Building a Mother/Baby Clinic

Helping Our Brothers and Sisters in Baptiste, Haiti

January 2011

   For over eight years, the Church of the Holy Family has assisted our brothers and sisters in Baptiste in our twinning relationship with St. Judes. Over this time, many parishioners have traveled to Baptiste and have had the opportunity to share in the spirit of the people while, at the same time, seeing the many challenges they face in their everyday lives.

   Holy Family has consistently nurtured and acted on opportunities that make a long term difference in Baptiste. For example, Holy Family provided support for the new roof on the church, building of the church presbyter (rectory) and primary school in Baptiste; supported the design and construction of a water system that brings water to community fountains, thus eliminating the need to walk two miles to a water source; enhanced economic opportunities by helping local families begin to raise rabbits which are sold at market; and implemented an anti-parasite program for children in the community. Many in our parish have made a commitment to provide funding to hire 32 teachers at five schools providing over 1,000 students with an opportunity to go to school. Others have helped to build a second primary school in Tatoye, one of our chapels down the road from Baptiste. .

   Members of the Haiti committee also have taken a proactive role in working with the Haitian Ministry of Health to secure the services of two doctors, a nurse, and a pharmacist who provide basic health care despite a severe lack of facilities, equipment, or supplies. Holy Family donations provide funding to buy food for the medical staff who live in the presbyter. Clearly, our relationship with the people of Baptiste has enriched both of our communities.

   As we look to the future, we remain committed to following through with our support for education, economic development, and ensuring there is a source of clean water in the community. We also continue to seek opportunities to further address the health needs of the Baptiste community - which faces so many challenges. Recently, land has been identified to build a Mother/Baby Clinic. The Haitian Ministry of Health has approved a proposed innovative design for a modular clinic that could be built on this site and has pledged to assign an additional full time doctor to Baptiste. In addition, the Haiti Committee has a commitment of partnership with a local non-profit organization, Colleagues in Care-Haiti, led by Holy Family parishioners Drs. John Kenerson and Lisbet Hanson, which has developed a network of medical volunteers (doctors, nurses, therapists, etc.) who will standards of care for the new clinic. 

    Our Haiti Committee has received $150,000 of seed moneys to begin construction of the Mother/Baby Clinic. However, we still need to raise another $150,000 to complete the project while continuing our other work. Your tax deductable donation of $5,000, $1,000, $500, $100, $50, or $10 will not only help ensure the timely construction and outfitting of the Mother/Baby Clinic, but will ensure that we fulfill our ongoing commitments to provide clean water, support economic development, and expand education opportunities for the families of Baptiste. Your donation will not only enhance the level of medical care in Baptiste, but will help build a model of medical care that can be replicated by other organizations in other parts of Haiti as well as other developing communities throughout the world.

   Now is the time to act to make the Mother/Baby Clinic a reality! The land is available, we have the support of the Haitian Ministry of Health, and we have a working partnership with Colleagues in Care-Haiti to help establish standards of care and to coordinate a network of medical volunteers. Now we need your support! Please use the attached pledge card to make your tax deductable donation of $5,000, $1,000, $500, $100, $50, or $10. Your pledge may be made in a single payment or may be made in regular contributions over a period of time.

   Thank you in advance for keeping your heart open and for responding to this extraordinary opportunity to provide essential medical care through a Mother/Baby clinic in Baptiste. Your contribution will significantly enhance the quality life for families living in Baptiste!!

Tim McCarthy

Chairman of the Haiti Committee

Haiti Outreach, Church of the Holy Family                                                                              
Virginia Beach, Va 23452