April 28-29, 21 representatives from the St. Joseph’s Family (St. Joseph’s Home for Boys, Wings of Hope, & Trinity House) attended a conference for twelve hours of state-mandated training presented by an IBESR official (French acronym for social/human services department of Haiti). The attendees learned how they can be a part of continuing progress in Haiti and how to address obstacles faced when serving children from difficult backgrounds.
The IBESR official encouraged and exhorted the St. Joseph’s leaders:
Your work is a blessing for Haiti, and Haiti blesses your work. You must not take that responsibility lightly. Haiti needs strong, talented people to continue her development. It is your responsibility to change the international media image of Haiti. Although currently there are many obstacles, Haiti needs to make progress, and we can.
Mariana Past of Dickinson College, Pennsylvania submitted a summary of the conference. It concludes,
At the end of the conference, Maya thanked the presenter, led everyone in a large round of applause, and distributed certificates to everyone who had participated. It was obvious that the seminar had been an extremely successful team-building experience for the group, and that they had not only learned a lot about practical and legal matters, but been inspired to continue carrying out their important work with children in Haiti. And to this particular observer—who was generously permitted to sit in during the entire event—it was gratifying to realize that although indeed a valuable experience for the group overall, the seminar was also somewhat of a formality. Throughout the conference, the presenter had in effect been preaching to a very talented choir: the mission, approach, and achievements of St. Josephs Home for Boys, Wings of Hope and Trinity House far exceed any state guidelines, and the children, the program, and the entire community all thrive.