Episcopal Diocese of Upper South Carolina

A report on Diocesan ministry in Cange, Haiti from the co-chair of the Diocesan World Missions Committee

May 2, 2017

[Dr. Reggie Brooker, Christ Church, Greenville] I just returned from a diocesan medical trip held April 22-29 to remote villages around Cange. The focus was treatment of high blood pressure, although all who presented to us were seen. We hiked in to these remote villages over arduous terrain and evaluated and treated 375 people.

A second purpose of the trip was to discuss funding issues between our Diocese (EDUSC) and Ecole Bon Sauveur (EBS). Harry Morse and I, co-chairs of our diocesan World Missions Committee (WMC), and Lou Leffler met on April 28 with Father Kesner, priest-in-charge of Eglise Bon Sauveur (the Episcopal Church in Cange), and with Cange school and community leaders.

Regarding EBS, Partners in Health (PIH) had been providing school funding through early 2013. PIH then stopped financial support due to their own financial concerns stemming from the aftermath of the earthquake and their opening up of a new teaching hospital in nearby Mirebalais in order to focus on their core mission of health care. In an emergency meeting, school leaders met in Cange with Bishop Waldo and Harry Morse to find ways to keep the school doors open. EDUSC agreed to launch a campaign to seek emergency school funding for a limited 3-year term while attempts would be made on both sides to find other funding sources.

Our generous donors then raised over one million dollars, which enabled the school to remain open over the past four years. These funds are now almost depleted, so we had to inform the EBS and Cange leaders that our EDUSC will not be able to support the operating budget (annual $300,000) of EBS after June 30, 2017. We sincerely regret having to do this, but the money is simply not there.

We realize the importance of keeping EBS open. It serves the important task of educating children, and EBS also serves the important role of maintaining intact the fabric of society in Cange. But EBS belongs to the people of Cange (not to the Diocese of Haiti or EDUSC), and all factions in Cange will have to work together to find the best way forward for the school.

At this point we think that a solution for EBS is to be incorporated into the public school network under the Ministry of Education. It then could potentially come under the Summits network of administration and financing. There are, however, deep wounds in Cange that would need to be reconciled, so that reconciliation between factions would likely be difficult, and it would take time and mediation (which Dr. Harry Morse, co-chair, and I have been undertaking) for healing. Also, it likely would require leadership changes in the Diocese of Haiti (DoH), and a new bishop election for the DoH is scheduled for 2018.

At some future time we may be able to help EBS, possibly with books and supplies and/or by providing school children with a hot meal a day. The World Missions Committee will continue its discernment as things move along. Many of us in EDUSC remained committed in Haiti's Central Plateau through partner ministries, such as Clemson Engineers for Developing Countries, CFFL and other minsitries begun by churches in EDUSC, such as the medical trips like the one from which I have just returned. Therefore, although stepping back from EBS, we will contine our involvement and interaction with Cange and the Central Plateau in other ways.

Reggie Brooker, Co-Chair, Diocesan World Missions Committee

  • Bishop Waldo Calls to Order
  • Bishop Greg Rickel on Stewardship
  • Leadership Day
  • Dean Timothy Jones of Trinity Cathedral
  • The Rev. Dr. James Farwell
  • Ms. Terri Mathes
  • Closing Plenary Before Evensong
  • Bill Hunter of the Advent Shoppe
  • Christ Church Before Evensong
  • Gravatt Booth
  • Thompson Booth
  • Canterbury Booth
  • Sewanee Booth
  • Business Day
  • Cursillo 130 1
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  • Cursillo 130 3
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  • Cursillo 130 5
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  • Cursillo 130 7
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  • Cursillo 130 11