St. Mary's Support of our Companion Diocese of Haiti
St. Mary's efforts to support our companion diocese are ongoing and primarily focused on Lespwa Timoun, a nutrition clinic for critically malnourished children operated by Carmel Valdema, a Haitian public health nurse, and wife of Episcopal Priest the Rev. Fritz Valdema. A permanent home is currently being built for the clinic with funds from churches in the southeastern part of the US. Currently half of the building has been constructed.
The Mission of Lespwa Timoun is to address Haiti’s overwhelming malnutrition problem that kills a large percentage of infants and toddlers. Lespwa Timoun provides nutritionally enhanced meals, vitamins, and immunizations, health monitoring for children and nutrition education for parents. Approximately 1,000 children are served in the nutrition program each year, and the average cost per year to serve a child is $120. The permanent site for Lespwa Timoun will include a clinic staffed with doctors, dentists, nurses and health care workers, a pharmacy, a well which will provide clean water, an orchard and a garden.
One in twelve children born in Haiti today will not live to celebrate their fifth birthday according to recent World Health Organization statistics. Malnutrition is a significant factor in the mortality rate. Lespwa Timoun is addressing the malnutrition problem in Haiti and improving the lives of hundreds of children. The completion of the permanent home for Lespwa Timoun will allow Carmel Valdema and her staff to reach more children and sale more lives.
Updates from Haiti:
God’s Gifts Create Tangible Progress for Lespwa Timoun
By Phil Black
Real and exciting progress is being made at the Lespwa Timoun Children’s Nutrition Clinic in Haiti. Continuing financial support generated by a partnership of parishes: St. Mary’s-on-the-Highlands; Christ Church – Springfield, Mo.; and St. Paul’s Church – Murfreesboro, TN. has been matched by a generous grant from HaitiServe a non-profit based out of Knoxville, Tennessee. HaitServe has agreed to provide matching grant funding totaling $60,000 per year for the next two years to complete the clinic. This will result in the long-awaited completion of the first phase of the clinic late this summer. The clinic staff will move in by October 2012 and begin operating out of this new permanent home. A second and final phase will be completed by fall of 2013 which will increase the size of the facility allowing more people to be served.
BELOW: Photos taken last week by Dr. Charles Dunn of Christ Church Springfield, Mo. show interior finish work underway inside the clinic. The second photo, taken from the roof of the clinic, shows the large vegetable garden, fruit trees, pump house, generator and security wall that surround the clinic compound. All made possible by your financial support.
This vital clinic project occupies the center of a spirit filled circle of giving and receiving which has connected our brothers and sisters in Haiti with wonderfully generous parishes around the south and with St. Mary’s.
Thanks be to God!
St. Mary’s 2012 Easter offering was donated to the efforts to complete the Nutrition Clinic. Thanks to the generous hearts of the Sta. Mary’s family, we collected over $8,300 . Thank you!!