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

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus 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.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid