Dear Friends,

The rainy season has always brought troubles for the Haitian people: flooding, mudslides, malaria, and in recent years, deadly cholera. Now there’s a new outbreak spreading across the country: Chikungunya fever.

Our programs have been flooded with patients, with both St. Luke’s and St. Mary’s in Cite Soleil stretching as usual to meet overwhelming need. Our ability to serve the many seeking treatment depends on the funds to buy fluids and medications, and our ability to maintain these overflowing structures.

We wanted you, our friends, to be aware of this great new need.

The name Chikungunya means “to become contorted” or “to bend up” because the pain caused by the virus is so intense that all you can do is hold your aching joints and wait for it to be over. Haitians have adopted the name kraze le zo or “breaking bone” in Creole.

There is no anti-viral treatment for Chikungunya fever, and no vaccine, but one can treat the symptoms. While rarely fatal with proper treatment, many Haitians don’t have access to or can’t afford reliable healthcare, putting them at risk for severe dehydration and chronic pain that lasts for days or even months. It can be particularly dangerous for the very young and the elderly.

Thank you as always for your friendship and support. It is a great comfort to know that we can count on you.
With gratitude,

Father Rick Frechette
and Dr. Augustin, Co-Director of Medical Programs, St. Luke Haiti


To know more:


Little Engracia, 7 years old, affected by congenital glaucoma, which prevented her sight and caused her eye pain that forced her to constantly bow her head, was visited in Angola by volunteer optometrists and ophthalmologists from the Fondazione Francesca Rava – NPH Italia Onlus during a recent humanitarian mission, carried out in partnership with Federottica and AIMO, in 8 African countries on “Etna”, the Italian Marina Militare’s Ship that circumnavigated Africa.

The mission resulted in free eye screenings for 2,513 children, the donation of 605 pairs of eyeglasses, created ad hoc, and special attention provided to extreme cases that couldn’t be cured in their own country, such as Engracia.

On May 11th, Engracia and her father were brought from Angola by the Fondazione Francesca Rava to the Gaslini Hospital in Genova. The Fondazione had already been collaborating with Gaslini to help children from the NPH Orphanage in Honduras.

Gaslini Hospital provided Engracia with medical care that was not available in Angolia including an extensive diagnosis of her illness, pain relief, cure of the infections, and improved sight.

Engratia was discharged from Gasilini Hospital on Monday and will return today to her home, which is a village 30 km from the capital, Luanda, where she lives with 5 little sisters. Thanks to special glasses she’s able to see shadows and shapes, she is regaining the ability to walk and move in space, her pain is mitigated, and she is finally able to raise her head and start a new life.

The Fondazione Francesca Rava will continue to follow her to guarantee she receives the medicine that she will need for the rest of her life to keep her illness in check.

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The departure from the angolan airport


The little Engracia the day of her arrival in Italy, with her dad Oliveira and Maria Chiara Roti

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The arrival of the little girl in the Fondazione Francesca Rava’s Headquarters


Engracia at Gasilini Hospital with Chiara


Engracia with her dad Oliveira, Mariavittoria Rava, the professor Capris and the general manager of Gaslini institute, Paolo Petralia

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We’ve recieved from Haiti these beautiful and exciting pictures of the first tilapia fish “harvest”: more than 2200 fish ready to be eaten by our little patients from Saint Damien’s Hospital and by the children of the Orphanage!

A big thank you to everyone that has contributed to realising this project against malnutrition and towards self-sustainability for haitian children.






1-   Nutrition for thousands of kids (50.000 meals/year)

2-   Controlled chain

3-   Small profit contribution for self-sustainability

4-   The creation of work for a group of boys to help them learn a trade

5-   Microcredit for women who will sell the fish in local markets

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Your vote – and that of your friends, family and colleagues – will help us win €150,000 from Mediolanum Bank.
The funds from this important crowd sharing initiative will be sent to Father Rick and his team in Haiti for the Tilapia Fish Farm Project – expected to nourish and provide essential proteins to children at St. Damien Pediatric Hospital, NPH homes, orphanages and schools in Port au Prince, Haiti.

The voting process is very easy. Please follow these simple instructions:
-enter into the initiative by clicking here;
-click on the Vote button;
-register (in the section on the right);
-you will receive an email confirming activation and providing a link to vote;
-Pick our project “Haiti: pesci per nutrire, lavoro per crescere” in the section “Nutriamo il futuro
-pick the number of votes you want to assign to this project (from 1 to 5) and click “Vota”. You have finished!

Please share this message with as many people as possible.
We have until April 30 and your simple, fast gesture can make a huge difference in the lives of Haitian children.
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As the Easter celebrations draw near, I am more keenly aware of how many parallels of the crucifixion and the resurrection we find in the lives of the children and adults whom we serve.

