On April 10th, Hands Together re-opened all 8 campuses of the Becky DeWine School.
On May 4, 2012, we can report that each of our 8 campuses in Cite Soleil, and the school feeding and elderly are all functional, but we are still in a period of change and restructuring.
"We are still in a time of mourning for the loss of Nelson and Alexander, and for me personally, this year's Good Friday was extremely powerful. Really, a very big part of Hands Together, the work that I've been doing for twenty years, has, in effect died. And with the coming of Easter there comes a re-birth." - Fr. Tom Hagan.
Our mission and goals for the schools in Cite Soleil remain the same -- to provide a quality Catholic education to the poorest of the poor who otherwise would not go to school.
We are working to re-structure and essentially decentralize some of the way we do things. We have always tried to keep the projects in Haiti in the hands of the people themselves and we will continue to find ways to do this. Please pray that these new changes, however difficult, are embraced by the people.
"In the weeks of April and May we will make significant changes in how things are run in Port-au-Prince," says Doug Campbell, Executive Director. "Now is the time we must lurch and stumble toward a different operational model. Our Becky DeWine School was always meant to be a community centered educational system - with the daily operations and responsibilities handled by the people. So we will be working to create the committees and link Haitian Educational professionals and Church officials into the model so that there are enough support mechanisms to help us along the way.
Our projects in Port-au-Prince, particularly the Becky DeWine schools and the outreach to elderly and mobile clinic, are crucial in the lives of Cite Soleil's people. "We know that the children growing up here face extreme problems of violence, gang life, and conflict at a level hard to imagine. We know that a basic moral, spiritual, emotional, intellectual and physical formation is probably the only thing that might give many of these young people a chance to emerge from Cite Soleil as someone who can help Haiti and this world. And we know that we have to find and encourage and work alongside the residents, parents and Haitian leaders who share this vision." - Doug Campbell