Friday, July 27, 2012

HAITI - Info and St. Vincent's School for the Handicapped & Orphaned

St. Vincent's is an Episcopal orphanage and home for the disabled and handicapped in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. It is both a residential and a day school with a good medical clinic. They host between 200 and 300 children and residents range in age from five to 61. It was founded in 1945 by the sisters of the order of St. Margaret, an Episcopal order. The school is now under the Episcopal diocese of Haiti. There are caregivers on site and food, medical needs, and living quarters are provided, but the center is greatly underfunded. While they receive visitors throughout the year and members are selected for Camp Jake (of The Red Thread Promise), it is all they can do to provide for basic needs. They have medical, educational, and prosthetic programs at the school. Father Sedoni is connected to St. Vincent's, though he has a church of his own where he is rector.
The Episcopal Church in Haiti is large and had a presence at the 2012 77th General Convention of the Episcopal Church, held in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Diocese of Haiti is the Anglican communion diocese which is actually the entire country of Haiti. Holy Trinity Cathedral, located in Port-au-Prince has been destroyed six times, including in the most recent earthquake of 2010.
The current Bishop is The Right Rev. Jean-Zache Duracin.
Episcopal Relief and Development Foundation has more information on programs in Haiti and around the world.

While visiting St. Vincent's as a Camp Jake counselor this July 2012, we spent some time with our amazing campers (who showed us around), took some photographs of the facility, and also heard a wonderful men's choir practicing. Here is a YouTube link to a video of a portion of their rehearsal. 

This is the men's dormitory room:

This is the women's dormitory room:

Main hallway

Lovely doing laundry for the girls while talking to Diumenne

Here is a classroom. Small, but clean and organized.:

Here is another classroom upstairs

There is a good medical clinic there with several rooms, including one with exercise machine.

All in all, St. Vincent's Episcopal School is a haven in a broken city. It gives hope and resources to so many along with education and care. If you are Haiti, make a plan to stop by this place and greet the residents here or in another school or orphanage. 

You can also find St. Vincent's on Facebook at: 

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