In this current period of unrest, the people of Haiti continue to suffer. Crime rates have doubled this year, violent demonstrations persist, vigilantes fight gangs in the streets, and basic necessities are depleted. From its beginning, Felician Mission: Haiti has worked to empower the Haitian people, and this approach has helped keep the mission running during the current political crisis. Through it all, Felician Mission: Haiti serves the people of Haiti with courage and compassion, thanks to the work of the Haitian staff on the ground.
Sisters Marilyn Marie Minter, Mary Inga Borko, Mary Julitta Kurek, and Mary Izajasza Rojek continue to manage from the U.S. and Poland, through scarcities of food, gasoline, and medical supplies.
During a recent update, Sr. Marilyn shared, “It has been increasingly difficult for the staff to openly help people. If they are noticed, it could be extremely dangerous and they could become targets.” Families with no way of buying food arrive daily at the mission gates, where they are given a supply of rice and oil that needs to last for two weeks. Beans have quadrupled in price and are increasingly difficult to obtain, so this protein-packed necessity can be given only sparingly, to those facing starvation.
Throughout this period of great unrest in Haiti, the Mother Angela Mobile Clinic continues to serve the Diocese of Jacmel with compassion. The Haitian medical team daily travels difficult and often dangerous roads, delivering health care to those in need. For the patients who come to the mobile clinic, there are no other options for basic health care, such as band aids, ibuprofen, or antiseptics. The clinic treats patients for everything from high blood pressure or diabetes, to skin conditions and stomach viruses. Many patients travel miles just to reach the clinic.
In recent weeks, another major obstacle caused setbacks: lack of access to gasoline. While the mobile clinic had been visiting 28 different sites in the mountains, without ready access to fuel, they must stay near Jacmel. Even without traveling, medical staff provided care to more than 1,000 patients — double the number of the previous month.
Felician Mission: Haiti continues to empower people through education, supporting Tchery Louis, a 6th-year medical student, who reports that the lack of fuel causes repeated hospital shut-downs and prevents health care workers from getting to their jobs. Additionally, he writes, “First aid materials are not always available, and often patients do not have money to buy them. It is increasingly difficult to ensure sterile conditions for medical procedures, including cesarean sections and others that require surgery. The hospital recently ran out of oxygen.” He asks for continued prayers as he completes his medical studies.
Peterson Momplaisir, who completed his secondary education in Jacmel thanks to Felician Mission: Haiti, has worked in the mission ever since. At 22 years old, he dreams of becoming a computer engineer, but for now — given the instability in his homeland — he has responsibility for the computer lab at the mission. He teaches a twice-weekly computer course so that students at the local high school can do their homework. He facilitates Zoom sessions and does preliminary translation work for those enrolled in English courses with volunteer tutors who are Felician Volunteers in Mission.
Sisters Izzy and Julitta continue to oversee the sewing school, which currently has twelve students in the third-level course. Junior Dessin, the Haitian staff member responsible for the sewing school, will be busy through the summer making school uniforms for the children. Sr. Inga reports that he serves the community beautifully and, “He wants to learn more to continue to serve others.”
During this crisis, the sisters continue to oversee the mission, as they work in solidarity with the people of Haiti to meet their needs through advocacy and action.
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