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Delivering food, shelter, and hope to the poorest of the poor
Cross Catholic Outreach is grateful to all who generously responded to the “God’s Blueprint for Transforming Lives” campaign for safe housing and other aid for Haitian families.
The inhumane living conditions and deep poverty experienced by many families in rural Haiti have been a long-standing problem. That experience has been highlighted in the lives of people like Dutremas Placide (pictured below), a single father of seven, whose mud-and-stick home partially collapsed one night while he slept.
In response to the needs of Dutremas and other Haitians, we raised funds to help our local ministry partner, the Kobonal Haiti Mission, provide:
Related: See our current opportunities to provide safe housing for the poor.
The Kobonal Haiti Mission chose 20 families in deepest need to receive sturdy new homes.
The typical Mission house is a 598 sq. ft. structure comprised of four rooms and a small patio; it includes concrete walls, a concrete foundation, a galvanized steel roof and a treated wood frame. These homes are built to withstand strong storms and earthquakes and also come with solar lights and outdoor latrines.
The Mission requires families to participate in the construction process and help with home repairs, preserving dignity and increasing their sense of ownership. Families are expected to level the land before the foundation is laid, assist Mission staff with unskilled labor (such as carrying bricks or other materials), dig the hole for the outdoor latrine, and be responsible for painting the inside of the home. This work also reduces costs, allowing families to live in a quality house at a greatly reduced price.
Other community members often show up to help, happy that their neighbors will finally have a decent place to call home. That’s the beauty of the Mission’s work — it has built an environment where people want the best for each other and serve with the joy of Christ.
When Dutremas learned he and his four younger children were selected to receive a house, he was overwhelmed with joy and gratitude.
“When I heard that I was going to have a new house, I was very happy,” he said. “The old house worried me a lot. I replaced the fallen walls with planks to protect the children. This new house under construction gives me great pleasure for this help from the Mission.”
Because of this project, Dutremas can focus on raising his children and making their lives better.
“I’m glad the Mission exists because it helps those in need,” he said. “I say a big thank-you to our donors for their efforts to help us improve our lives.”
Wesner Joseph and his wife, Vergilla, raised 11 children in a small mud home. The conditions were terrible, so the hardworking parents were always fearful about their children’s health and well-being.
“It was so hard; we had to repair the house every time it rained. Sometimes we used to go to the neighbor’s house, and sometimes we used to stay awake because we couldn’t sleep,” he said. “We always had mud in the house. The children used to be sick. We spent a lot of money at the hospital.”
Wesner was also sick, so it was a constant struggle for him to support his family. The house was also infested with vermin, making the unhygienic conditions even worse.
Life is very different for Wesner’s family now, and they praise God for the transformation that has taken place. Their new house is a literal answer to prayer — a welcome blessing Wesner never expected.
“The new house changed my life because I feel well now,” he said.
Wesner’s family has been impacted by the other programs at the Mission as well. They have received a significant amount of material and spiritual support, including a microenterprise loan that allowed the family to purchase animals. This has produced income and opened the door to a brighter future for them all.
“Now I feel like I live; the Mission is God’s gift,” he said. “I ask God that he helps the Mission and protects the members.”
Related: Learn about the impact of Cross Catholic Outreach housing programs.
Thanks to faithful Cross Catholic Outreach supporters, the Kobonal Haiti Mission is empowered to transform lives and hearts in many ways. The Mission truly is a beacon of hope, faith and community life for this rural corner of the Diocese of Hinche.
The Mission builds and repairs simple but durable hand-pump-operated wells in local communities. These wells reduce the amount of time families spend fetching water, and they are secured in lockable enclosures to prevent damage.
The Mission distributes monthly rations of cornmeal, beans, cooking oil and soap to 250 of the most vulnerable families. It also feeds nutritious daily meals to the students of its Catholic primary school.
Kobonal School serves over 1,600 children in kindergarten through sixth grade. It also provides scholarships for graduates to go to secondary school and even obtain a college degree.
Aspiring entrepreneurs are empowered with small loans to build their own small business such as in-home stores and bakeries.
Haiti is one of many developing countries beset by poverty. Around the world, Cross Catholic Outreach is partnering with local dioceses, missions and organizations to lift up God’s most vulnerable children and families.
Our current charitable projects can be viewed on our Project Catalog, where you can learn about other partners and how you can play a role in rescuing families from poverty and hopelessness. We invite you to join us today and bless our brothers and sisters in Christ!
Proceeds from this campaign will be used to cover any expenditures incurred through June 30, 2023, the close of our ministry’s fiscal year. In the event that more funds are raised than needed to fully fund the project, the excess funds, if any, will be used to meet the most urgent needs of the ministry.