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EARTHQUAKE UPDATE

August 30, 2021 Dear Partners, It has been just over two weeks since the earthquake struck the southern peninsula of Haiti on August 14th. The death toll has now climbed to over 2,200 with thousands more injured and over 50,000 homes destroyed.  2021.08.14 Haiti Earthquake The news from La Gonâve remains the same.  Our partner

“What do you have?” Jesus asked

July 28, 2021 Dear La Gonâve Haiti Partners, Last week’s Annual Conference was a joyous celebration of accomplishments that defied the challenges of the past 18 months.  It was so good to meet in person AND have others attend virtually!  I want to thank the two partner churches, First Presbyterian Church and Trinity Episcopal Parish

“Se anyen Bondye pa kab fè!… There is nothing God can’t do.”

July 9, 2021 Dear La Gonâve Haiti Partners (LGHP), As most of you have heard, on July 7th, the President of Haiti Jovenel Moise was assassinated in his home in Port-au-Prince and his wife injured. It is with great sadness that we share the news of his death. The President’s wife was flown to Miami

Why Haiti?

I will never forget my first short-term mission trip. It was to Haiti, January of 2017. The previous year my wife, Mary Martha, and I had been visiting a new church for us – First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta. She made the comment on one of our early visits to this church, “…what better way

What An Amazing Story

You can’t make this improbable story up. In the Fall of 2018 Pere Vil, the Episcopal priest in charge of St. Francis Parish told La Gonave Haiti Partners Board member Leslie Jordanger that the parish needed to buy a dump truck. And not just any dump truck. A single axle Mack 685 R with a

INDEPENDENCE DAY 2021

The first of January is a special holiday observed by Haitians around the world. The date symbolizes the birth of a new nation in 1804, following the revolt by the Haitian people against the country’s French colonizers and plantation owners. History tells us that on Sunday, January 1, 1804, Haitians gathered in the Place d’Armes,

Judette’s Story

When Judette Desbouquets was six years old, she received her first and only present. Her good grades put her first in her class, and the faculty presented her with a toy first aid kit. Rather than being thrilled with the gift, Judette remembers, “The other two students who were recognized received dolls, and I was

Teaming Up For Health

My plans were set. I was traveling to la Gonâve, Haiti with a medical team from First Scots Presbyterian Church during the last week of February. I am not a medical professional, so I planned to do educational/recreational outreach at St. Croix, a school near the clinic. As sometimes happens in Haiti, plans change. When

A Message of Hope

Today, the whole world faces a crucial problem, the Covid-19. This virus is still a challenge and is considered as one of the worst enemies of humanity. We need to be stronger than before and rely on God’s guidance as we pray and encourage each other. As your brother in Christ, I keep you all

Friends Forever

Pause for a moment to think about some of your deepest and longest-lasting friendships. Depending on how old you are, some of your connections with close friends may have spanned many years or even many decades.  The joy of long-term relationships is that we have the opportunity to share all the various dimensions of our

Redefining Mission

According to Merriam-Webster… Mission: noun An important assignment carried out for political, religious, or commercial purposes, typically involving travel. The vocation or calling of a religious organization, especially a Christian one, to go out into the world and spread its faith. My problem with this definition is that the focus is on us, what WE

No Mere Coincidence

Sometimes you bump up against a word or phrase so often that it ceases to be a coincidence. I’m not talking about everyday words like “fuel low” or “account balance below $25” or “today’s steps = 40”; I’m talking about big spiritual ones. For the past 10 months, my coincidental word has been transformation. One

Determined to Succeed

Returning to Haiti for my second mission trip was something special. I got to re-experience everything from my first trip while getting to do new things as well. One cool aspect of these trips is the chance to connect with locals and get a feel of what their journey has been so far and where

Shared Lessons

My name is Dr. Charius Lazar. I was born in Nouvelle Cité, on the island of la Gonâve, Haiti. I am 32 years old, and I am the youngest of 14 children. My mother took in sewing, and my father farmed the land. I was educated as a child in the St. Croix School in

I’ve Been Schooled

On a recent trip to La Gonâve, one of the things on my “to do” list was to check on the microfinance program in Nan Mango. My church, Covenant Presbyterian, has funded the program there for over three years and I had some concerns, even though the repayment record has been 100%. I planned to

Not Just a Number

Many of my friends question why I go to Haiti so often…it is a significant expenditure of time and money.  The easy answer is because I want to.  The more complicated explanation is why I want to.  I am convinced that it makes a difference.  It makes a difference on a personal one-on-one basis.  It

A Ministry of Presence

Bishop Duracin once said, “If you have $2,000 to give us, use $1,000 to come and see us and donate the other half to our works.” Out of that came the idea of  “a ministry of presence.” Over the years many have asked us exactly what that means. It is not always easy to explain,

Coals to Newcastle

For those of you unfamiliar, “taking coals to Newcastle” is the height of giving someone something they have plenty of. That is often how I feel when I try to explain the value of our Community Healthcare Workers. It is really not a concept we have in this country because what they offer is available

What Just Happened?

It is not always easy to know what to do. As Americans we seem to come pre-loaded with the desire to fix things. Haiti has a way, with a lovely French accent of course, of saying, “Not so fast, Buddy.” The odd thing about it is that almost to a person, what keeps people engaged

Many who are last…

One of the major tenets of Christianity is that “many who are last shall be first.” The Partnership believes this as well. We believe that the poorest deserve the best because their need is greater. The term, “preferential option for the poor,” was first used in 1968 by Father Pedro Arrupe, a Jesuit priest who

How thankful were we….really?

The Saturday before Thanksgiving found me stepping off a plane at midnight having just returned from 2 weeks on La Gonave. I was stunned to see Christmas lights on each of the baggage carousels and to realize that in less than 48 hours my adult children would begin arriving from out of town expecting Thanksgiving

Be Here Now

Be Here Now is the title of a book by Ram Das that came out in the 60’s. It is cliche at this point, but the phrase came to me this month, post-hurricane, when we were frantically trying to formulate a response to yet another natural disaster that has affected our partners on La Gonave. Though

“The Least of These”

When it became clear that Matthew was headed to Haiti and the Caribbean  I was flooded with a sense of dread. How much more can they withstand? Why does this always happen? They have just started their wonderful garden project and all the work done this month will be lost. But my real sense of

Seeds of Hope

Last winter we were confronted with a tragic situation on La Gonave. We are used to “major problems” but this one went beyond that. People we knew to be hungry most of the time had transitioned into starving. A combination of climate (drought) and seasons (winter) the food that might often be available was no

The Widow’s Mite

School is ready to begin on La Gonave and we are all wringing our hands trying to figure out how to fund these 10 schools which are so important to the families living on the island. In the process of trying to find the right words (this all goes on in my head the week

“A Dream Come True”

Those were the words of Mr. Bellegarde, the lay leader at Trou Jacques, as we processed up the hill to cut the ribbon on the new church. After waiting over 15 years, with the faintest outline of a foundation that previous partners had left unfinished, this lovely community overlooking the mainland from high atop La

Back to School!!

School starts in Haiti in 4 short weeks. Many of you are now getting your own children ready for school. Take a few minutes to see if you might be able to also help a child in Haiti. The La Gonave Haiti Partners support 10 schools in remote communities around the island of La Gonave

What A Year It Has Been!!

No, you are not reading an old post from January. Our partnership year is reviewed annually at our partnership meeting in July. This year it was hosted by the lovely folks at First (Scots) Presbyterian Church in Charleston, SC, and it was a huge success. Over 60 people in attendance, including our Priest in Charge,

Charleston in July

Well, that sounds ominous to some, but for me, anytime in Charleston is a treat. Never more so than when we have our annual meeting there on July 22-23. We are being hosted by First (Scots) Presbyterian Church and the program looks compelling. While we are on a calendar year fiscally, the partnership uses the

“Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you?”

A well known verse from Matthew. And then there are the mind games we play: The poor are always with you. You can’t save the world. Sending food only makes matters worse. Is it sustainable? But Matthew doesn’t play games with us. He goes on to say that when God responds to us the answer

Annual Report 2015

LGHP Annual Report 2015-2

La Gonave Summit 2016

In February we met on La Gonave for the 4th annual summit of NGOs working on the island. This tradition has been invaluable for those of us working on the island and has been the impetus for much collaboration over the last 4 years. The exciting observations from this year’s meeting? There were as many

Update on Food Shortage

It is with warmest hearts that we thank all who responded to the recent requests from our 10 partner communities for food supply to feed the hungry families in the mountains. With you kindness and your timely response we were able to get rice, bean and cooking oil to all ten communities during Holy Week.

Eat Your Peas

I can still taste the mush that is canned green peas. I can still remember being told that “some children don’t have anything to eat and would love to have those peas.” I can still remember thinking “I would LOVE for them to have these peas.” The notion that another child (even thousands) were hungry was

“A Dime On Its Edge”

The Dutch have an interesting phrase that when translated is “a dime on its edge.” This refers to a situation that is thinly balanced and has a chance of falling either way…for good or for bad. The past 6 months in Haiti (some would argue years) had been “a dime on its edge.” If you

Elections in Haiti

There have been several emails that have gone out stressing the necessity to take special care as you travel to Haiti. As usual, it is not ever as dire as it appears on the cable or network news here in the U.S.  For those of us who travel there on a regular basis, it is

La Gonave Haiti Partners at Year’s End

We approach the end of another year, and, as always, there is need for reflection. What are we doing? How much are we helping? Might we be hurting? All the questions common to good, conscientious development groups. On top of evaluating our work and focus, we look back on the situation that our partners in

Covenant Trip Report 11/12 – 11/19, 2015

What Difference Does it Make? – Haiti trip November 2015 This was not a typical Covenant mission trip to Haiti. For starters, we had three non-Covenant participants. Two men from Madison (GA) Presbyterian joined us in an exploratory trip to determine that congregation’s interest in joining the partnership. In addition, Ernest Scott, a long time

Casting a Net

This December I’d like to share a story of one woman’s super sized hope and courage, and the ways in which our partnership’ s expanded healthcare network saved her life. Mrs O is a 44 year old who lives in one of the remote mountainous neighborhoods on LaGonave. In the past she faithfully attended the

