LATEST NEWS FROM HAITI - Rains & Flooding
I left Haiti a few weeks ago and witnessed terrible misery created by heavy rains there. Fr. Tom called me to describe what has been happening.
The rain begins to fall about 8pm and it is extremely heavy. In Cite Soleil the rain pounds on the tin roofs of the tiny houses.
Within just a few minutes water begins to flow steadily into these dwellings making it impossible to sleep.
By midnight the rains begin to stop and what started as a stream of water up in the hils ends up as a flood of heavy mud carrying filthy garbage and debris rushing down the mountain into Cite Soleil burying the poor.
By four or five in the morning there is thick mud everywhere mixed with sewage. Rats seem to be everywhere as they are forced out of their hiding places by the flow of the water and mud.
By sunrise the entire area of Cite Solei is under water and there is a terrible smell.
There is no government help! There is no police presence. There are no organizations doing anything.
Seeing the tired eyes of mothers who have not slept for 2 to 3 nights because they must hold their children so they don’t drown, we knew we had to do something. Hands Together rented two large front end loaders for $900US a day. It is now the 6th day.
Pray that this rain ends soon!
What We Do
Hands Together has been working alongside the very poor for over 25 years, providing hope and strength to the most destitute and violent areas of Haiti.
Our work is founded upon the Catholic teaching that recognizes the dignity of every human life and a fundamental responsibility to the poor and vulnerable.
All of our outreach programs are Haitian-run, with generous financial and material support coming from very special people, parishes and groups.
Archbishop Eugene M. Nugent, Apostolic Nuncio in Haiti writes:
"This is to state that I, Archbishop Eugene M. Nugent, Apostolic Nuncio in Haiti, do hereby recommend the work being carried out by Rev. Fr. Tom Hagan O.S.F.S, Mr. Doug Campbell, Executive Director and co-Founder as well as their associates who form Hands Together, a Catholic Missions charity in Haiti which is active in the poorest and most deprived areas of Port au Prince, Cap Haitien and Gonaives Dioceses.
I have been able to appreciate at first hand the wonderful work being done by Fr. Hagan and his team in very difficult circumstances and often in situations where their own lives are in danger. I can also vouch for the transparent way in which funds have been used so as to benefit the maximum number of people and in a way that addresses their real needs."
To read the Archbishop's letter in its entirety, please click here
A SYMPHONY OF HOPE DOCUMENTARY
A Symphony of Hope is a collaboration by 25 of today's leading Oscar, Tony, Grammy and Emmy winning composers inspired by the friendship between film composer Christopher Lennertz and Father Tom Hagan, founder of Hands Together.
Hands Together's Response to Hurricane Matthew
HT brought aid to the areas of Jeremie and Les Cayes affected by Hurricane Matthew to provide critical care to the hardest hit areas where people were in desperate need of shelter, food, and water.
Fr. Tom, Doug and HT staff worked with the Missionary Sisters of Charity and local parishes to provide food, water, and building supplies to help those displaced by the storm.
NorCal parish prays for priest’s safety, Haiti after hurricane - KCRA3 News story Oct. 2016
Our Father - June 2016 Pennsylvania Gazette Article by Joseph DiStefano
Moving Outside of Ourselves by Serving the Poor - Feb 2014 Article by Toni Rossi
Haitian School Named for Becky DeWine Graduates First Class - August 2013 Columbus Dispatch article by Joe Hallett
Springfield, MA Deacons Visit Haiti - June 2013
Article by Iris Alderson in the Springfield Republican
Columbus Dispatch Article - August 2011
Joe Hallett writes about post-earthquake challenges facing HT
Catholic Exchange - July 30, 2010
Article on Mary's Meals with Recent info on Hands Together
Catholic Standard and Times
Article on Fr. Tom Hagan
Hope you enjoy this video, beautifully produced by Eric Porter and set to music by HT's own Jimmy Belabre, of the visit of Assumption College women's soccer team to HT for our special Christmas celebration and the inauguration of the new soccer field.
Here is a short video thanking the Jones Day Foundation for funding the amazing artificial turf soccer field that we just opened - with scenes from the December 2015 inauguration:
Here is a video summary of our 2015 work: