buildings stand the test of time but need renovation and repairs. Building standards changed after the 2010 earthquake. As long-term partners, we move through projects gradually, upgrading from an outdoor to an indoor school kitchen in one community while building a new teacher dorm in another and renovating an existing room in a clinic building in another.

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Water and Sanitation

Water is identified as the number one issue for communities on La Gonâve. We work with our partners to build and maintain water catchment systems. The core of a water system is a large cistern to store water, whether it is obtained from a well or a roof. Every building has a potential role in water catchment- roofing surface areas funnel to gutters that funnel to a cistern with solar or hand pumps. Most areas are inaccessible to well drilling equipment or ruled out due to water quality or depth required. Drought worsens the competition for water between humans and agriculture/livestock. Most homes and all schools have water buckets with chlorine sachets to create potable water.

Sanitation- Through use of toilets or latrines, waste in school campuses is managed through basic septic systems. Some have actual underground concrete tanks and others are hand dug pits with ventilation.

Energy

Solar power is the solution for energy generation on La Gonâve and a priority for the partnership. Security is a consideration in placing solar assets on campuses that lack a guardian. Haiti has solar panel manufacturing capability; unfortunately the unstable mainland hampers availability and storage batteries are an issue. Before the unrest, Anse a Galets had a municipal diesel generator to provide power to the town; currently this is not operating. Starlink satellite dishes are in use in the St Francis school campus and the Health Network clinic building; this capability can accompany a solar rollout in each school over time.
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Vehicles

The Parish maintains a small fleet of 2 pickup trucks, a Toyota Landcruiser, a dump truck and multiple motorcycles for staff to use in support of mobile clinics, school lunch and agriculture programs, etc. Some can be maintained by mechanics on the island, others may require a skilled technician from the mainland.

2024 Annual Conference