Saint Vincent’s Centre


History and Partnership with CMMH

For more information and the lastest news from Saint Vincent’s Centre, please visit http://stvincentshaiti.org.

Founded in 1945 by Sister Joan, a physical therapist and member of the Society of Saint Margaret, Saint Vincent’s Centre for Handicapped Children (SVC) is one of more than 250 institutions operated by the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti. Unique among all the valuable ministries in the diocese, Saint Vincent’s is the only one providing academic, clinical, and residential services for blind, deaf, and physically disabled children and adults. At Saint Vincent’s, students learn to work with their disabilities while also studying reading, writing, history, geography, mathematics, English, art, and music.

The purpose of SVC is “to provide children with disabilities in Haiti special opportunities, support and resources to learn, grow and reach their full potential in their young life’s journey toward adulthood.” In addition to operating as both a day and residential school for blind, deaf, and handicapped children, SVC offers a variety of medical services to its students and the surrounding community. Services offered include: pediatrics, orthopedics, and physical therapy, as well as testing and treatment for those with hearing and/ or vision-related conditions. Prosthetic services are provided by a brace shop located on the Centre grounds.

In October 2016, Saint Vincent’s Centre had 343 students and residents.  Over 100 caring individuals serve as teachers, administrators, physicians, physical therapists, nurses, technicians, cooks, caretakers, and maintenance staff. It currently has an annual operating budget of $325,000. While Saint Vincent’s can serve only a small number of the estimated 500,000 disabled people in the country, it strives to create a model of care and education for others to replicate.

In the fall of 2015, the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church (USA) and the Bishop of the Diocese of Haiti called for the formation of a new governing board to support the work of Saint Vincent Centre. Made up of members from both Haiti and the United States, the board is responsible for creating a strategic plan, setting policies, and providing oversight of all daily and long-term activities of SVC.

CMMH is represented on the SVC board by Ken Quigley, CMMH’s secretary/treasurer. CMMH is registered as a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation in the United States, and has been supporting the work of SVC since its incorporation in 1993. In support of the new board, CMMH will continue to be the primary source of funds for the Centre’s operations, but it has also agreed to function as the fiscal agent for the Centre. All funds sent to Saint Vincent Centre by CMMH go directly to the Centre’s bank account in Port-au-Prince. Funds are used to pay salaries, buy food, electricity, and cover other operating expenses. CMMH receives regular financial reports from Saint Vincent’s detailing funds received and payments made.

“The new board will make a major and necessary difference in the coordination of support, long-term direction, and growth of the Centre,” Quigley says. “We are pleased to have been part of its formation and are delighted to continue as one of its key supporting organizations.”

For more information and the lastest news from Saint Vincent’s Centre, please visit http://stvincentshaiti.org.