Holy Innocents, Haiti
St Paul's Natick and the school and parish of Holy Innocents in Port de Paix Haiti have been collaborating since the mid 1980s.
Over the years St Paul's has provided financing and expertise. Our contributions have gone for the construction and expansion of a school at the Holy Innocent's, Port de Paix location. An annual donation provided by the St Paul's Outreach Committee has been used to fund teacher salaries and for the purchase of equipment (e.g., copy machine) and supplies (e.g., medicine and books).
The community of Holy Innocents has regularly welcomed St Paul's visitors. St Paul's visitors are hosted at the Holy Innocent's rectory and treated to visits to other connected Episcopal communities at Moine Rosette, Isle de la Tortue, and Chansolme.
The school has grown in size and reputation. Holy Innocents has 1,116 students enrolled for the 2019 academic year. The staff consists of 77 teachers and administrators. More than 15 academic areas are taught including: French, English, Social Studies, Christian Education, Chemistry, Biology.
The St Paul's Outreach Committee has raised funds for travel and support through the annual Holiday Fair, Mother's Day Card sales and direct gifts from motivated parishioners.
In 2014 during a visit by Holy Innocents Rector Irnel Duveaux to Natick, the idea of a student scholarship was conceived. In April 2018 St Paul's financed the travel and week long accommodations for the first award recipient, Sandy Fleurent who was accompanied by Dorothie Avril, an IT administrator at Holy Innocents. Dorothie is also the wife of Wilky Avril the rector at Holy Innocents). In 2019 Petit Marc-Aurel Junior was recognized and visited Natick with the current Rector Wilky Avril.
There have been many key contributors over the years. Dr. Bonnie Lidback is credited with initiating the relationship with the Holy Innocents community in Port de Paix, Haiti.Talented St Paul's members such as Fred Cowen (engineer) and Charles Klutz, (architect) helped to design and oversee construction of the school. Parish leaders including Carolyn Hasgill, Judy Goodrich, Reverend PJ Woodall, Reverend Jon Strand raised money and visited our sister community in Port de Paix. Recent visits have allowed many of our parish community, old and young, the opportunity to experience the rigors, beauty, grit, chaos, and unique rhythm that is Haiti.