Trip Report February 2017

Trip Report February 2017

by Mark Pohlman

One of the purposes for our yearly visits to CONASPEH is to check on the progress of various projects that have been funded and supported by First Church. Here are some of my observations.

  • Scholarship program for students at College Saint Andre K-13. We were given a brochure for the 2015-2016 year which included a color photograph of the student, their name and age, parent’s names, number of siblings, and number of years attending the school. Seventy-four students are listed, many of whom we met in person. The scholarships are either full or partial and a few are also used to help nursing or seminary students. The brochure plus some thank-you letters from the students will be placed in the church library.
  • Status of the $75,000 recently given to CONASPEH for purchase of the land adjacent to the school. The land has been purchased and has already started to be cleared with demolition of the building at the entrance. $5,135 has already been spent for supplies for the new building, which will be placed on an existing concrete slab. Sections of the land will be used for housing, of students, for administration and culture center, and a large area for sports. Students at the trade school will help work on these projects as appropriate. Final signing of the papers with the notary is scheduled next week.
  • The LED projector bought two years ago is being used for classroom instruction and for movies. One of the classrooms has been partially closed-in for the movies. The projector is hung from the ceiling and is powered by the solar panel mounted on the roof, invertor, and lithium battery. This room will become the site for the sewing machines once it is fully enclosed.
  • The books, models, and mannequins that we gave previously are still present. The laboratory area is being moved downstairs to be next to a new medial clinic area so things were in disarray. Same problem with the library. All the individual items seemed to be in good condition.

Another purpose of out visits is to work on new projects.

  • The new obstetrical mannequin we took with us was a big success. A series of short film clips, made at AIC, demonstrated examination of a pregnant woman following which the students then practiced on the mannequin. More film clips are being planned. Unfortunately, direct communication with AIC did not work because of the poor Internet connection that day.
  • Francoise announced that she has started plans for a school for midwife assistants who would be selected from the country-side or poor areas of the cities. They would be trained two days a week for a year and then return to their home district, She already has some physicians and midwives to help with the teaching. This could be the start of a public health training program for CONASPEH.
  • We were able to arrange for a Haitian solar company to visit the site and submit a proposal for solar panels on the administration building and the classroom building.
  • We heard from Darrell and Bill from Kansas City about the progress of their multiple projects they are supporting. In general, the scholars program which supports 31 graduate students in various Haitian Colleges is doing very well, but more sponsors for an additional 13 students are needed. The trade school, chicken coops, pig farm, and bean growing projects are all progressing well.

We resolved to try harder to stay in touch with each other and Francoise Villier between visits and to try using social media more. Having the support of First Church and the Northampton – Kansas City churches is certainly very important for the continued vitality of CONASPEH.