Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church of Arlington, VA joined St. Joseph Church of Medor, Haiti in a parish twinning relationship in 1997. The Haitian parish encompasses a rural community of 40,000 spread over 74 square miles in the mountains of central Haiti. Medor has no electricity or running water, no sewage or trash disposal. Its roads are impassable. Most of the people are subsistence farmers. Like the rest of Haiti, the village of Medor has been devastated by a succession of hurricanes and earthquakes.
Queen of Peace provided funds to build the primary and secondary schools, and continues to support a good portion of the expenses of the schools, as well as clean water, sanitation, health and reforestation activities. The main thrust is helping the people of Medor raise their own economic standard of living as we work to deepen the relationship between the people of both communities. A key goal of all our joint projects is sustainability. The Haitians contribute their time, labor and whatever funds they can. They identify priorities, manage programs, and do the all the work in the community.
Education: The partners support the education of more than 1,400 children from kindergarten through the 13th grade and provide each a daily school lunch. Students receive de-worming medications and salt fortified with iodine and diethylcarbamazine to support brain development, to prevent goiter, and to prevent elephantiasis. Students excel in national exams and several graduates now attend universities. Secondary school students now regularly receive computer instruction in their new solar-powered lab.
Health: A Haitian nun runs the parish clinic. Several medical teams from Queen of Peace have provided free medical and vision clinics and helped fight cholera by teaching about the disease, how to prevent it and how to make oral rehydration packets, and by treating the disease.
Clean Water: The clean water program aims to provide a 5-gallon bucket water purification system for each household while teaching people to chlorinate their water. The program built two cisterns to harvest rainwater for Zorange, an outlying chapel community with no water source, and capped six springs.
Latrines: The sanitation program seeks to halt open-air defecation by building public latrines and by encouraging each household to build its own latrine. The partners have built public latrines at the schools and over 70 individual family composting latrines, called arborloos.
Reforestation: The reforestation project educates farmers to use improved agro-forestry methods and plant trees. Haitian technicians with Trees for the Future have trained local farmers to establish nurseries in six communities and participants have planted an estimated 400,000 tree seedlings so far.
All of this work is ongoing and needs our continuing support. To support OLQP's efforts in Medor, please send checks to the OLQP Haiti Committee, 2700 South 19th Street, Arlington, VA 22204, or make a secure online donation by clicking on "Donate to Medor Haiti" above. For more information, contact Sue Carlson at MarySusanCarlson@gmail.com.
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Our Lady Queen of Peace
2700 South 19th Street