The people of Haiti have experienced decades of disaster. Long before the devastating earthquake of January 12, 2010, this Caribbean nation suffered seemingly endless waves of political upheaval, corruption, street violence, poverty and famine. Haiti is widely considered the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere. The living conditions there are unimaginable. Most residents lack running water, sewage systems, and electricity. Even in the capital city of Port-au-Prince, many residents are forced to cook on piles of smoldering garbage. Clean drinking water, food, and medical care are all in short supply. With heartbreakingly high rates of malnutrition, HIV/AIDs, respiratory infections, and severe diarrhea from a host of communicable diseases – only half of Haiti’s children survive to age five.
Now, contrast this grim picture with idyllic Boise, Idaho, where for over 15 years, Saint Alphonsus Foundation has supported the work of Catholic priest and physician, Father Rick Frechette, DO, by providing medical missions, equipment, medication and supplies, food and transportation. Through the generosity of many, Project Haiti has raised over 1.5 million to support Fr. Rick’s work at St. Damien's Children's Hospital, and his mobile medical clinics. If not for the faith, courage and determination of people like Fr. Rick and his team, there would be little hope for the children of Haiti.
"We strive to bring love to the most lost, the most vulnerable. We go where love is most needed. This is our mission. And even when our beds are full, when our budgets are strained, when our shepherds are tired beyond words from their many struggles, we still reach out even more. We reach out beyond the boundaries of our own mission: to children living in dumps, to children with terrible disabilities, to children on the streets, to children in prisons, to children beleaguered by floods, to children in need everywhere.” Fr. Rick