LCS Class of 2011 with class paren (godparent) Pierre Adrien Brisson, Director of the Voila Foundation.
June brings a wide variety of activities as the LCS campus prepares for the end of the academic year, graduation, and the departure of the Volunteers. It is a time of joy and tears, happy accomplishments and sad partings.
During the week leading up to graduation, the Philo (13th grade) and Rhéto (12th grade) students clean and repaint sections of the campus (including the ‘Matthew 10:8 wall’) and the staff ensures that all food and logistical preparations are in order. The Philo students work hard on their class speech, which is read during graduation in the four languages of LCS (Kreyol, French, English, and Spanish).
In newsletters and website posts, THP has been sharing news of our blossoming Timoun Program, an early development program for LCS neighborhood children. Thanks to the pro bono work of a talented young filmmaker named Michelle Carlisle Lee, you don’t have to travel to Haiti to see the miracles of this program first hand! Committed to highlighting human dignity through her work, Lee has done a beautiful job capturing the program’s essence in this inspiring new video of early education. The Timoun Video will debut at upcoming community events, including the Rockford Big Get Together on September 9, 2011.
Jean Zidor Dufrense (LCS '07) supervises study hour from 7 p.m. to lights-out.
Jean Zidor Dufrense, or just Zidor to his friends and colleagues, is a man of many gifts and talents. From his time as a sizyèm student to his current role as one of the school’s prefects of discipline, he has used these talents to enrich and strengthen the community here at Louverture Cleary School. In all cases, he is a great example of a Louverturian. After spending a full seven years at LCS, Zidor graduated in 2007 and returned in 2009 to join the Junior Staff. As a Junior Staff member, Zidor lives on campus and serves on the LCS discipline team. In exchange, he receives a university scholarship to study Computer Science at the Ecole Supérieure d'Infotronique d'Haïti, as well as a stipend and room and board at LCS.
THP's Rag-a-Muffin Program employs three sewers from the neighborhood who make hand-crafted bags from secondhand shirts.
Last year, using post-earthquake relief funding earmarked for job creation, Christina Moynihan arranged industrial sewing training for 23 adults in the Santo 5 neighborhood. As part of the practicum, the group produced the school’s uniforms. It was a great success!
Resolved to continue the group’s success, Christina came up with the idea of keeping on the boss tailor and a top student from the program to make purses and bags. Since the base patchwork cloth used to make the creative bags comes from cutting up secondhand t-shirts into squares, she named the second round of the employment project Rag-a-Muffin.
THP Board Member Dr. Tim Flanigan (center) and his team of physicians (from left: Sybil Cineas, Michael Koster, Susan Cu-Uvin) stand at the gates of LCS with Deacon Patrick Moynihan in March 2010.
For years the Flanigans, a generous team of father and son, have been supporting THP and bringing help to the people of Haiti. The father, Peter Flanigan, a successful businessman turned philanthropist, and the son, Dr. Tim Flanigan, are specifically drawn to Haiti because of the “resilience and wonderful nature of the Haitian people,” as Dr. Flanigan stated. “They have the ability to continue to struggle against adversity, have joy amidst hardship, and generosity amidst poverty.”
In 2007, Peter read about the difficult conditions in Haiti and wanted to see first hand how he could help. He asked his son, who is Director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Rhode Island and The Miriam Hospitals, if he would join him on a visit to the Missionaries of Charity Orphanage and Malnourishment Hospital. Fortunately for THP, Dr. Flanigan, who is also a professor at Brown University School of Medicine, mentioned the trip to fellow faculty member Dr. Ed Wing, who was working on creating a medical exchange program in Haiti.
Byenvini an Ayiti! My name is Corey Paulino, and I have been serving in Haiti for the last two years. As a Volunteer, my schedule is filled from bell to bell (5:30 AM to 10:00 PM). I am engulfed in a balancing act of running the computer lab, supervising the students’ daily outside cleanup work, assisting in the Social Outreach program, coaching the Junior Varsity boys’ soccer championship team, managing THP/LCS’s medical assistance and partnerships with health care facilities, and acting as a mentor, a tutor, a teacher and a friend.
My name is Hyppolite Wahite Frick, a Philo student at Louverture Cleary School (LCS). I live in Port au Prince with my family. Fortunately, God helped me to integrate into one of the greatest and charitable schools of the country. I have been supported by LCS for the past seven years. The education that I have received will help me to change my country, and possibly the world.
John F. Kennedy’s quote summarizes the philosophy of LCS, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country.” That makes LCS different from other schools in Haiti. Other schools teach their students to better their own lives, while LCS taught me to change my country so that I can better my life.
Gerry Gabrowski making rosaries with LCS students in 2002
Every quarter, The Haitian Project selects someone in our community who is known for sharing their time and talents for the sake of our mission, and we highlight them on page six of our newsletter. Often these individuals work behind the scenes, yet their work and presence is essential for building and maintaining our strong THP community in the U.S. This quarter, we highlight Gerry Grabowski of Rhode Island, who fits this description exquisitely.
The charism inspired by Matthew 10:8 that drives THP has been demonstrated for many years by Gerry, who is affectionately and appropriately known as “The Angel” at St. Bernard’s Parish in North Kingstown. [St. Bernard’s has supported THP for more than a decade.] Contributing in numerous ways at the parish, Gerry unselfishly offers her time and talents and unceasingly serves as a strong advocate for the students of LCS and the people of Haiti.