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Introducing our Foi et Joie partners in Ounaminthe

Dear Rise Haiti followers,

During our on-site field project, we had the opportunity to meet a lot of incredible people. Just to name a few, we would like to thank Carlos, Curtis, Emmanuel, Fernando, Françoise, Celine, Gérard, Marie Rose, Père Pérard and the lovely Miss Rocio of the NGO “Foi et Joie”. Without their help, we would never have been able to successfully finish the construction of the basketball field. In this post, we would like to highlight the stories of some of them.

Marie Rose, Celine, Françoise and Miss Rocio were our first point of contact in Haiti and the people with whom we spent the most time with during this project. Marie Rose and Celine are from Congo. They have had the opportunity to work on social projects several times before, but never in Haiti. They arrived a few months before us and are responsible for the school. For educational matters, Françoise is helping them, a very dynamic woman from France with rich experience. Miss Rocio comes from Mexico and is one of the kindest person we’ve come across. The four sisters live separately from the other Jesuits.

The Jesuits are led by Carlos, a Peruvian man with a black belt in Judo. Every word he spoke was always right on spot and funny, no matter which of the 5 languages, he fluently speaks, was used for communication. Fernando is Ecuadoran and responsible for both the finance of the Jesuits and their activities with the immigrants in the area. Emmanuel comes from Haiti but has studied in many places including Paris. He will be studying in Colombia in the next few months. He’s responsible for the messes with the locals and enjoys writing books in his free time. He published some of them, mostly dealing with the situation in Haiti and how to address it.

Three other Jesuits helped and taught us so much: Gérard did everything he could to ensure the success of this mission. He’s the regional director of “Foi et Joie” and was born in Haiti. On top of his role of director, he takes care of the immigrant issue with Fernando. Gérard is always happy and optimistic. He is very communicative and it was always a pleasure to spend time with him.

Père Pérard is originally from Haiti but had to leave the country with his family for political reasons. His family and he went to Boston where he grew up and graduated from university. He decided to come back to his country to help it rise and prosper. He’s been in in Haiti for over a decade now, though he comes back to the US from time to time to visit his big family. He now focuses on building the new church of “Foi et Joie” in Ouanaminthe. His advice was extremely useful, because he knows both the Haitian and Western way of lives.

Lastly, we want to mention Curtis. He is from Canada, where he grew up on his family’s farm in a rural area. He was the first person of his family to attend college, so he was very ambitious and after obtaining his degree, he made a career in banking. As the head of the M&A department, he enjoyed the material life until he had to make a deal which made him reconsider his personal values. He then decided to take a step back and work for the Church in Italy. Thanks to his expertise, he negotiated on behalf of the church with the world bank. He has been living in Haiti for 6 months now and he helps the community by teaching English in school and helping firms with their accounting.

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