Get A Job

Every now and then we stop, turn away from the problems to be solved, and realize what tremendous progress we are making. This week we have been gathering statistics for some reorganization of our business model and realized that we are supporting more than 215 jobs on an island with a 95% unemployments rate. As

A Thousand words…

We have many wonderful photographs and images of our partnership programs. It warms the heart to see little children with a huge plate of rice and beans or a new baby carefully tended to by a trained midwife. Fundraising experts tell us that donors love to see their contributions in action. One of our most

Buying Local: The Dilemma

One of our core operating principles is that we purchase what we can in the country of Haiti. The reason is simple – it builds the capacity of Haiti to grow its economic stability. Supplies for our schools are bought in country. To the extent that we are able, the medications we buy are purchased

Meet Cole Honeycutt…

My name is Cole Honeycutt. I’m a rising junior in high school in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Last year, I took a global issues class that looked at the country of Haiti and the problems there that have presented themselves. In June of this year, I traveled to Haiti to work in La Gonave, a

Annual Partnership Meeting – Hickory, NC July 23-25

The La Gonave Haiti Partnership will gather at one of our partner churches, St. Alban’s Episcopal Church for our annual partnership meeting next week. Pere Vil and Pere Ajax from the Diocese of Haiti will join us for the event. All year scores of partners, at great expense of time and money, travel to La

First Fruits – Our Maternal Health Program

In 2014 we began a Partnership-wide effort to improve the health of women and their babies in the ten communities that we serve on the island of La Gonave.  First, a variety of existing programs at Bill Rice Clinic were strengthened through improved training and salary support (community health workers and matrones).  Secondly we interviewed

First Scots Trip Report – April 2015

Bill Rice Clinic Our team of eleven felt God’s presence each morning as we joined the Haitian staff who started each clinic day with the patients in the waiting room with beautiful singing and prayers together. The home made nametags for all Bill Rice staff, students and visiting team helped all of us to get

“Alone We Can Do So Little…”

“….together we can do so much.” That is the way Helen Keller stated it. In Haitian Kreyol the proverb is “Men anpil, chay pa lou.” Many hands make work light. February of this year, 2015, a gathering of 40 people met at the Wesleyan compound on the island of La Gonave for the 3rd annual

Third Annual La Gonave Summit

In early February, Dr. Jim Ingvoldstad, Dr. Barbara Robertson, Deb Griffin and Lee Wilder spent three days at the Bill Rice Clinic. Thanks to a generous grant from the Presbyterian Thank Offering, badly needed repairs have been made at the Bill Rice Clinic! The ancient solar power batteries have been replaced and a new inverter

Annual Report 2014

January 2015 We have completed our second full year as a 501c-3 organization and are proud to report investing nearly $350,000 in programs in Haiti during 2014. We were honored to receive a grant of over $40,000 for our maternal health program through the generosity of the Presbyterian Women Thank Offering.  This has funded badly

Covenant Trip Report – October 2104

I have two lasting and vivid memories/images of our trip to Haiti. To set the stage, when Edward Lloyd signed up for the trip, it was time to think about a remote medical clinic.  This has been a long-term dream but here was the chance.  It was an experiment – we did not know if

Goats Make Good Business Sense

  Our own families are thankful for the food on their table, for a roof over their heads, for shoes on their childrenís feet, and for the opportunity to get up each morning and go to work. Farmers enrolled in the La Gonave Goat Project experience the dignity of hard work and the accomplishment of

St Alban’s Medical Mission Nov. 2014 to Gros Mangle

Greetings to you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Let us tell you about our September 25-30, 2014 medical mission trip to the village of Gros Mangle on Haiti’s La Gonave island. This was our third medical mission trip to Gros Mangle and included ten volunteers, each paying his/her own expenses. The cost of our

A Year in Review: 2014

Click Here to Download – A Year in Review: 2014  

Keeping Global

The following article was written by our own Jennell Charles.  It was published in the Fall 2014 edition of The Georgian Nurse. The people of La Gonave are lucky to have this program focused on their care and sustainable delivery systems.    For the past two years, nursing students at Clayton State University (CSU), an

The Path to Literacy

You never know where the path will lead……. Over three years ago, a woman in Nan Mango stood up in a community meeting and asked to learn what the children were learning in school. She wanted to learn how to read and write. The other women in the meeting broke from their quiet reserve and clapped loudly. And

Let’s Do Lunch!

School is back in session on La Gonave. For the first year we have the promise of a hot lunch for every child. It has long been a wish of the parents and teachers, but late last year it became a real possibility as we shipped our first container of fortified rice product from Stop

Why Haiti?

