When people talk about Haiti, the first thing that comes to mind is that it is the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere.  But that is not how the Haitian people think of themselves. Haiti has rich culture which in part, embodies the characteristics of resilience, creativity, ingenuity and faith.  Haiti became the world’s first independent black republic and second independent nation in the hemisphere when it successfully conducted a slave rebellion, overthrowing their French colonial masters in 1804.  

Since February, 2017, the Atlantic-Midwest Province of SSND has been engaged in a partnership in Haiti with Beyond Borders, a non-profit organization working in Haiti for over 20 years.This collaboration in Haiti focuses on developing two Model Community Initiatives (MCIs) on Lagonav in the communities of Ti Palmis and Nan Mango.  Both of these communities are located on Lagonav, an island off the western coast of Haiti. The collaboration between SSND and Beyond Borders is focused on: ending violence against women and girls in Haiti, preventing parents who are poor from sending their children into domestic servitude as restaveks, providing sustainable livelihoods for economically vulnerable families and supporting efforts to provide children’s access to education and the training of teachers. 

Haiti Committee

  • Bernadette Ballasty, SSND
  • Regine Bruder, SSND
  • Carleen Cekal, SSND
  • Mary Gunning
  • Pat Hogan, SSND
  • Mary Oliver Hudon, SSND
  • Kathy Jager, SSND
  • Hanna Mignogno, SSND
  • Justine Nutz, SSND
  • Kay O’Connell, SSND
  • Limeteze Pierre-Gilles, SSND
  • Amy Rumano
  • Catherine Sarther, SSND
  • Grace Sciamanna, SSND
  • Sharon Slear, SSND
  • Brian Stevens
  • Leonora Tucker, SSND

Lagonav Teacher Training Trip

S. Sharon Slear in Haiti

Sister Sharon Slear, SSND of Notre Dame of Maryland University and two colleagues, Kathleen Sipes and Cynthia Cassone, traveled to the island of Lagonav in July, 2017 to begin a teacher training initiative at the Matenwa Native Language School on the island. The purpose of this training is to further educational development on Lagonav by supporting teachers in their work to devise intervention strategies to increase success in school for students with identified needs.

Update on the Use of Hurricane Matthew Funds Collected by the SSND Atlantic-Midwest Province

The generous support of SSNDs and their many students, staff and friends who contributed $40,000 to the province’s Hurricane Matthew Fund has been supporting 23 Haitian families (167 women, men, and children) in rural Haiti as they continue to recover from Hurricane Matthew.

Even before the storm, these families were among the poorest of the poor, struggling to meet their basic daily needs. Through your generosity, your care, and your concern, the SSND family is giving these families a path to a future, filled with dignity, hope, and opportunity.

Report on Hurricane Matthew Funds Collected by the SSND Atlantic-Midwest Province

Haitian families supported by SSND

One-hundred-sixty-seven Haitians in 23 families are benefitting from the generosity of the SSNDs and their many students, staff and friends who contributed $40,000 to the province’s Hurricane Matthew Fund. The families live in two communities, Matènwa and Masikren, on the island of LaGonave, where they have always struggled to meet their basic daily needs, even before the storm.

Haiti Schools Not Slavery Because Love Cannot Wait

Why are Haitian children in slavery? Haitian parents are no different from parents elsewhere. They love their children and want them to grow up at home. Still, each year tens of thousands of rural Haitian parents send their children away to live with families in distant cities. They do so in hope that their children will be sent to school. Gender discrimination is a factor in parents’ decisions to send their children away. One in six girls and one in ten boys between the ages of 5 and 17(nearly 400,000 total) are trapped in domestic servitude in Haiti. Forced to work from before sunup to after sundown, they are often physically and emotionally abused and either sent to inferior schools or no school at all.

Partners with Two Model Community Initiates in Haiti

November 16, 2016: As the initial investment in our newly-formed collaborative, we invite the School Sisters of Notre Dame to partner with two new rural communities on La Gonav where we are planning expand. The new communities are Tipalmis (SSND delegation members visited and stayed in this community in April) and Nan Mango (southeast of the community of Matènwa, which the delegation also visited).