NPH has been in Haiti for 30 years, addressing the needs of the poor, raising children in a loving environment and developing future leaders. This work began in 1987 when Fr. William Wasson founded a home for orphaned and abandoned children at Kenscoff. We returned to Kenscoff to celebrate three decades of good work since.
In the days leading up to the anniversary party on Sunday 22nd January 2017, the campus at St. Helene was a hive of activity. The grounds were cleaned, buildings were brightened up and works were carried out to enhance the outdoor event space, where Mass was due to take place. Food was prepared for the large crowd expected; every staff member and resident did their bit to help. Spirits were high and the excitement was palpable.
The big day arrived and so did the crowds. We welcomed about 2,000 local dignitaries, staff, friends, families, representatives of community organisations and former residents. They all gathered at Kenscoff to celebrate with us and mark our milestone. The sun shone and a beautiful Mass was celebrated in the open air; joyful singing and graceful dancing brought the liturgy to life in true Haitian style. Fr. Rick Frechette CP, National Director of NPH Haiti, was also celebrating 30 years in the country, a significant personal achievement as well as a professional one.
An energetic entertainment programme followed, with the children and young adults of Kenscoff seizing the opportunity to display a variety of talents, from hip-hop dancing to slam poetry. NPH programme graduates spoke movingly about what the organisation means to them; their personal testimonies were very powerful. Then it was time for refreshments. Everyone enjoyed their meal of grilled chicken, rice and fresh salad with a slice of celebratory cake. The day ended with a giant raffle for much-coveted prizes; a fitting crescendo to a very memorable day.
NPH has endured in Haiti through political upheaval, natural disaster and a catastrophic earthquake in 2010. It is a loyal friend and good neighbour to the people of Haiti and a passionate advocate for its young citizens and those with special needs. Here’s to another 30 years of working together to save and change many lives.