Anyone who goes to Haiti to work knows this question. It is followed by all the questions about how overwhelming the problems are and how much has been done, and “really, are things getting any better?” We have been working on two initiatives lately, maternal health and education for girls. The first one became a

Trinity Presbyterian Trip Report April 2-8, 2014

TRINITY PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH  April 2-8, 2014 A group of five s from Trinity – Julie Hope, Walton Reeves, Barbara Robertson, John Ryan and Kurt Swensson – departed Atlanta for LaGonave on April 2nd.  The afternoon of our arrival, we had a driving tour of downtown Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas with Gary from Go Navette and

Small Things

In November 2013, a group from Shallowford and Trinity Presbyterian Churches spent nearly a week at St. Francois.  Early in our visit, we became acutely aware of, and concerned by, the number of plastic water bottles we were going through every day. We made a decision to take them all home with us, crushed and

Bits and Peaces (sic)

FOOD: Only a week back from my most recent trip and the days roll by with images still fresh. No matter how often one goes during the “dry season” it is startling anew to see how insecure the food source is for all of La Gonave. On hillsides where one sees congo beans, melons, corn

First Scot’s Presbyterian, Charleston Trip Report Feb. 1-8, 2014

  After spending the night in Miami, our team of 12 arrived in Port au Prince, Haiti, on Saturday morning, 2/1/14, and were greeted warmly by Pere Vil, Gary Gaspard and his Navette Car Service team. We boarded a van for the 1 ½ hour ride to the La Gonave dock where we joined many

Shallowford and Trinity Presbyterian Churches Visit St. Francois

From Shallowford Presbyterian: Wayne Anderson, Tom Bougher, John Jernigan, Bridges Smith and Kay Stewart From Trinity Presbyterian: Peter and Mackenzie Barratt, Senior Associate Pastor Craig Goodrich, Julie Hope and Kurt Swensson A year ago, a group from Trinity, joined by Chris Henry and John Jernigan from Shallowford, set off on a joint exploration trip to

Trip Report: January Medical Mission

I traveled to Haiti earlier this month with 3 physicians (Dr. Andrea Honeycutt, Dr. Travis Honeycutt and Dr. David Spivey).  Michael Nemorin, a Haitian-American medical laboratory technician and Deb Griffin completed our group.  In the US, I hear friends complain of being rushed in and out of a doctor’s office, of countless tests and of

An Independent Haiti

As many of you know January 1st is Independence Day in Haiti. It is, by far, the biggest holiday in Haiti. It is a day when each family gathers and eats pumpkin soup. Now, that could seem like a strange meal unless you know the history of Haiti. When the French controlled the country there

Give A Hand Up, Not A Hand Out

In October 2003, seven women from La Gonâve, Haiti sat crowded on wooden benches in a dark, windowless room, anxious to learn how to be goat farmers. One of the women spoke up that day to say that she did not want to rely on the handouts of family or neighbors … she wanted to

Lotore Trip Report

All Saints Haiti Mission Trip November 2013 St. Barnabus Church and School Lotore This trip was a trip of many firsts for our group: 4 new team members out of seven, an OBGYN on the team, St. Barnabus school children well exams, observation of school teachers during the school day, and all clinics together in

STUFF……. Important stuff

It is the time of the year when people seem to be always talking about “stuff.” The stores are filled with gadgets and do-dads and gift ideas. We look and say, “Who needs all of that stuff?” Chocolate fountains, dog beds that look like thrones. “Who makes up that stuff?” Five pounds of holiday catalogs

800 and counting!

  We are entering the third year of our adult literacy program.  To date, over 800 adults have completed the six month training.  The classes are held in ten communities, free of charge.  We have learned that many of these adult have felt marginalized in their communities but learning how to read and write has,

Martine…… October 2013

   Last month, Dr. Andre Melendez of Eastside Church held an impromptu medical clinic while visiting Ticotelette.  One woman brought her baby boy, listless and coughing.  We had not planned this clinic and, therefore had minimal supplies and only over-the-counter drugs.  This little boy was clearly sick and Andre suspected pneumonia.  He told the mother

The Doctor is In!

At our July meeting a proposal was put forth that we hire a doctor to assume the role of Medical Director of the Bill Rice Clinic. This was a big, but necessary, step as we continue to focus on a comprehensive plan for medical care on the island. We had the good fortune to find

A Snapshot from La Gonave

  Sometimes pictures tell a thousand words and sometimes pictures are just a snapshot. This picture of beautiful children in a cheerful classroom with full plates of food is only a snapshot. In March of 2008, when Covenant Presbyterian signed on to partner with the community of Nan Mango,we quickly observed signs of malnutrition including the

Partnership(s)

Funny how that little (s) on the end of things can make all the difference. Our singular partnership is over 25 years old, but in the last few years we have worked to add the (s) on the end and what a difference it makes!  A partnership, by definition, is an arrangement that is made

The Year of the Schools!

In late July members of the La Gonave Haiti Partnership gathered in Atlanta to review the past year and make plans for the next one. We are spread out over much of the southeast so it is always a joy to gather, visit and brainstorm. Our focus over the last year has been the expansion

A Heartfelt Thanks!

Last March we had the good fortune to say “yes” to a couple of guys who wanted to join up with our group on a visit to La Gonave. After a couple of email exchanges, sight unseen, we met them at the ferry dock in Anse-a-Galet and took them back to St. Francis. It turned

Reflections

July marks the end of the year in the Partnership. We gather for our annual meeting, this year in Atlanta, to report on budgets, visits made over the year, and, most importantly, on the needs as stated by the people of Lagonave.  It is by their direction that we begin to plan programs and strategies

Lagonave Haiti Partnership Annual Meeting in Atlanta

  Lagonave Haiti Partnership Conference The First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta will host the Lagonave Haiti Partnership Conference on July 26-27, 2013. Haitian guest speakers will include the Episcopal Priest-in-Charge of La Gonave, Rev. P. Vil Jean Mardoché, and Episcopal Church of Haiti Partnership Program Coordinator, Rev. Dr. P Kesner Ajax who has just published

How does your donation help the people of La Gonâve? EDUCATION   For just $25 a month a Haitian child can be educated. Our schools meet the Ministry of Education standards and prepare the children to take their place in society. Give a child hope and a future for $300 a year.   NUTRITION One

“But, My Baby Is Still Sick”

On the first workday of our trip in May we arrived at the Bill Rice Clinic full of enthusiasm about the project ahead. We had Dr. Wilnique with us and we were going to tackle the storage closets, full of supplies that needed to be catalogued and cleaned out. By ten that morning we were

Trip Report

    FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, FERNANDINA BEACH, FLORIDA JUNE 1-5, 2013 A team of 11 (7 youth and 4 adults) from First Presbyterian Church, Fernandina Beach, Florida left Port-au-Prince on Saturday, June 1st on their way to La Gonâve. For all but one of us, it was a first visit to Haiti and first trip

Haitian Fathers

Father’s Day is soon and it seemed only fitting to give them their due. While the women of Haiti are certainly the Poto Mitan of the family, there are lovely men who work hard to take care of their families and give back to their communities. We want to be sure they get the recognition

Trip Report – Clayton State University Nurses – May, 2013

On Friday, May 10th, a group of twelve left Atlanta to go to La Gonave, Haiti. For all but two it was the first trip down. Nine nurses who have gone back to Clayton State for further certification, two instructors and one partnership host. We arrived on the island on Saturday after an exciting trip

All Saints April 2013 Trip to Lotore

Members of 6 different churches joined with All Saints to become one team for the purpose of a veterinary, adult and pediatric clinic April 16-23. We all met in Charleston SC the night before and flew out on a Tuesday 7AM flight to Miami and Port au Prince. Pere Vil kindly met us at the

Matwones – The wisdom of Haiti

One highlight of our April, 2013 trip was a meeting at the Bill Rice Clinic where we got to meet 11 of our “Matwones” or traditional birth attendants. What a wise and wonderful group of people. Several years ago it was determined that one way to address the high rate of maternal deaths in childbirth

Everyday Should Be Mother’s Day

As we approach the “official Hallmark” Mother’s Day it seemed like a good time to honor how Haitian mothers  contribute to their families and their communities.  There is a wonderful Kreyol saying that Haitian women are the “potomitan” or center pole of the Haitian family. The term comes from an old story about courage and

Covenant Presbyterian Church – March 2013 trip to Nan Mango

Our week was full, overflowing with activities and emotions and interconnections.   To start, we had an unexpected team-building exercise, as the waters were too choppy for us to travel to LaGonave on our first day, March 16.  It was a proverbial “no room at the inn” scene and after much cajoling and looking pitiful,

Education Update – Lotore

ST BARNABUS SCHOOL , Lotore community.  St. Barnabus offers classes for kindergarten through 6th grade. Currently there are 175 students and 9 teachers. Families pay 75 goudes/ month for children to attend 1st– 6th grades. This includes a pen and notebook but not a uniform. The children study French, Creole, math, science, art, writing and

All Saints-St. Barnabus Trip Feb. 5-12. 2013

A team organized by All Saints Church (Pawleys Island SC) traveled to the community of Lotore to provide a medical and dental clinic. Team Leader Dr. David Grabeman chose the concept of “Leading a Life of Significance” to focus our prayers and evening devotions.  Our team of 10 was thrilled by the beautiful new PAP

The “Buzz” about the Partnership

Development, like many other areas of our culture, is rife with terms. Some of them are (somewhat) easily understood. Some…not so much. When I decided to get involved with the La Gonave Haiti Partnership over 5 years ago I had no clue what many of the terms meant. Like many of you,  I decided to

What I Take For Granted…

I have always loved to read.  I buried myself in books as a child and, as an adult, have kept a list of every book I have read since I was 22 years old.  I take it for granted that I will always have a book at my side.  I took it for granted that

We’re Expecting!

Well…not exactly. But, we decided it was a little like that –  as in a little more than 9 months we will be getting two newly certified midwives on Lagonave! On January 15th school began for two of our Community Healthcare Workers, Vilana Cherissaint (left) of Nouvelle Cite’ and Soisilia Bertand(right) of Gros Mangle.  They were

Community Healthcare Workers

Click here to read more about healthcare on La Gonave

Strike up the band

For several years we have had a program called Horns for Haiti which has worked to replace worn out instruments and donate slightly used instruments to the band at St. Francis School in Anse a Galet, Haiti. This band not only plays every Monday for the children of St. Francis to sing the national anthem

The Gift of Giving

We have just completed our first full calendar year with our new website that went up for the first time in late July 2011. It seems like time to take a moment and thank all of you who follow and support the work of our Partnership. As all other NGOs we face problems everyday that

The Lagonave Summit: An embarrassment of riches

As 2012 comes to a close it is a joy to report that the spirit of collaboration and Christian fellowship is alive and well on Lagonave. As our host, Dan Irvine, said at the close of the meeting, “This is the church at its best! This is the stuff that makes God smile.” The second

St. Paul’s Episcopal November 2-9, 2012

2012 Haiti Trip Report St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Summerville, SC It has been said that each trip you make to Haiti is similar to your children. Each one is a little different and special, in it’s own way, but you love them all equally. This year proved to be no different. We had a group of

The True Spirit of Thanksgiving…not stuff.

