Fraternite Valleenne's mission:
“Sponsor education, health/environmental projects; promote community development”
“PERSISTENT PEOPLE BEGIN THEIR SUCCESS WHERE MOST OTHERS QUIT”
Greetings from Marie Calixte Labbe
Dear partners, thanks to you, Fraternité Valléenne continues to thrive. On behalf of the committee, I offer my sincere gratitude for your collaborative efforts to help move La Vallee forward. Your heartfelt generosity allowed us to move forward with our mission.
Our Reforestation program continues to be a year-round assignment. Under the leadership of F.V. d’Haiti and the students’ participation, they had a productive year
Moreover, the ESL program continues to be very popular. This year we are very appreciative to Mr. Scott Murphy, a physics teacher from Mount Saint Joseph Academy located in Pennsylvania. Mr. Murphy assisted by Mr. Ralph Labbe from New York, volunteered their time, and resources to teach the intensive summer program. Mr. Scott Murphy also established a scholarship program for about ten students enrolled in the brothers school (F.I.C).
With the academic year well under way at St Paul school in La Vallee, I am saddened to report that their lunch program was suspended. PAM (Program Alimentaire Mondia) previously provided for one hot meal a day for about 500 hundred students, age range 5 to 20. The lunch was intended only for primary school students. Since the nuns included the secondary school student in it, which is privately funded, the program was put on hold indefinitely.
According to the nuns that run the school, since the suspension of the meal program students are hungry during the school day, and some have even lost consciousness during class. We desperately ask for your help to reestablish the school’s meal program. Please keep in mind that due to the after-effects of the recent hurricane there is even more of a shortage of food in the community. Families are struggling to feed themselves.
Our professional school “Ecole Technique Frere Andre Guimond” ETFAG continues to flourish. To date, despite multiple requests to the Government to obtain financial assistance and their many promises stating they would do so, nothing has happened as of yet. We are dedicated to help the next generation acquire the needed skills that will allow them to contribute and secure a comfortable place in our society. The school relies on the small payment of the students and support from F.V. in order to function. “Let us not withhold the good from those we can help, when it is in your power to do it." (Proverbs 3:27)
Fraternité Valléenne applauds the efforts of CODEM (Comité pour le développement de Muzac) and LADET (Lees Amis de Tuff) in their determination to bring positive changes in La Vallee. Morne a Bruler is also part of La Vallee, let’s not forget it in our plans. . We are very thankful to you, our supporters; you made it possible for us to carry our mission. We count on your prayers, advises and donations.
Larie Calixte Labbee
A Brief History of Fraternite Valleenne Inc:
The idea to unite and participate in a collective effort for the betterment of La Vallee was brought to our New York Community by Mr. Surin Lauture after a brief visit to La Vallee in the summer of 1976.
The recently formed CODEVA (Coude a Coude pour le Developpement de La Vallee) was looking to establish a partnership with Valleens living abroad. Fraternite Valleenne first meeting was organized in September of 1976 at Surin's residence in Brooklyn. An exploratory committee was formed and Joseph Lauture was chosen to direct the movement . The pioneers of that movement were: Jean Boursiquot, Max Colastin, Carlo Lamothe, Leonard Laroche, Lucien Laroche, Joseph Lauture, Surin Lauture. Fraternite Valleenne was established to help pool the resources of those willing to give and help the community of La Vallee.
In March of 1977, Fraternite Valleenne Inc. (FV), received its legal status as a non-profit organization in the state of NY. Encouraged by the response from the New York City community, others in the diaspora joined the effort. The following year, in Montreal, Canada, a Chapter of Fraternite Valleenne was established.
In December 1977, Fraternite Valleenne held its first fund raising event. Valleens from the five boroughs of New York, from New Jersey, Connecticut and even as far as Canada attended.
Fraternite Valleenne first priority was to build a fully functional dispensary-hospital for the region. La Vallee was home to 30,000+ people back then, yet it did not have any health care facility. FV called all Valleens into action. Chapters were created in Stamford, Spring Valley, Boston, Maryland, Miami, and Montreal to help raise the funds to build the hospital. In the end FV and its members contributed $30,000 toward the hospital's construction. In the summer of 1980, we were invited to La Vallee for the inauguration of the new 30 bed hospital. This was cooperation at its best.
The hospital, which includes a maternity ward, has a staff that includes one medical intern, two nurses, and one midwife. Equipment for the hospital such as beds and medical instruments were donated by various sources in the United States. Fraternite Valleenne provided for the transport of these goods to La Vallee by paying for the shipping cost.
Over the years, Fraternite Valleenne working with numerous other organizations have completed the following projects: a market place, four primary schools, a secondary school, a soccer field, two water towers, a library, a public square, some secondary roads, and tree nurseries, and a modern professional school.
Fraternite Valleenne also provides financial support for the hospital, and supplements the school budget to pay for additional teachers. We also encourage art and leisure projects, and academic competition in the schools. Future projects include: building a dormitory for the trade school, promoting soil conservation and reforestation, sponsor the "genie-interscolaire" academic competition among others (see our updated current projects list)
The progress La Vallee made since 1910 is the result of good cooperation among her sons and daughters wherever they are. Unfortunately, just like the rest ofHaiti, La Vallee suffers from the absence of an effective local and central government, widespread unemployment, extensive deforestation, substantial land erosion, and a lack of modern infrastructure. That's why concerned Valleens everywhere are doing their best to help meet these challenges.
(By Jude Augustin, FV Secretary)