News / USA

As World Attention Wanes, Miami Church Increases Effort to Help Haiti

These ambulances, parked behind Notre Dame d'Haiti's school yard, were donated to Haiti by the city of Chicago
These ambulances, parked behind Notre Dame d'Haiti's school yard, were donated to Haiti by the city of Chicago

Father Reginald Jean-Marie of Notre Dame d'Haiti Catholic church in Miami's Little Haiti community admits donations have significantly slowed down, seven weeks after the earthquake that ravaged Haiti on January 12. But he isn't discouraged - in fact - he is thankful for the generosity many have shown toward his native land. One day after the earthquake, the church, housed in a mustard yellow building, tucked behind an iron gate in the heart of "Ti Ayiti" mobilized to help survivors.

Father Reginald Jean-Marie travels to Haiti almost weekly to help earthquake survivors
Father Reginald Jean-Marie travels to Haiti almost weekly to help earthquake survivors

"It was a big shock for the community," Father Jean-Marie recalls. He says the church organized a memorial mass for the victims the next day. In addition, a "collection center" was set up for people to donate clothing, shoes, water and food items for the people of Haiti.  

Father Jean-Marie has led three medical missions to the country since January and will head back to Port-au-Prince March 4 along with 16 doctors, nurses, counselors, three priests and nuns. He says his church partnered with the archdiocese of Port-au-Prince for this mission, which will focus on those whom assistance has not yet reached. After an assessment of the actual needs, the team will tend to earthquake survivors in the Notre Dame de Lourdes, St. Louis Roi de France and Carrefour parishes.

Palettes of bottled water destined for Haiti are neatly placed in Notre Dame d'Haiti church's parking lot, 3 Mar 2010
Palettes of bottled water destined for Haiti are neatly placed in Notre Dame d'Haiti church's parking lot, 3 Mar 2010

"This is a church-to-church effort," he explains, adding that the Haitian government is not involved. During the current mission, tent-camp residents will get badly-needed medical assistance, medicine, water and food. The aid is not limited to Catholics, Father Jean-Marie stresses, anyone in those areas who are in need of help can stop by.

"One of the most wonderful experiences I had as a priest was to find Protestants leading prayer inside a Catholic church," the priest said, " and everyone was praying together! You see, the terrible tragedy that happened, I believe is inviting us toward that kind of expression of faith."

In addition to food and medical assistance, the St. Francois des Salles church in Port-au-Prince and Gonaives hospital will receive ambulances. Two used ambulances were donated to the church by the city of Chicago,  thanks to a joint effort by the city of Miami and Rotary Club.  The Rotary Club has a boat that will transport the ambulances to Haiti March 4.

"Every two weeks, we'll be traveling to a different area," Father Jean-Marie explained. "We aim to reach the sports center in Carrefour next. We'll be rotating where we go."

Father Jean Marie says the Notre Dame d'Haiti mission aims to cover cities in the southern peninsula and then move towards the north and northwest where many earthquake survivors are now living.

Looking toward the future, the Haitian priest urges people to continue praying for Haiti.

"Stay positive and hopeful that something good can come out of this tragedy," he said. "Don't be afaid to give... think big and aim high."

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More