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

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings 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.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid