Thursday, January 28, 2010

Latest from the Salesians in Haiti (Fr. Mark Hyde reports from the Dominican Republic)

East Boston News ( received this latest dispatch from Fr. Mike Mendl in New Rochelle today.

Fr. Mark Hyde Reports from the Dominican Republic

A five-truck convoy arrived today in Port-au-Prince from La Vega for distribution in Pétion-Ville and Carrefour-Thorland.  Commodities included food stuffs (2 trucks), potable water (2 trucks), and medications and clothing (1).  All relief items were purchased in the Dominican Republic.

The 300,000 chlorine tablets reported on earlier were delivered in Port-au-Prince on the evening of Jan. 25.

The drinking water unit – AquaCube – (acquired through BEGECA) arrived in Santo Domingo and is being trucked to Port-au-Prince with logistical support and transport provided by the UN.  Fr. Jacques Charles, outgoing Haitian SDB provincial, will pick up the drinking water plant from a warehouse contiguous to the German embassy in Port-au-Prince on Jan. 27.

BEGECA’s representative in Santo Domingo, Gunter Timmermanns, will be working out of the SDB Antilles provincial house and is coordinating SDBs UN-led logistical support.      
Fr. Stra has been released from the hospital and is recovering and resting well at the SDB Antilles provincial house.

Hendrix Pineda from Salesian Missions New Rochelle has arrived in Santo Domingo to (a) provide communications support to Fr. Mark and (b) set up financial accountability systems and records for reporting to donors and benefactors who are contributing to the Haitian Emergency Relief and Reconstruction Program efforts. 

The new SDB Haitian provincial, Fr. Ducange Sylvain, will be installed on Saturday, Jan. 30, in Port-au-Prince.  Planning to attend are Fr. Esteban Ortiz, SDB, general councilor for the InterAmerica Region; Fr. Victor Pichardo, SDB, Antilles provincial; Fr. Mark Hyde, director of Salesian Missions in New Rochelle; and many confreres from the Antilles Province as well as members of the Salesian Family attending the CIEC (Conference of InterAmerica Catholic School Educators) meetings in Santo Domingo at this time.

Gianluca Antonelli reports that VIS has met with Civil Defense experts from the Italian government (Guido Bertolaso and Agostino Miozzo) who, together with Italy’s ambassador to the D.R., visited ENAM.  Mr. Antonelli reports also that an Italian Navy ship will dock in Haiti on Feb. 2.  The ship is equipped with a hospital and also has a contingent of 200 military experts on infrastructure and buildings with equipment of various kinds. 

The Navy is reported to be offering the Salesians in Haiti availability for: (a) removing debris from Salesian properties, (b) checking to verify the safety and usefulness of the Salesian infrastructure, (c) securing damaged buildings, and (d) assisting with displaced populations staying on Salesian property. 

Jugend Eine Welt (Austrian Salesian NGO) in partnership with CARITAS Austria is seeking funds from the EU for a 6-month project aimed at providing emergency support for 20,000 youths associated with the “mini schools” at Cité Soleil and La Saline.

From the Netherlands:  Parents and children of a European School in Bergen (13 miles north of Amsterdam), are raising funds to help the SDBs of Haiti rebuild some of the mini schools. School and students are said to be aiming at raising around 8,000 euros.  They are also (a) collecting French and English books to send to Haiti’s SDBs and (b) putting together “shoeboxes” filled with school supplies and small toys for the children.

The SDBs of Haiti have requested 2,000 tents with capacity of 6 people each.  Salesian Missions is making arrangements to procure and meet this urgent need.  Likewise, if any of the other Salesian procures or NGOs have access and can airlift those to Santo Domingo, please contact Fr. Mark at with copy to Jaime Correa at

One forklift to offload pallets of food and emergency relief items from containers at the Jimani, D.R., repacking center is being purchased in Santo Domingo. 
How to help the Salesians.