St. Joseph Parish is proud to support and to have sent many parishioners with ServeHaiti to help the Haitian people and share our talents and treasures.
ServeHAITI is an all volunteer organization committed to working in solidarity with the people of Grand-Bois, Haiti. A community-centric approach has been adopted to address issues in HEALTH, WATER, EDUCATION, and ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT using core values of respect, dignity and sustainability. The organization began working in Grand-Bois in 2001. Our projects have included building a medical clinic, improving the schools, and working toward clean water for every home in the community. But there is much more to do. We invite you to consider being a part of our efforts. We are of the belief that combining our time and talent, administered with respect and compassion, will continue to benefit this community of Grand-Bois, Haiti.
ServeHAITI is a non-profit, faith-based organization working in solidarity with the people of Grand-Bois, Haiti to achieve a better quality of life.
Our vision is for Grand-Bois to grow into a thriving, self-sustaining mountain community where every man, woman and child has access to healthcare, a quality education, economic opportunities, clean drinking water and nutritious food. By working together with our Haitian partners, we are committed to helping alleviate unnecessary human suffering in this impoverished region.
Our strategy is community-centric and rooted in collaboration. We strive to empower and nurture community leaders and all Grand-Bois citizens by advancing their knowledge, resources and skills, so that they become the change within their community. Emphasizing the values of respect, dignity, and sustainability, success is measured by the thoughtful manner in which knowledge, care and solutions are shared and provided.
Timeline for St. Joseph’s Parish with ServeHAITI:
February 2002: First medical mission to Grand-Bois including one Parishoner. Patients are seen in the St. Pierre Church during the week.
Prayerful support from the Parish is given
February 2003: Tom Reichert from ServeHAITI comes to speak to the Parish at all the Masses. This is the first monetary collection for ServeHAITI from the Parish, Another medical mission goes to Grand-Bois including one Paishoner. Dr. Leopold Bourgouin is hired by SH to go to see patients in Grand-Bois twice monthly for continuity of care.
February 2004: 3rd Medical Mission including a Parishoner. Yearly collections continue. A slide show about the mission is given at all the Masses. This will continue yearly and continues today.
February 2005: Plans are made to build a Health Center in Grand-Bois. Dr. Leopold Bourgouin has agreed to stay on permanently. Other Parishoners join the medical mission to Grand-Bois. More than one mission per year now begins.
ServeHAITI partners with Gift of Water to provide water filtration systems for the community.
October 2006: The Health Center is complete! Several Parishoners go to Grand-Bois to assist in infrastructure at the Health Center and to see patients. There are now two large group missions per year with several smaller ones.
June 2007: The first Teacher training is held in Grand-Bois assisted by a teacher from St. Joseph’s. The teacher training will be held each June from this time to the present. Large groups will now be three times per year.
October 2008: The first well in the region build outside the Health Center with the help of the Parish, Bellevue Rotary, and an anonymous donor. More wells will be built in the future!!
June 2009: The second story of the Health Center is complete to accommodate the increased need of patients and staff.
January 12, 2010: A massive 7.0 earthquake hits outside Port au Prince killing over 150,000 people and injuring more than 300,000. ServeHAITI responds by sending two groups to assist in Port au Prince. The Health Center is deemed safe in Grand-Bois. St. Joseph’s responds with a large collection to be donated to the earthquake victims.
June 2010: The Medika Mamba program is started to address the malnourishment of children in Grand-Bois. Our first success in the program, Sophia, is healthy in 6 weeks time in the program. The program continues to present day. Approximately 125 children are enrolled in the program at any given time.
October 2012: The first biennial ServeHAITI Iowa fundraiser is a great success and will continue to the present with great support from St. Joseph’s Parishoners. Dr. Leopold Bourgouin comes to Bellevue to speak at the Masses and visit the schools.
September 2013: The first schools are renovated in the Restore Our Schools Program. A St. Joseph Parishoner helps spearhead the renovations. The program is flourishing due to the generosity of many who want to improve the education infrastructure in Grand-Bois.
Also, the first SHECON (economic development) recipient of a micro loan starts a bakery. SHECON aids in people in the area starting small businesses.
February 2015: The
Ecole Mixte La Pepiniere is built near the Health Center due to Marquette
Catholic and Bellevue MS/HS raising funds to sponsor the building!!