Global Goals Grant Helps St. Peter’s, Medford Provide Immediate Aid to Haitian School

Contributed by: The Rev. Helen M Orlando, Deacon St. Peter’s, Medford

Redemption School’s Computer lab in 2014

For the past seven years, Global Goals Matching Grants from the diocese have helped St. Peter’s in Medford support the mission of the Institution La Redemption school in Gonaives, Haiti. Conditions in the country make that especially important now.

A private school run by the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti, “La Redemption’s” enrollment ranges between 250–400 primary through high school-aged students at a price of roughly one dollar per day. Even at that cost, though, parents frequently find themselves unable to pay tuition for a full year. When that happens, Redemption School continues to welcome their children to classes and all school activities. This practice drains school finances so that teachers often work for several months at a time without payment. In normal times, St. Peter’s pledge payments are designated for payment of the primary school teachers’ salaries. Unfortunately, these are not normal times for “La Redemption.”

On Sept. 15, Haiti’s prime minister announced that fuel prices would immediately be doubled. The Haitian people, already suffering from gang warfare, kidnappings, the 2021 assassination of their president, and price increases of 30–88 percent for staple foods, reacted with a wave of chaos. Gangs vandalized schools throughout the country, including Redemption School. By September 16, its buildings had been stripped of desks, computers, printers, chairs, and benches. A video shows the outdoor cement playground covered with remnants of school records and students’ paperwork. School superintendent Father Walin DeCamps, has requested emergency funding to replace lost or destroyed items.

St. Peter’s has been receiving a full Global Goals Matching Grant of $750.00 for as long as the grant program has been in existence and has just submitted a grant request based on our 2022 pledge payments to Redemption School. This grant will make it possible for us to immediately send $1,000 in emergency aid without threatening our ability to make our next pledge payment, due in February 2023. For this we thank God, who is working through our Diocese and its Global Goals Task Force.

To apply for a Global Goals Matching Grant to help your congregation support international relief, go to the Global Goals web page. The deadline for grant applications has been extended through Nov., 15.