An Update From Father Andrew
Dear Friends and Supporters,
Thank you for your continuing prayers and support for our partnership with our Brothers and Sisters in Christ in Bondeau, Haiti. Your support is truly life-giving for this community.
The past six months have been challenging for the people of Haiti and for our cherished community of Bondeau. Political unrest for much of the Fall disrupted the normal school calendar and forced the temporary closure of Bon Samaritan School that we support for many days as well as the postponement of our board's annual trip to Bondeau.
Classes resumed in 2020 with longer days and the addition of Saturday classes in order to catch up for lost time. Then Covid-19 struck. In mid March, Haiti's authoritarian government locked down the country and severely restricted movement. So far these measures have kept the infections and deaths to a small reported number. Thank God.
However, Haiti is dependent on food donations from other nations to feed its people. This month the UN identified Haiti as one of the ten most at risk countries in the world for food shortages and possible famine. Food for the Poor, our long-standing partner with our ministry in Bondeau, also alerted that the potential food shortage threatens to be "biblical" in scale and scope.
We need your prayers and financial assistance as we seek to sustain our ministry in Bondeau.
The South Florida Haiti Project continues to fund partially our school with over 350 students in pre-K through grade 13. As we've reported, the past two years of testing of our students has been exceptional with all of our graduating high school students passing the national exam. Our School has been recognized by the government for its outstanding results.
With grace and your support we struggle to meet the monthly costs of sustaining the School. We are unable to fully fund the upper school grades.
Our feeding ministry for the school children is supported partially by our Food Packing Ministry. This provides lunch meals for the children for a little over half the school year. We do not have additional funds to expand our feeding ministry to meet the current needs.
But we have good news to share as well. Our February Food Packing Event, sponsored by St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Palm Beach Gardens, resulted in the packing of 75,000 meals which were thankfully received in Bondeau prior to the Covid-19 lockdown. These bean and rice meals (fortified with soy, vitamins + dried vegetables) have provided essential food for families now during the Covid-19 crisis; however only 1080 meals are now left.
Also, thanks to a generous grant from Bethesda-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church in Palm Beach, we have started an economic project to raise chickens for sale. We are partnering with Food for the Poor on this project. Our hope is this might develop a sustainable income stream for Bon Samaritan School and bring income to the families of Bondeau. See below for images and updates about both of these recent projects.
We are also planning a virtual fundraiser. We will send an update with details about this event soon and hope you will join us.
You can donate now by clicking on the link below or by going directly to St. Gregory
Blessings in Christ,
The Rev. Andrew J. Sherman,
President of the South Florida Haiti Project Board
and all the members of the board.