Haiti Mission Frequenty Asked Questions
What is the story of HMI?
St. Bridget Haiti Mission
The Diocese of Jeremie, Haiti services over 500,000 Catholics in the poorest diocese of the poorest Country in our hemisphere. In this Mission Diocese, there are only thirty priests to serve over one hundred small chapels and parish churches. In Haiti, people struggle with living conditions that are almost unimaginable. Daily problems include lack of water, food and shelter, as well as health care and educational depravation.
Lloyd Duplantis visited Haiti in 2000 in order to help in a dispensary. He was impressed with the work that was being done in the area of Leon but was struck by the lack of potable water for so many. He returned to his church parish of St. Bridget in Schriever, Louisiana and shared the story. A group of nine returned to begin work in the church parish of Our Lady of the Assumption where the bishop at the time, Wiley Romulus, asked them to work along with Pere Jomanas Eustache or “Fr. Joe”.
Because of the help received from St. Bridget Parish and the commitment of the St. Bridget Haiti Mission team, Pere Jomanas, "Fr. Joe", was able to begin elementary schools in Numero Deux and the neighboring village of Ravine Saab, educating several hundred children who, prior to our assistance, were unable to attend school. In addition to supporting the school, construction on a multipurpose building has begun which will be used for a school, an infirmary, a chapel and a community center for the area.
In addition to supporting the schools, a feeding program will be instituted for the upcoming school year. Many children come to school but the degree of their malnutrition is so severe that they are unable to learn or stay in school for any length of time. Our feeding program will insure that every child attending the elementary schools in the Numero Deux and Ravine Saab will have at least one nutritious meal a day. Supplying these simple needs for the poor children of the area will be the difference between life and death for many. Many of the parents and siblings of the children will also be able to receive meals at the feeding center, making their burden a little bit lighter.
The first project begun in the villages of Numero Deux and Ravine Saab was to improve the water supply. Many people benefitted from the water line which the Haiti Mission team installed on the first mission trip and completed on the second trip. Ongoing development of the water system in order that adequate and ample water is available throughout the dry season is of utmost importance. With the support of St. Bridget, an economical and efficient system of water reservoirs is being developed to bring about this essential element for any sustainable improvement program for the area.
Besides the school and water projects, because of the direct involvement of St. Bridget parish in the lives of our sister parish, the small community sugarcane mill was able to be rejuvenated and put back into service. A medical clinic was again stocked with essential medications to address acute illnesses such as parasite infestation, various infections and malnutrition. Our commitment to regular support now provides for a nurse to be on hand in the community regularly. This will enable the women, children, sick and elderly to be cared for more consistently and on a timely basis.
The St. Bridget Haiti Mission team has seen the tremendous impact direct aid to specific areas and projects makes. As parents and grandparents, we can't imagine facing what our friends in Haiti must face every day.
We are all called to act with Christian kindness by participating in the missionary spirit of the church and taking an active part in the work of Christ. God calls us to make his presence known in the world, to believe in life and reach out to the poor. The St. Bridget Mission team on behalf of St. Bridget parish and friends, is committed to this concept. We are convinced that desperation in Haiti and other parts of the world in similar circumstances will begin to disappear as more and more people understand the true sense of mission.
Please help the poor in our Sr. Parish of Our Lady of the Assumption. With every cent collected, more water will flow, more children will be fed and educated and more can be done for the poor and helpless.
How much does Haiti Mission, Inc. spend on administration?
Until now, almost all of the administration cost of operating HMI has been absorbed by Lloyd’s Remedies, the pharmacy that is owned by the director of HMI, Deacon Lloyd. We know one day that may change but until further notice, HMI has been the beneficiary of free office space, clerical help and supplies primarily from Lloyd’s Remedies but also from volunteers and donors.
How often does HMI send groups to Haiti?
Our primary trip is in the Spring right after Easter. We usually have two trips of one week duration each. Deacon Lloyd and his wife Faie usually stay the entire times to coordinate activities. HMI also sends specialty trips which usually involves some overseeing of a particular project or often times there is a need for a water well driller from the US to go to help with a problem that may arise in the drilling process.
What makes HMI unique?
HMI is focused on water well drilling. There are relatively few missions or businesses involved in drilling wells even though the greatest problem facing the Haitian people is sufficient potable water. Although HMI is involved in numerous other humanitarian, educational and spiritual initiatives, the primary work is drilling water wells.
What do you do on your mission trips?
Our trips consist of introducing interested people in our brand of mission work. People travelling to Haiti for the first time will get to see the schools and houses we have built as well as tour the area to see the wells and their impact on the communities. They will also help us prepare supplies for distribution to the families. The distribution of family gift packs of flour, rice, beans, sugar, soap, macaroni and some financial help has been a wonderful economic initiative in the villages. We also help in the schools with feeding of the children. There are usually hikes to some remote water sources, a tour of Jeremie, visiting the Sisters of charity orphanage and we always try to spend a little time at one of the beautiful beaches in the area.