Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Episcopal Parish in Darbonne, Haiti, And Its Schools - How You Can Help

The Parish of Darbonne is centered in a rural town in southern Haiti. The Episcopal Church of the Annunciation in Darbonne is “home base,” so to speak, but there are also eight small mission churches attached, most of which are not accessible by car. The central campus includes the church, the rectory, a water treatment project for the town (all other treated water must be trucked in from Port-au-Prince), a goat project (similar to the Heifer Project), a dispensary for occasional visiting nurses (no health care in the area) and for 4-month-long basic medical training courses, a vocational school, and a Pre-K through 10th grade school. There are also six mission schools and St. Agnes School, a Pre-K through 6th grade school at a former mission location. They have one priest, supported by the diocese.

For the past forty years or so, these schools and the other parish ministries have been supported by two Episcopal parishes in New York, which have more recently formed a formal mission project with a constitution and board. This is important work, as Haitian public schools have space for only 10% of the students, resulting in a 50% literacy rate for the country as a whole. This year, with the economic crisis, there have not been enough donations to keep the mission schools open. Teachers make approximately $60/month, so the six mission schools need around $4000 to open this fall. Obviously there are other needs as well; two of the four programs at the vocational school have also been closed. If you are interested in supporting this parish and their schools, we would welcome donations of any size.

Checks may be made to “Friends of Darbonne.”
Memo line: Project Fund

(or Scholarship Fund – but right now the need is for teacher salaries to keep the small mission schools open)

Zion Episcopal Church
12 Satterlee Place
Wappingers Falls, New York 12590

If you have any questions, leave me a message!

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