Hunger without hope for sufficient food, weariness without hope for a place to rest in peace, sickness without hope for healing are the nails

of the cross of poverty. Unfulfilled dreams because of lack of educational opportunities, fear and pain because of crime and violence, and loss of hope and trust in adults, who are abusive and neglectful, are the nails of the cross children carry, who have been deprived of loving parental care. Suffering, enduring physical and emotional pain is a universal human condition we all experience at one moment or another in our lives. For those of us who are rooted in our faith, seeing Christ on the cross can help us to endure our own sufferings, hearing about Mary watching

her son dying on the cross can help us in accepting better Fortunately, the story does not end here. Christ resurrects on the third day ecoming the light of the world. Watching our children after they join our NPH family is often observing their resurrection. Within time, the burden of the children’s crosses give way to hope in life, a life where basic needs are met, opportunities to develop abound and where children can regain trust in themselves and in others.

Most importantly, they can grow in their faith and become a light to others. Of course, it is easy for me to just say this but the proof is in the words of young adult Pequeños/as who recently answered the question: “What does NPH mean to you?”

Here are a few examples representative of many answers:

“For me, NPH means family, security, a new beginning, opportunities and spiritual, professional and emotional development.”

“NPH is my family, and it has been my family since I was four years old. And it will be to the end (of my life). NPH is an example of God’s love for us, his children, put into practice by Father Wasson, an instrument of God’s love.”

“NPH is a second chance in life that no one else can give you the way NPH does, because here (at NPH) you know that you can achieve your dreams and goals, it is only up to you to fulfill them.”

“NPH means to me love, and the opportunity to change the way of life I used to have.”

I wish you a blessed Easter Celebration and thank you for being a light in the world of our children.”


Reinhart Koehler




Dear NPH Family,

Growing food was the first activity that gave us enough prosperity to stay in one place, form complex social groups, tell our stories, and build our cities.” from the book  “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle”.

 Thanks to a donor from Italy, during this month of January, we began growing Tilapia for our programs: St. Helene, Fr. Wasson Angels of Light and St. Damien Hospital. A portion of our production will be sold to benefit St. Damien.

We are expecting a harvest or 1400kg every 100 days or 4,200 kg per year

This is part of an initiative for sustainable food production that includes recycling the fish water for agriculture.

We have also experimented with a plant called moringa, rich in vitamins to be added to sauces and salads.

We are enthusiastic about our effort to have local production of food high in nutritional value.”

Thank you,

Fr Rick

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Dear Friends,
The year 2013 saw some new beginnings for us at NPH Haiti, and also continued to bring us the trials and tribulations that Haiti is well known for. We are still working hard to bring all our post- earthquake programs into financial and structural equilibrium, and we are so grateful for the overwhelming support we receive from around the world, which in time will make this goal achievable. These programs include neonatology, maternity, cholera treatment, the Father Wasson’s Angels of Light (FWAL) home for vulnerable children, and the Don Bosco expansion, which includes residential housing for over 60 students and an increase in our university students to 85.

During the year we were faced with two major challenges. The financial crisis in the developed world still gives us great stress as we strive to meet the budgets for all of our programs. We have been working hard to restructure our programs centralize purchasing, increase usage of digital technology for efficiency – such as our fingerprint time clock for employees, to move significantly toward solar energy, and to train our directors to be more interactive with the accounting office on a weekly basis related to their spending. We will soon have one National Director for our healthcare programs, and another National Director for our children’s homes and child development programs. These efforts have enabled us to stay afloat, and we are hopeful we can make it through 2014 in the same way.

The second major challenge is the mounting social and political instability in Haiti, with calls for the removal of the President, and resulting in frequent and chaotic demonstrations in the street.
One of these huge mobs, not permitted to get any closer to the American Embassy than our hospital gate, erupted into chaos, and the tear gas used against them came into our hospital.
Crime always rises during these turbulent times, and we were its victims when armed thieves beat and robbed Gena Heraty from Ireland, and killed Major Cesar, a loyal 25-year employee and night watchmen at our St. Helene home in Kenscoff. Major gave his life to help Gena, and in civil society and by all religious codes, there is no higher honor than what Major did, giving his life to help someone in danger. We hold Major in our hearts with honor and as a hero.While we are working hard to assure justice in this tragic assault, we also are determined not to let it sour us, discourage us, divert the work of our hands or dampen the love in our hearts for the children who need us. We are working diligently on educating and forming our young adults, preparing them for life once they leave NPH and are faced with living in such a rough world. We hope and pray their generation can manage to change things for the better.
We are thankful that our quality of care is always improving at St. Damien Hospital, thanks to so many international partners that come to teach, train, and work by our sides. We have served over over 22,000 children in hospital pediatric consults and admissions alone, and an additional 4,000 in neonatlogy. Over 800 children have received surgeries and the tuberculosis program has assisted over 1,900 children.
More good news: cholera cases countrywide are decreasing! But we can’t afford to take a back seat in the fight against it, since there are fewer and fewer cholera centers, and serious spikes of the disease with every rain. Our pediatric cholera ward averages over 400 children monthly.

This past October, we had the joy of inaugurating Kay Gabriel, our new adult and child physical therapy center, adjacent to Kay Germaine. Equally joyful, we began construction of the permanent homes for the children of the Fr. Wasson Angels of Light. It will be a wonderful
transition for the children from living in modified shipping containers to a real home.

We pray that the year of grace 2014 might bring, for you and for us, blessings, peace and success, on all of our work done in God’s name. We also pray for strength, patience and wisdom in the face of our many challenges.

God bless you!


Fr. Rick Frechette, CP


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