SVC Board Approves Plans for Relocation

The powerful earthquake of January 12, 2010 took the lives of ten members of the community and destroyed most of the SVC complex. In the aftermath, the academic, administrative and residential facilities were relocated, and temporary structures were built to provide additional space. The medical clinic and brace shop remained in the original location. For several years, these two sites have been the home of Saint Vincent Centre.

In the fall of 2015, generous gifts from Dr. Mary White, Episcopal Relief and Development, and the Episcopal Church were used to purchase property for future development. Referred to as “Santo 17”, the seven-acre site is located in a suburb northeast of Port-au-Prince. Surrounded by a security wall, the new property includes a large house which can be converted into a residence hall, fruit trees, and farmable land. It also includes a swimming pool which can be adapted for physical therapy.

In June 2016, the SVC Board of Directors voted to proceed with renovations to the Santo 17 site. Construction plans include housing for residential students, kitchen facilities, classrooms, and administrative offices. Andy Ripp from MSAADA Architects estimates that students will be able to relocate within the next several months. The brace shop and clinic will continue in their current location downtown. A fundraising goal of $400,000 has been set to cover the cost of renovation, construction, equipment and furnishings at the new facility.

We are pleased to announce that the Children’s Medical Mission of Haiti has made a pledge of $100,000 to help SVC meet its fundraising goal. Our hope is that this gift will kick-start the fundraising campaign and encourage others to support the future mission and ministry of Saint Vincent Centre. Your help is also needed to make this dream a reality, so we ask you to join us!

You may make your tax-deductible contribution by visiting CMMH.org and clicking on the “Donate” link.

Header 3In a memorandum of understanding with the Saint Vincent Centre’s Board of Directors, the Children’s Medical Mission of Haiti (a 501(c)(3) charitable organization) has agreed to function as the fiscal agent for SVC. All donations received for the benefit of SVC are tax-deductible, and gift acknowledgements will be provided by CMMH. Funds sent to SVC by CMMH go directly to the Centre’s bank account in Port-au-Prince and are used to pay salaries, buy food, electricity, and cover other operating expenses. Both CMMH and the SVC Board of Directors receive regular financial reports from the Centre detailing funds received and payments made.

In Memorium–“Jojo” (Joseph Jean Paul)

We are saddened by the recent death of Joseph Jean Paul, known to friends far and wide as “Jojo.” He died on Saturday, May 14, 2016 after a brief and sudden illness.

Jojo first arrived at Saint Vincent’s Centre for Handicapped Children when he was eight years old. Sister Joan Margaret, the founder of Saint Vincent’s, took him in and helped him become a pillar of the Saint Vincent community. An extremely talented artist and outgoing presence on campus, Jojo exemplified the ministry and vision of Saint Vincent’s. Many who visited the campus encountered Jojo’s smiling face and welcoming presence, and he was well known as a man full of vitality and generosity.

A celebration of his life took place at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Port-au-Prince on May 28. Dr. Susan Nelson attended the service and states that the service was standing-room only. Prayers and readings were shared by current and former members of the Saint Vincent’s community, including Père Sadoni Leon and Père Frantz “Fanfan” Cole. A special musical offering was made by members of the SVC bell choir. Dr. Pean, Government Minister for the Handicapped, spoke about the immortal personage of JoJo.

Dr. Nelson writes, “It was a privilege to be part of the mourning time with St Vincent’s children and staff. Many of the older staff have known Jojo for 30-40 years, and the children have known him all their lives…Please pray for the community at the school; they have lost their strongest advocate and their guardian. Jojo watched everyone who came into the school and knew who was supposed to be there and who wasn’t. Who will do this job now?”

A memorial fund has been set up in his honor by the Children’s Medical Mission of Haiti. This fund will be used for student expenses, scholarships and other operating costs of the Centre. You may make your tax-deductible contribution by visiting CMMH.org and clicking on the “Donate” link. We appreciate your support, and we ask that you pray along with us for Jojo, his family, friends, and the entire Saint Vincent community.

Photo credit: Jean Mulvany

Photo credit: Jean Mulvany

Diocese of Haiti Announces New Initiatives at Saint Vincent’s Centre

The Governing Board of Saint Vincent Centre for Handicapped Children (l-r): Ken Quigley, Robert Radtke (ex-officio), Sr. Kethia Jean-Simon, William Craddock, Dr. Stan Shaffer, Dr. Dianne Jean-Franҫois, Cynthia Jaar Handal, Régine Désulmé Polynice, Ary Theodore (not pictured: Dr. Susan Nelson)

The Governing Board of Saint Vincent Centre for Handicapped Children (l-r): Ken Quigley, Robert Radtke (ex-officio), Sr. Kethia Jean-Simon, William Craddock, Dr. Stan Shaffer, Dr. Dianne Jean-Franҫois, Cynthia Jaar Handal, Régine Désulmé Polynice, Ary Theodore (not pictured: Dr. Susan Nelson)

Port-au-Prince–The Diocese of Haiti (Episcopal Church, USA) is pleased to announce exciting new initiatives at Saint Vincent’s Centre for Handicapped Children (SVC). Founded in 1945 by Sister Joan, a physical therapist and member of the Society of Saint Margaret, SVC is one of 245 schools operated by the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti. Unique among all the valuable ministries in the diocese, St. Vincent’s is the only school in Haiti which provides academic, clinical, and residential services for blind, deaf, physically disabled, and learning disabled children.

The Rt. Rev. Jean-Zaché Duracin, Bishop of the Diocese Haiti, has called for the formation of a new governing board to support the work of the Centre. The SVC Board of Directors is responsible for creating a strategic plan, setting policies, and providing oversight of all daily and long-term activities of of SVC. Duracin appointed board members from both Haiti and the United States, and asked William S. Craddock, Jr. to serve as the first chairman. After 23 years as a business executive, Bill worked with Trinity Church, Wall Street in the development and management of The Clergy Leadership Project from 1991 until 1995. For the next five years, he served as Director of The Cornerstone Project, a ministry of The Episcopal Church Foundation. Bill served as the Managing Director of CREDO Institute, Inc. from 2001 until 2012 and then served as Senior Vice President of the Church Pension Group overseeing Education and Wellness programs. He retired in April of 2015.

Following its first official meeting in April 2016, the board called for the hiring of Aurélie Fièvre (Administrative Manager) to assist the daily duties currently carried by SVC’s director, Fr. Frantz “Fanfan” Cole. Aurélie lives in Port-au-Prince and will help manage the many operational and business details of SVC. She has a bachelor’s degree in law (University of Montreal), and a master’s degree in public administration (John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York City).

In addition, due to the generosity of the Children’s Medical Mission of Haiti, the board was able to hire Jennifer S.T. Wickham to be the Centre’s first-ever development coordinator. A lifelong Episcopalian, Wickham is a nonprofit professional with over 25 years experience in program development, education, fundraising, and social outreach in both the U.S. and in Haiti. In concert with the SVC Board of Directors and the Development Office of the Episcopal Church, Wickham’s duties will focus on both operational and capital fundraising, donor relationships, communication, and the coordination of new and existing partner relationships with SVC. She is based in the United States.