“Jojo” – Joseph Jean Paul
All of us at the Children’s Medical Mission of Haiti are saddened to learn of the recent death of Joseph Jean Paul, known to friends far and wide as “Jojo.” He died on Saturday, May 14, after a brief and sudden illness. He was surrounded at the time of his death by many who love him, including the director of St. Vincent’s, Fr. Frantz “Fanfan” Cole.
Jojo first arrived at St. Vincent’s Centre for Handicapped Children when he was eight years old. Sister Joan Margaret, the founder of St. Vincent’s, took him in and helped him become a pillar of the St. Vincent community. An extremely talented artist and outgoing presence on campus, Jojo exemplified the ministry and vision of St. Vincent’s. Many who visited the campus encountered Jojo’s smiling face and welcoming presence, and he was well known as a man full of vitality and generosity. A celebration of his life will take place at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Port-au-Prince on Saturday, May 28, and all are invited to attend.
Because of your generous support, CMMH was able to wire $5,000 to the Diocese of Haiti to help cover Jojo’s medical costs and funeral arrangements. Dedicated individuals in both the US and Haiti are diligently at work to ensure that professional grief counselors are made available to the students, faculty and staff. His absence will be felt by many, and there will never be another who can take his place.
A memorial fund has been set up at CMMH in his honor. This fund will be used for student expenses, scholarships and other operating costs of the Centre. You may make your tax-deductible contribution at the link below.
We appreciate your support, and we ask that you pray along with us for Jojo, his family, friends, and the entire St. Vincent community.
A New Home and a New Vision
for Saint Vincent’s Centre for Handicapped Children
In October 2015, after more than 18 months of negotiations, fund raising, and sheer determination, a new site for Saint Vincent Centre for Handicapped Children was purchased in the area of Santos 17.
It is located in a northern suburb of Port-au-Prince about a 20-minute drive from the airport. The site includes a large house, which can be converted into a residence hall for the students, fruit trees, a swimming pool that can be used for therapy, and about seven acres of open, flat land surrounded by a security fence.
WHERE ARE THE CHILDREN NOW?
The children currently live and go to school at Site 2, formerly known as the Foyer. These are temporary facilities constructed after the earthquake to house the children while developing plans for a new permanent home. Recently, water damage in the boy’s bedrooms revealed some structural damage. After a more complete examination by engineers, it became apparent that significant renovation and reconstruction would be necessary to make the present facility safe and functional.
One plan was to spend about $200,000 on the current facility, which would be torn down by the government as soon as the students left. The site is located in an area of a major downtown restoration. Or the newly purchased site at Santos 17 could be renovated to receive the students while funding for the larger, new facility was obtained. While this option would cost more, about $300,000, most of the work done there could be used permanently, or repurposed when the new construction was completed.
To encourage the start of the renovations at Santos 17, and to help jump-start fund-raising for the facility, the Board of the Children’s Medical Mission of Haiti approved a $100,000 matching grant from its endowment. The Development Office of the Episcopal Church has taken on the responsibility for raising money for the renovations at Santos 17 and funding for the new facility, as well as securing additional funds for the St. Vincent’s Endowment.
SO WHAT IS THE ROLE OF CMMH?
While the purchase of the land, the renovation of the buildings, and the move to Santos 17 are significant steps toward a new vision for St. Vincent’s, the day-to-day needs of the children need to be met. Teachers need salaries. Food must be purchased. The children need places to sleep and the care and comforts of life. That is our role. CMMH is the only group currently focused on meeting the operational needs of the Centre.
Currently St. Vincent’s cares for 328 students – 71 blind or visually impaired, 164 deaf or hearing impaired, 45 physically handicapped, 23 mentally handicapped, and 25 non-disabled children for inclusion. No small task.
Mission of CMMH
The Children’s Medical Mission of Haiti is a 501c 3 organization committed to providing support for the delivery of medical and educational services to the children of Haiti through St. Vincent’s Centre for Handicapped Children, Port-au-Prince. It also serves as an umbrella organization for related missions in Haiti and facilitates and organizes the Haiti Connection Conferences.
For more information on helping or donating to CMMH please CLICK HERE.