Some complain that Thanksgiving is getting lost in the commercialization of Christmas.  We have become programed to be thankful for “gifts” of the commercial variety. The Haitians have a lot to teach us about being thankful for what matters. What can’t really be bought…but still has to be paid for. Almost without exception people return

Adult Literacy: Update

  Can you imagine writing your name for the first time? Most of us take literacy for granted but in Haiti, literacy is a privilege, a gift.  Less than two years ago, one woman in the community of Nan Mango asked to learn how to read and write.  Now we  have adult literacy classes in

Trip Report: Alpharetta Presbyterian October 5-9, 2012

  A Journey of listening and learning A small group from Alpharetta Presbyterian Church made their first visit to La Gonave Oct 5-9th.  What follows is a collage of impressions and lasting memories. “When we landed the island was indeed beautiful, full of absolute beauty. Then I saw the overwhelming poverty.  But as we met

TRIP REPORT: All Saints September 18-25, 2012

    This was a trip of firsts for us: a group of six (the smallest All Saints group), flying out of Charleston vs Myrtle Beach, a new ambulance, and a new priest, Pere Vil!   The trip out of Charleston was wonderful, costing half of our usual flight, only one plane change, and arriving

The Importance of Being….Educated.

During the hot summer months of July and August travel to La Gonave slows down a bit. As I prepare to go back down in early October one of the things I anticipate seeing are all the school children pouring into their classes, whether in the city of Anse-a-Galet or the remote mountain and coastal

Welcome to Pere Vil Mardoche

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, I say a big thank to you Sydney foryour words of welcome toward me.  Thank you very much! As most of you have already known, I am actually the new priest in charge of La Gonave. And the priest in charge, I wish to all of you who are

Farewell to Pere Soner Alexandre

At the annual meeting of the La Gonave Haiti Partnership this week-end, those of us who were present put together a list that we would like to share with you. It started as an attempt to quantify the positive changes that have occurred on La Gonave under the nine years of leadership from our beloved

Lespwa fe viv – Hope makes one live

At the end of July members of the La Gonave Haiti Partnership will gather in South Carolina for our annual meeting. It is the only opportunity during the year for us to come from all over the country, and to be face to face and focused on our mission in Haiti. When we are in

St. Phillips Trip Report-June 20-25, 2012

FEAST DAY TRIP TO PLAIN MAPOU Here’s recap of our annual Feast Day Trip June 20-25 We flew American Airlines straight from Charleston, with a change over in Miami, and into Port Au Prince on June 20th with a team of 8. We had four seasoned “Lagonavers” and four first timers. Our luggage was at full capacity with

Water Project

Nouvelle Cité Safe Water Project On January 13th 2012 a group of twelve from First Presbyterian Atlanta visited with our partners in Nouvelle Cité. During our visit, we addressed several of the ongoing water issues. Following the Sunday worship service, an in-home-safe water program was introduced to the community. A group discussion on the importance

I left my heart in La Gonave…

Every now and then I say something. I am never sure where it has come from…but immediately I know it is true.  I was sitting with a friend this afternoon, Laura Martin of Ties That Matter, and we were talking about the people of La Gonave. How much we miss them when we are away.

“The Goat is Everything to Me”

Travel down a steep mountain path, rocky and dusty, to a community of thatch and rock homes in Marleguy and you meet Jean Baptiste. He is an elderly man – no one knows how old. He joined the La Gonâve Goat Project six years ago and after 3 days of training received a pregnant doe.

All Saints Trip Report – Lotore April 24 – May 1, 2012

  Trip comprised of 12: 1 MD, 2 CRNAs, 1 NP,  4 RNs, 1 vet, 1 vet tech, 1 lay person, and 1 daughter. 7 churches were represented. 3 new team members. God always has HIS theme for each trip…we may or may not know it before we go but He makes it apparent during

New First Aid Kits for CHWs

If the world seemed a little brighter on Tuesday, May 8th, it was being lit up by the huge smiles of our Community Health Workers. They had gathered at the clinic to begin a new training and to welcome 3 new community health workers. What they found waiting for them was new Under Armor backpacks

Atlanta La Gonave Haiti Partnership – 20 years in Haiti

  On a lovely spring evening, April 15, 2012, the Atlanta La Gonave Haiti Partnership gathered 200 of its closest friends to celebrate a friendship that began 20 years ago. The Atlanta Presbytery entered into a relationship with the people of La Gonave in 1992 and on this evening it was easy to see how

Covenant Trip Report, February 2012

Every time we come back from Haiti, we think “wow, this was the best trip ever.”   It is a puzzling thought because each trip has had a special combination of people and events.  This time we realized that the “best trip ever” reflects that  each time we see more and more building blocks  being put

Late Trip Report: St. Paul’s

Sorry for not having this under trip reports, but it has been a busy winter and there is no way to post a trip report when it is filed after others have occurred.  Sounds like you had a wonderful and productive trip! DSG   TRIP REPORT NOVEMBER 2011 St. Jacques, Bois Brulee, LaGonave, Haiti Medical

All Saints Trip Report Jan 31-Feb 7

Lotore Community Trip Report: All Saints (Pawleys Island)-St Barnabus Partnership Healthcare trip Jan 31-Feb 7 Our US team of 12 traveled to La Gonave to provide a 3 day clinic for the community of Lotore.  We do this three times a year. The team came in on 2 different flights so we hit evening rush

100% Pass Rate! On to level two

  Hope you enjoy our March Newsletter. There is so much going on it was hard to decide how to write it all up. Here is our most recent report on the Adult Literacy Project. Thanks to everyone who has taken an interest in this important project. It is serving as a tool for community

Back to Haiti

A group of 12 will return to Haiti this week taking much needed items purchased by the generous holiday response from our friends like you. We will be taking 3 treadle sewing machines, sewing supplies, shoes, hats, music stands and music and most importantly, boxes of medicine – including the medicine needed to expand our

Trip Report: First Presbyterian Atlanta 1-13-2012

  First Presbyterian Atlanta Haiti Trip January 2012 Friday 1/13: Travel Day –Traveling from Atlanta were, Rose Emily Bermudez, Jean Russ, Vic Cavanaugh, Laura Calk, Dushawn Andrews, Selma Ridgeway, Becky Sigmund, Nancy Ike, Steve Feagin, and Norma Feagin. Claire Berry joined us in Miami, We arrived in PAP and were met by Pere Soner, Gretchen

We Made All A’s!!!

Here is our first “report card” from Fonkoze the Adult Literacy trainer in Port Au Prince who has been our collaborator on the new Adult Literacy project. We just began in September, a program that grew out of one young woman who spoke up in a community meeting at Nan Mango: “What we would really

…And we’re off!

A very happy new year to all. We wrapped up 2011 feeling good about what had been accomplished and were eager to wade into 2012 to see what was going to be next. It has not taken long for us to be off and running again with new projects that have grown out of our

Year End Report 2011

There is a certain satisfaction to be planning your 20th anniversary and to have so many new beginnings in the same year. It has made us all aware how vital and important this partnership truly is.  Haiti continues to struggle after the earthquake. Progress is never as fast as one would like and people grow

Medika Mamba

Click here to read more about nutrition on La Gonave 

Trip Report: Trinity Makes Initial Visit-10-18-11

Friendship, family and finances all work  together to forge a successful partnership. This trip began Trinity’s journey establishing  new friendships  and creating an expanded family. The Vestry of St. Francois was very appreciative of Trinity Presbyterian of Atlanta, GA and the friendships made and work accomplished on this trip. Trinity was very grateful for the hospitality and common ground that our churches both share.

The Gift of a Goat

Jean Thoney’s clinic The Gift of a Goat   In early November, I had the privilege of traveling to Lotorre with Jean Thoney, the administrator of our partnership’s goat project.  He was conducting a veterinary clinic for the farmers of that community.  After a torturous and, seemingly endless, ride in the back of a pick-up

Sew for your life

No matter the language, a room full of women sewing has a lovely hum. We like to create, talk about food and children and…more importantly…laugh at our mistakes. Such was the case the last week of October on the island of La Gonave, Haiti. Laura Martin, of Ties That Matter, and Sandy Chai, of Beatitudes, Inc, had

Goats

Click here to read more about Economic Development on La Gonave

Healthcare

Click here to read more about Healthcare on La Gonave

Economic Development

Click here to learn more about Economic Development on La Gonave

Schools

Click here to learn more about Education on La Gonave

Children

Partners

Click here to read about our Partners

Adult Literacy

Click here to learn about Education on La Gonave

Three Weeks on La Gonave

Dear folks, You should all share in my sense of joy over what the partnership is supporting on La Gonave. When I decided to go for three weeks to see what and how the programs were progressing, it was with some sense of trepidation. One never really gets a feel for how the programs work

Adult Literacy Update – November 2011

In six short months, the adult literacy program has evolved from a simple request from a group of women at Nan Mango to an active program serving nine communities.  The partnership contracted with Fonkoze, a Haitian organization with over twenty years of experience in adult education, to train selected community leaders as adult educators and

Trip Report: All Saints 9/13/11

September 2011 Trip Our team traveled to La Gonave September 13-20th to coordinate the Lo Torre Clinic. We last visited in May 2011 and left our patients with medication for 4 months. An All Saints (SC)-based team of 8 health care providers and 4 volunteers traveled to the community. Upon arrival in Anse-a Galet, we

Adult Literacy Training

Hope has paid off! We have a group of newly trained Adult Literacy Educators and we have had a good response to our funding requests. Just four short months ago the women of Nan Mango came to us and said of all things the needed learning to write and read was on the top of

Lo Torre Clinic

The Lo Torre Clinic on La Gonave, Haiti The Community of Lo Torre Lo Torre is situated on the southernmost crest of La Gonave Island at altitude of ~2000 feet. As the crow flies it is actually closer to Point a Raquette than Anse a Galet.  Lo Torre consists of approximately 11 neighborhoods all with

