Haiti Summer Camp 2018
aiti Summer Camp 2018
A team of 3 adults and 7 students spent a week visiting our sister parish, St. Claire in Dessalines, Haiti, from July 6-14. Together with a team of 13 Haitian teens, they provided a week-long vacation bible school for about 100 children, ranging in age from 6 to 12. It is an overnight camp for the children and they receive 3 meals a day while there. The team from St Ann were hosted by St. Claire’s pastor, Father Alexis, at the rectory. The team had the opportunity to explore Dessalines and the nearby area. Each morning, Monday through Thursday, the team provided a bible story and skit for the children, followed by Music, Science, Arts and Crafts, and English lessons. In the afternoons, the team returned to camp after lunch and had time to play with the children and interact with the Haitian teens. The camp is a wonderful way to experience the Haitian culture, share the love of Christ with the children of the camp, and to stand in solidarity with the brothers and sisters of our sister parish of St. Claire.
Thoughts on Haiti Summer Camp from Jim Gullace:
Why the Littlest Angels Campaign?
I was at Mass one Sunday in 2008 and listened to an altar talk of Barbara Lloyd about her visit to our sister parish in Haiti. I told myself right then that I had to go.
That started my journey of the last 10 years of being a part of the outreach to our sister parish of St. Claire. In 2009, I made my first trip there as a part of the first summer camp team. What a life changing experience. The joy of the Haitian people and the love of the children were over whelming. All this set against so much poverty.
I met a little girl on that trip with a great personality, her picture from 2009 hangs on the wall in my office. When I went back in 2011 I wondered if she would be there and she was. What was more amazing was that she remembered me. She called my name as I walked across the school yard. She was two years older and doing well.
Go forward to 2015 and another summer camp. Yes, she was there and now a part of the team of Haitian teens who help put on the camp with us. A teenager, happy, healthy and a great example to all the children of the camp.
She was there in 2017 when I went back, still doing well and a leader on the team. I could not help but wonder where she might be today if there was no Littlest Angels campaign. She is just one of hundreds of children we have helped feed over the years. It gives me hope in the future for the people of our sister parish of St. Claire.