CONASPEH Report and Thanks

CONASPEH Report and Thanks

Reports from CONASPEH on rebuilding and on the mutual support program

CONASPEH gives special thanks to Global Ministries and to all its constituents for their love and unequaled solidarity regarding the churches of Haiti and especially CONASPEH. “Thanks also to the churches that never tire of giving, giving, and giving. We have great respect and appreciation for their generosity and their profound love.”

Report on the Reconstruction

The reconstruction of the physical structure of CONASPEH started with the construction of a new two story center on the site of the building which fell during the earthquake on January 12, 2010. This new CONASPEH Center welcomes visitors to the CONASPEH property by sitting just inside the gates. The building is situated on 2,600 square feet and was designed to better withstand earthquakes. It is constructed of reinforced concrete and metal with specialized sheet metal roofing and room partitions of plywood and glass.

The building was constructed to allow it to be multipurpose. This is especially important while CONASPEH continues to fundraise and build additional facilities. In the immediate future, it will be used for educational programs, including the seminary and the nursing school; to carry out the micro-loan cooperative; to house the CONASPEH history and archives; and the Reconstruction Office. It also has a conference room and restrooms. Adjacent to the building is a platform and podium for public gatherings with space under the trees for people to assemble. Under the platform is a water tank to meet the water needs of the building.

Perhaps the most important part of the Center is the Memorial Hall for those killed in the 2010 earthquake. A plaque lists the names of those who died in the CONASPEH building collapse and reads (translated here into English): 

Honor to the memory of:

Odne St Louis Baptiste Darceline Talon Yolette
Benoit Anette Merilan Andre Edme Hilaine
Francois Darline Polyte Dieubon Jean Louis Elumene
Benoit Marie Yolette Jeudi Genese Saintus Marie Maude
Missa Beatrice Dorelus Wislande Saintnol Wilson
Dazema Kattiana Beauge Shalum Evens Gustave
Desir Danielle Cesar Wilna  

Who were killed during the earthquake on Tuesday, January 12, 2010 at 4:50 pm.

While they were learning, their light went out
While they were doing their assignments, they gave up their lives
While they were praying, they died suddenly
Leaving cries of pain and sorrow during a long night of darkness
How much we cry for our brothers and sisters who were lost.
We will never forget their names and lives of service.
CONASPEH greets you.

This first building provides space for CONASPEH’s ministries and also is a vital physical presence of the National Spiritual Council of the Churches of Haiti and its 7,000 member churches.  This important facility returns a measure of dignity to the churches and of CONASPEH and their more than 1.5 million church members. Reverend Patrick Villier, President of CONASPEH, also sees the new building as tangible proof of true solidarity of the United Church of Christ and of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) with the Haitian people, in particular with the churches of Haiti through CONASPEH. It is a living testimony of the presence of Christ in a devastated, depleted, and desperate place.

The building also provides hope for the 80 families who worked for seven months on the construction. The earthquake was as devastating to the economy of the country as it was to the buildings and lives. Providing employment is crucial to recovery.

Gifts provided through Global Ministries provided labor, materials, site preparation, some initial supplies and equipment for the work housed in the new building. CONASPEH was also able to purchase a dump truck, one of the three vehicles they had planned to purchase. The dump truck was important in the clearing debris and will continue to be of use as additional buildings are built on the grounds.

The next CONASPEH building is slated to be a clinic and lab. As indicated in April 2010, CONASPEH’s future building plans also include a building for the elementary school which continues to meet under tents on the grounds. CONASPEH’s long term plans continue to include a seminary building and guest house. In the meantime, the new CONASPEH Center will continue to be shared among the ministry programs.

Mutual Support Program (UNICEC Cooperative)

After the earthquake, people had lost almost all that they had. To help people begin to recover, CONASPEH partnered with UNICEC to provide a mutual support cooperative to help those who were so profoundly impacted by the earthquake. In the months since the program began, loans have been made to 100 individuals and families, including 10 handicapped individuals.

The funds received from Global Ministries are being administered and distributed to church members and their communities. Each person receiving funds receives about $350 USD. With those funds, people are able to begin to rebuild their lives and, in the process, support the basic economy.

There are currently about 200 more individuals waiting for additional funds to become available for their loans, and the desire to participate continues to spread. CONASPEH hopes to be able to grow this program.

San Andres School

Additional funds received by CONASPEH through Global Ministries were used for the school fees for the 600 children. Following the earthquake, the return to classes was one of the first developments and covering school fees allowed children to return to school and provided salaries for teachers.

Nursing School:

Nursing School classes began again in the Fall of 2010. A new Director of Nursing has also been hired. The course of study has been increased from three years to four years. They are also exploring a clinical rotation partnership with a nearby hospital.

To read more and see photos from the building dedication on February 5, 2011, click here: