We are Ordre des Martyrs; We Serve Others; we join with you for We Are One.
We thank the Haitian diaspora for its vital support for Sœurs Redemptrices de Nazareth, created and presided by Donna Pierre Belizaire aka Sister Dona or Sœur Dona. You have helped saved many Haitians, over the years, by your simple act of putting $1 into the box Sœur Dona presents to you, as she is begging to selflessly save the lives of Haitian children who are faced with the most brutal social indifference in the Western Hemisphere.
We, Ordre des Martyrs, upon learning of Sœur Dona’s work and the unsurprising action of the Haitian government against her, have stepped forward to protect an institution that we deemed extremely important for Haiti. We are not religious zealots but we understand that Haiti was gifted with an opportunity to heal the spiritual wounds inflicted upon her since 1860 when the Concordat document was signed. Haitian society is fragmented along many lines having the religious line as the root cause. Sœurs Redemtprices de Nazareth is the only institution in the position to remove that line. We stepped forward with the objective to address continuity of said institution realizing that the action of the Haitian government stopped more than 1,000 children from having a plate of hot food at a time when the country was at its worse; that is to say 2 years after the 2010 earthquake when the Haitian population was still in a dire situation.
The 2010 earthquake and the landing of hurricane Matthew in 2016 are natural disasters that affected all including Sœurs Redemptrices de Nazareth. Political intrigue is artificial disaster that also affects many of us. Sœurs Redemtrices de Nazareth has been hit three times within 6 years by natural and artificial disasters. We hope to motivate you to step forward to assist Sister Dona in this crossroads of natural and artificial disasters.
About Soeurs Redemtrices de Nazareth
Sœurs Redemptrices de Nazareth is an autonomous Catholic Congregation mandated in Haiti in 1989 by the late and beloved Archbishop of Port-au-Prince, Ligonde, F. M. W. This congregation is 100% dedicated to providing services to Haitian little wonderers. Its facilities are in Kenskoff which is situated in the high elevation surrounding Port-au-Prince. Sœurs Redemptrices the Nazareth has a mandate that stipulates complete respect and cooperation with the Haitian traditional spiritual sector. Since 1860, the Catholic Church has been in opposition with the spiritual tradition practitioners of Haiti, a rivalry that can be mended by the growth of Sœurs Redemptrices de Naazareth as an autonomous institution.
Many Haitians consider, and support, Sœurs Redemptrices de Nazareth as a gesture of peace by the Catholic hierarchy, and hope that this autonomous institution can become effective in that role of peacemaker. Soeurs Redemptrices de Nazareth is 90% funded by the Haitian diaspora through the creative approach of Sister Dona Pierre Belizaire who collects street donations; the other 10% comes from the good will of individual donors.
Sœurs Redemptrices de Nazareth is a legally recognized educational institution in Haiti and in the United States where it holds 501c3 charitable educational institution status. As a Catholic entity, the institution also trains and ordains its clergies; and its autonomous status nullifies financial entitlement normally allocated to dependent Catholic congregations.
About Catholic Education in Haiti
Catholic Education is recognized worldwide as private institutions that exist outside the public school systems. In Haiti, Catholic education was extended to the public school system via the production of curriculum material and Catholic schools are attended by those who can afford them; they exist in most major Haitian cities.
Sœurs Redemptrices de Nazareth provides shelter, nutrition, education, and medical services to abandon children on its main Campus in Platon Cafḗ Kenskoff. It also runs other facilities that provides only shelter and nutrition in the South West of Haiti in the city of Jacmel and in the Northwest in the city of Port-de-Paix. Yet, other facilities throughout Haiti offer only nutrition to these abandoned children. The organization currently feeds more than 400 children per day in varying conditions and locations. Prior to 2012, Sœurs Redemptrices de Nazareth ran 28 locations providing a range of services from nutrition, shelter, alphabetization, vocational training, and education to more than 1,000 Haitian disadvantaged children using a unique method of cooperation by which the institution provided material to communities that ran the programs themselves.
This approach is very successful and popular in countryside communities throughout Haiti. We know that the popularity is translated as political power in Haiti’s political sector which demonstrates poor philosophical understanding of the gift that is Soeurs Redemptrices de Nazareth; we, Ordre des Martyrs, join this effort to help in shaping the future which, Ordre des Matyrs understands, depends on the hearts, minds, souls, and spirits of all Haitians.
About Children in Haiti
Over years of political instability, Haiti degraded from the Pearl of the Caribbean to that of a failed state under the stewardship of the United Nations. This historical instability produces close to 30,000 children roaming the streets as little wonderers. This overwhelming number produces phenomena that are beyond the scope of this space and beyond the capacity of the Haitian government, so demonstrated over many decades of disregard.
Normal Haitian society is family based with strong support for children, but these 30,000 children are unfortunate offsprings of the poor which make up the highest population in Haiti who live with less than $1.00 per day. Sœurs Redemptrices de Nazareth focus on alleviating the pain of those children and help them reach adulthood with a certain degree of dignity that is the right of all humans.
Generally, children in Haiti receive an education that is proportionate to their social status. The schools are generally equipped with classrooms and administrative facilities. There are no other services available to the average Haitian child in the public or private educational institutions.
Marginal children have very few options and they grow up to become delinquents that form a criminally exploited class which is the source of most violent acts committed in Haiti in recent decades. Those children are furthermore targeted for the common worldwide phenomena of organ harvesting and human trafficking. The population of abandoned children has swollen significantly from 1991 to its unmanageable status today but is yet to be considered in government policies. The management of this crisis is rather left to sporadic and makeshift Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) orphanages that play the role of transiting the children from the streets to adoption by foreigners. Sœurs Redemptrices de Nazareth is not a transiting NGO but a permanent home to those lucky enough to enter its facilities.
About Sister Dona
Donna P. Belizaire aka Sister Dona or Sœur Dona was an only child who began her devotion at 9 years old. By age of 16, sister Dona began charitable work with her own resources starting with a few children upon which experience the Congregation of Sœurs Redemptrices de Nazareth was mandated when she reached age 24.
Sister Dona, in addition to her theological education, also attended the national law school in Haiti and is recognized by Haitian courts at some capacity. She is well versed in philosophy, especially the thin line between philosophy and spirituality, which is the basis of her work as a devoted Christian well versed in the traditional spiritual healing methods of Haiti. As a faith healer she helps many Haitians in her ministry, conducts healing group prayers, performs “action de grace,” and leads religious assemblies.
Sister Dona, through her creative means started the school in Kenskoff which is the proprietor of the facilities. Kenskoff, specifically the Platon Cafe neighborhood where the school is located, has in recent years became the home of the richest Haitians who would prefer not to face the reality of the 30,000 abandoned children with such campus in their neighborhood although they took residence after the school was created. The school becomes a target for all sorts of cunning with the goal of discrediting it and closing it.
Sister Dona was arrested in 2012, spent 3 and a half years in prison waiting for a trial while the Haitian government ignored the pleas and inquiries of many sectors of the Haitian community, the Catholic hierarchy, and international human rights organization. She was granted a trial and acquitted, in December 2015, after three and half years of incarceration, intimidation, and threats targeted at closing the Kenskoff School.In the course of the three and a half years, the Haitian government took no pity on those children that were deprived of the services provided by Sœurs Redemptrices de Nazareth that basically was closed due to its incapacity to raise funds and operate in the absence of Sister Dona.
This cultural disregard for human dignity in Haiti is the “raison d’être” of Sœurs Redemptrices de Nazareth because this cultural indifference created a society that discriminates against itself which has been exploited to the extreme by foreigners who manipulate Haitian governments since 1806 from which time Haiti has failed to produce a reliable and respectable government due to the indifference of skin deep intellectuals who represent the governing class; sad truth is the fact that this is the status quo with no change possible in the foreseeable future because it is worsening as exemplified in the last 10 years.
It was not expected that Sister Dona’s incarceration scenario would persist for three and a half years due to the absence of evidence to warrant judicial detainment because Sister Dona was accused of committing an act in Haiti, on a date that she was not on the territory of Haiti, so stamped on her passport which was available to Haitian authorities at the time of her arrest. She spends 75% of her time in the Haitian diaspora in New York, Philadelphia, Canada, Florida, Chicago, Georgia, and Paris. Sister Dona mainly solicits Haitians as a way to avoid further national denigration so often dished out to Haiti and Haitians. Her solicitation reminds Haitians of their pride ancestry with a picture of Jn Jacques Dessalines attached to the little box that she asks Haitians to put one dollar in. While on collection trips, Sister Dona stays with friends and relatives who have been supporting her work since 1989.
About Damages due to Aging, Natural Disasters, and Sabotaging
The stewardship of the campus dwindled during the said unexpected three and a half years; the unintended neglect yields dilapidation due to aging and lack of repairs. Further damages were inflicted on the facilities by the Earthquake in 2010 and hurricane Matthew in 2016. These damages are now providing the unfriendly neighbors of Sœurs Redemptrices de Nazareth with the justification to unleash the Haitian government to pursue its extremely well demonstrated policy of harassment of the campus in favor of the enriched entities that are the neighbors.
The campus is equipped with girls and boys dormitories, cooking facilities, cafeteria, and classrooms at the primary and secondary school levels. A medical staff has been recently added and a medical facility is under construction which is prioritized over the damages that need attention. The priority is simply due to the fact that Haiti is vulnerable to pandemic such as the cholera outbreak that took many lives, and with children coming from inhuman living conditions, the worst is to be planned for, as the campus resumed its activities this past September 2017.
About the Projects Underway
Sœurs Redemptrices de Nazareth was granted an allotment by the Catholic agency Caritas International of Germany, but the collection of this grant was preempted by the aforementioned incarceration in 2012. The circumstances after the earthquake stressed all organizations in Haiti beyond capacity, that created difficulties in releasing funds, thus, the institution lost the grant because there was no one available to navigate the complex bureaucracy to release said funds.
The main projects underway are the medical facility and a septic system to address sanitation issues. Additionally, at this time the damages sustained from the earthquake in 2010 and hurricane Matthew in 2016 are also being partially attended to.
In its 28 years of existence Sœurs Redemptrices de Nazareth has not maintained an administrative overhead. The institution does not own motor vehicles of any sort, and cut all other expenses related to conveniences. Close to 95% of the expenditures are directly related to sheltering, feeding, and educating the disadvantaged children.
You can view the damages to the facilities at the headquarters of Soeurs Redemptrices de Nazareth as well as our effort to make the repairs in this virtual tour.