Meet Our Brothers and Sisters in Torbeck, Haiti
Welcome to our website
We are the Haiti Ministry of St. Michael and All Angels in Mission, Kansas! For more than 30 years, our parish has supported the community of Torbeck, Haiti as the primary financial underwriter of St. Paul's School in Torbeck. In addition to our parish's generous financial support to educate K-12 students at the school, our support has also included building repairs and improvements, assistance with procurement of food for school-day meals, field trips for students and teacher continuing education.
Our Haiti Ministry steering committee meets monthly and is in constant contact with church and school leader counterparts in Torbeck. This site includes photos of our efforts and of our brothers and sisters in Haiti -- as well as an overview of our history, periodic video podcasts providing more on our efforts and information on how you can join us. May God continue to bless our ministry and we hope this site will help you feel called to join us as a part of God's hands in the world.
Important: Read below for information on the recent violence and domestic strife in Haiti and how the STMAA Haiti Ministry is helping
Members of the St. Michael's Haiti Committee have learned not to say “it can’t get worse”. Conditions in Haiti have been deteriorating for several years with the rise of gang activity, the assassination of Haiti’s president, the collapse of the government, multiple natural disasters and the rise of citizen kidnappings. Haiti has a centralized economy with most goods going through Port au Prince (PAP), which has become a battleground between rival gangs. Shipments of goods out of PAP and throughout the country, including food and fuel, have been blocked by gangs who control the city. Inflation has run rampant along with the scarcity of all basic products.
The troubles have metastasized into the country side. The small community of Torbeck where St. Paul’s School is located, five miles from the city of Les Cayes, has been directly affected by the chaos. Protests and violence have gripped Les Cayes and brought the region to a standstill. Locale Haitians in Torbeck have essentially no access to food, fuel and water and are afraid to leave their homes. After weeks under these conditions, St. Paul’s parishioners are literally starving.
St. Paul’s priest, Father Fred Menelas reluctantly contacted the St. Michael’s Haiti Committee with a desperate plea for help. The committee responded quickly authorizing $10,000 for food relief. Lackson Chery, the St. Paul’s facility manager, scouted the road between Torbeck and Les Cayes and when it was clear, Father Fred and Lackson quickly travelled to Cayes and purchased food supplies. Father Fred and Lackson plan to distribute food (rice, beans, oil and spices) on Saturday. Saturday’s are sometimes informal 'truce-day” were people can leave their houses and get supplies, if available. Most people cannot afford the inflated prices, leaving them without food, water and fuel.
Father Fred pictured (at left) with rice purchased from our emergency financial grant. Food is being distributed to the people as safety conditions allow