Adult Literacy

“You gotta have hope…musn’t sit around and mope.”  So goes the old song from Damn Yankees and we decided to take this seriously. With only half the money promised we decided to go ahead with hope and the response has been encouraging. We engaged Fonkoze to train a person this week so we could begin

Challenge grant for adult literacy

Great news!  we have just received a challenge grant of $8,700 for our adult literacy program.  We have contracted with Fonkoze to train 12 of our community leaders as adult literacy educators.  Fonkoze will closely monitor these teachers as they teach small groups of adults in their communities.  At the end of one year, we

2011 Haiti Partnership Meeting

The annual La Gonave Haiti Partnership Meeting was held in Charleston on July 29th and 30th at St. Phillips Episcopal Church. In addition to representatives from partner churches in Arkansas, Georgia, and South Carolina we were joined by Pere Soner Alexander, the priest in charge of La Gonave as well as Pere Kesner Ajax, Partnership

International Exchange

For the last year the French students at Westminster School in Atlanta, GA under the leadership of Becky McKnight have maintained a learning relationship with the French students at St. Francis School in Anse-a-Galet on La Gonave. They have also set up a website to facilitate learning. The website is a result of a new

Welcome!

We are happy that you have found our new website. With the wonderful guidance and help of Stacey Wright at www.wrightcreativelabs.com and Covenant Presbyterian Church we now have an interactive site with new features. It will be easier to file trip reports, update programs and get your name on our distribution list. We are linked

School Lunch Program

Holy Cross Church/School partnered with First Presbyterian Church, Atlanta, GA La Gonâve Haiti June 6, 2011 While our Mission team was visiting our Partner church/school in Nouvelle Cité on the island of La Gonâve in January of 2008, we noticed that school enrollment was down and many of the children showed signs of malnutrition. The

Trip Report June 2011

Feast Day Report: A Team of 8 went to La Gonave for our Annual Feast Day Celebration departing June 23. The trip started off with our 6:00am flight to Miami being postponed until 8:30am causing us to miss our connection over to Port Au Prince. We were booked for a later flight with an arrival

Goat Project

La Gonave is an island of rural communities, where farming is the primary activity.  Most families have small gardens where they raise their own food.  Some with larger plots of land raise enough food to sell at Palma, a weekly market.  You will see chickens, donkeys, cows, goats and the occasional pig on La Gonave

Pwoje Fanm

The Pwoje Fanm (“Women’s Projects”) Vocational Program Pwoje Fanm (pronounced pwo-shay fom) began through the initiative of a Haitian Episcopal priest’s wife in 1990. She saw the need to teach marketable skills to young women who were unable to complete their formal education, and she began the program with 12 women who could not read. Since

Bill Rice Clinic

More than twenty years ago a group of Presbyterians from the Atlanta area were on mainland Haiti to teach classes in public health. They met a young priest and his wife from La Gonave, a remote island out in the bay. They were looking for someone to partner with them to bring healthcare to the

Education

Access to public education on LaGonave is extremely limited, another example of the island’s poverty within an impoverished country. Most of the schools on La Gonave are run by church organizations and our partnership schools operate under the auspices of the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti.  Each of our 11 schools has at least one US

Children’s Nutrition

One trip to Haiti and the images of the smiling, friendly children are with you forever. In Haiti, 42% of the population is under the age of 14. Of those, 42% of children under the age of 5 years are malnourished. Nearly 8% of the babies born never make it to age 5. These are grim

Welcome

Anse-a- Galet

Market scene

May 2011 Trip Report

From Covenant Presbyterian Church. It is hard to know where to start – there are so many exciting developments. A small group from Covenant (Jim Ingvoldstad, Debbie Griffin and Lee Wilder) and Debbie’s son (Zack Pitts) and Kurt Swensson, a structural engineer, went to Haiti the first week in May to check on our ongoing

Adult Literacy

In our trip report from March 2011, we spoke of a meeting with the women of Nan Mango. Our wonderful translator Bob told us that this was a very bad idea, that we would be hit with a wish list of things the women wanted us to bring.  We told Bob that we were prepared for

March 2011 Trip Report

Covenant Presbyterian Church. LaGonave was incredibly dry and dusty and people are anxious for rain.  The planting season will commence with the rains and successful crops are critical to feeding families.  We found that “our goats” had stripped all available foliage at the goat project and were able to give Pere Soner enough cash to

Reflections on a First Trip to Haiti by Camy Blincoe

March 2011 Although we turned in every night by 8 o’clock,  I couldn’t get to sleep until nearly 3 most nights I was in Haiti.  It wasn’t due to the stray dogs barking and fighting outside my window at all hours of the night, it wasn’t because the springs in my bed were digging into

Sing Along

Although the earthquake in January of 2010 caused limited physical damage on the island of LaGonave, there was an impact. Many families lost loved ones. Many families had family members working in Port-au-Prince and lost their jobs. The island had a significant influx of people, taxing food supplies and housing. All schools were closed for

October 2010 Trip Report

From Covenant Presbyterian Church. As each group sets out for a trip to Haiti, we wonder whether or not we are making any lasting changes — whether these trips are more about us and our need to feel that we are helping.  Sometimes we wonder if it just would not be better to donate the

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