On March 7-8, 2017, the SVC Board of Directors held its spring meeting at the Hotel Montana in Port-au-Prince. The board currently has six Haitian members and four members from the United States. They schedule two face-to-face meetings each calendar year, with additional meetings taking place as needed via conference call.
Agenda items included updates on new construction in the Santo 17 neighborhood, and reports from the finance, medical, education and development committees. The strategic plan for Saint Vincent’s was reviewed in detail, with board members reaffirming their commitments to a number of key areas, including:
- Offering quality education to children with physical disabilities, both as a day and boarding school.
- Strengthening enrollment policies to align with the SVC mission, with careful attention paid to all potential students’ physical, educational and financial needs.
- Providing all students with medical and dental care, nutritious food, and the necessary resources to help them be successful.
- Improving teacher standards and establishing an educational plan for each student enrolled.
- Continued strengthening of the organizational structure, including improving staff alignment, training, and accountability.
- Solidifying formal financial procedures, reliable budgets for each program, and firm financial controls.
- Achieving a fundraising goal of $245,000 to support critical daily operations and the unfolding needs of the Centre.
- Completing a successful relocation of all school programs to the new facility at Santo 17 by September.
Also on March 8, board members joined a number of SVC supporters at a blessing and dedication of the new school property in Santo. Calling it a “ceremony of hope,” Bishop Jean-Zaché Duracín opened a service which included prayers, presentations about the new school, and special music by a group from Saint Vincent’s. Tours of the property followed. Surrounded by a security wall, the seven-acre property in Port-au-Prince has abundant space for a library, music room, classrooms, medical clinic and more. Current SVC residents will move to Santo in the next few months, and classes will begin at the new site this fall.
The SVC Board of Directors continues to work diligently on all aspects of the Centre. They look forward to the changes coming in the future, mindful of the need for stability and a strong sense of community. With their guidance and strong leadership from the staff, 2017 promises to be an exciting year for Saint Vincent’s.