In 2012, the All Saints Outreach Committee selected the rebuilding of St. Cyprien Episcopal School in Haiti as its Focus Project for 2012-13. St. Cyprien is located in the mountain country about 2 hours north of Bainet and close to the Bay at Jacmel.
In May of this year, two Outreach Committee members, Mary Jane Buchanan and Syd Walker, traveled to St. Cyprien to deliver funds for the ongoing construction of St. Cyprien Episcopal School (grades K-8), which was destroyed in the 2010 earthquake. To date All Saints Outreach has contributed $51,911 toward the building of this school. It is anticipated that the new school will be open and ready for classes this coming fall. The building will have ten separate rooms and should accommodate close to 300 students. The main construction taking place now is the roof, which should be in place soon. The structure is comprised of bricks which are hand-made on site and dried in the sun. All of the work is done by local trades-people who benefit by the income from working on this construction project and in-turn help the local economy. Since electricity is limited to 2 hours each day -- from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. -- construction is a labor-intense project.
At the present time, classes are held in a "canvas school" with each grade divided from the other by plastic sheets hung on clothes lines. Like young children throughout the world, Haitian children adapt well to their new environment, and arrive at school in clean, freshly-pressed sunflower yellow uniforms which their mothers have labored to provide. Both the children and their parents take great pride in their appearance - perfect posture, clean clothes, and shined shoes. The Haitians are a dignified people, filled with the joyful spirit of the Lord. The Haitian spoken language is a non-standardized form of Haitian Creole and their written language is French. Children read and write in French, but even that has its limitations since there are no pencils or paper - only well-worn blackboards and crumbling chalk.
Eleven months ago, through the good offices of the Episcopal Bishop of Haiti, a contract was drawn up between All Saints and St. Cyprien to be administered by a local priest, Pere Soner Alexandre. Our Outreach Travel Team in May of 2013, guided by Dr. Serena Beeks of the Los Angeles Diocese, had the extraordinary opportunity to stay with Pere Soner in Bainet and visit the children of St. Cyprien School and see the new school under construction. The report back to All Saints from our visiting team is:
"We are doing really great things in Haiti.
Our money is being well-spent!"
New Focus Projects Sought From Parish
As mentioned, St. Cyprien school construction project was chosen by All Saints Outreach as our Focus Project for 2012-13 [Peoples' Self Help Housing projects in Carpinteria were our previous Focus Project]. At the conclusion of this year we will be looking for another Focus Project. While, individual parishioners may choose to participate in the work at St. Cyprien of their own volition in coming years, the funding work done through Outreach will come to a close when "our" school opens this Fall. This means that we are actively seeking suggestions from parishioners for a Focus Project for 2014-15.