Michel and his children 

Michel Jean-Duquais

Literally getting his hands dirty for the past five years, it’s not hard to smile when working with agronomist Michel Jean-Duquais. Arriving at the office on a motorcycle or in a flatbed truck filled with watering cans, Michel always greets everyone, from Hope for Haiti office staff to the farmers in his gardens, with a big smile. Michel, 39 years old, was born in Grand-Anse, near Jeremie (in southwestern Haiti) to a farming family. Without many memories of his own father, Michel opens up on the importance of not only being a father, but on being a good role model … Read More


Edner Paul

“This is My Haiti” – Teacher Gives Back to his Local School School Director Edner Paul knows first-hand the value of education. He attended the local primary school as a child before advancing through junior high school via a two-hour walk each day. “I was a very driven student. I spent all my time learning my lessons because I knew today’s effort would help me tomorrow.” He returned to his community and began supporting the school, which was founded in 1976 in response to the long walk required for younger children. “Last week, a man headed down the mountain to … Read More


Erol and Claudine

“This is My Haiti” – Students Dream of the Future 18-year-old cousins Erol and Claudine have attended school together their whole lives. Both are sixth graders at their local rural primary school. If they pass the state exam in the fall, they will need to walk more than two hours each day to continue in the local junior high school. Claudine excels in French, while Erol prefers music. Both have an older and a younger brother and their families work farming beans. Both can remember when Hope for Haiti began supporting their school four years ago. Without Hope for Haiti’s … Read More


Marie Francelene Essais

“This is My Haiti” – Marie Francelene Essais Hope for Haiti’s education program leads to a special nursing scholarship. Marie Francelene Essais is a nursing student at the University of Notre Dame in Les Cayes, Haiti. The 23-year old grew up in Laurent, about 15 minutes away from Hope for Haiti’s headquarters in the Southern Department. In a household with 1 sister and 2 brothers, Marie’s mom works hard as a small-scale cook selling in the markets of Les Cayes and Port au Prince. Despite her efforts, Marie couldn’t afford to pay tuition. Both Marie’s mother and father inspire her … Read More


Sister Gisèle

“This is My Haiti” – Sister Gisèle, Saint François de Sales School Sister Gisèle Chaperon smiles when she leads visitors through her school. Wearing a construction hat over her religious veil, she speaks of the future – a new library, a state of the art computer room and multi-media center for the first time, and vocational training available for all members of the Riviere Froide community. Behind the optimism lies difficult memories; located just outside of Port au Prince, Haiti’s capital city, the school was completely destroyed in the January 2010 earthquake. However, it is leaders like Sister Gisele that … Read More


Dr. Esperance Dupervil

“This is My Haiti” – Dr. Esperance Dupervil Dr. Bernadette Esperance Dupervil has been working as Hope for Haiti’s Infirmary Saint Etienne Dentist for the past two and a half years. Entering as a volunteer, Dr. Dupervil supported Healthcare Director Dr. Steeve Victor with all tasks, even working in the Pharmacy and arranging donated medications. Reflecting on her tenure, she describes Hope for Haiti as a “family – because in a family we support each other. That’s what I’ve seen during my time here.” Family has defined much of Dr. Dupervil’s professional and personal experiences. As a child, Dr. Dupervil … Read More


Sr. Denise Desil

“This is My Haiti” – Sr. Denise Desil Hope for Haiti’s Founder and Chair, JoAnne Kuehner, first met Sister Denise Desil in 2000 after reading an article in a Scranton, Pennsylvania newspaper. After this lucky introduction to the Catholic Order of the Little Sisters of Saint Therese, JoAnne knew she had to help the Sisters’ tireless efforts to better Haiti. Baraderes is a mountainous region about two hours from Hope for Haiti’s headquarters in Les Cayes, Southern Haiti. The road is rocky, steep, and often floods, and because of the location residents there receive little of the government’s limited resources. … Read More


Touya Deina Leones

Touya Deina Leones “Bidu” – Life At The Beach Throughout Haiti, Bidu’s restaurant in Port Salut is known for its incredible lobster. Located just 45 minutes from the Hope for Haiti office in Les Cayes, the restaurant has been a favorite weekend getaway for the past five years. Born Touya Deina Leones, “Bidu” started his restaurant as an independent smallbusiness. Growing up on a small farm, Bidu learned business from his mother—who sold fried snacks and homemade coffee in the local market. Entrepreneurship was a value he learned at a young age. “When I was a kid, I knew I … Read More


Raymond Lucien

Raymond Lucien – Hope for Haiti’s Vehicle Manager “When I think of Raymond, I think of the day he made me a road,” says incoming Country Director Jessica Jean-Francois with a smile of remembrance. “We were on our way to a rural school site visit. They had been working on building a road, but there were really steep hills and construction wasn’t finished through the ravine. We got out of the car to start hiking – it’s usually about an hour hike, and Raymond said he’d catch up later. Sure enough, he came and met us, and since then we’ve … Read More


Dr. Elmide Nazaire

“This is My Haiti” Dr. Elmide Nazaire, Director of Infirmary Saint Etienne May 7, 2012 – Jennifer Lang, Program Manager Doctor Elmide Nazaire, Director of Hope for Haiti’s Infirmary Saint Etienne, embodies the ideals that define our mission. When she’s not consulting on the over 150 cases seen per week and managing ten staff members, she gives back to her community and leads by example. Dr. Elmide’s family home is in Beaumont, Grand Anse – a small town close to Jeremie, a city known for its traditional Ra-Ra bands and annual Flag Day celebration on May 18. Her father was … Read More