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October 25, 2016, Adrian, Michigan – The Adrian Dominican Sisters’ Portfolio Advisory Board (PAB) is sending out a new loan to Fonkoze USA for its efforts in securing financial and technical support to its Haitian partner, Fonkoze. The loan was recommended by the PAB and approved by the Congregation’s General Council.

The Adrian Dominican Sisters have been involved with Fonkoze since 1997, when it first received a loan from the Congregation. Sister Maureen Fenlon, OP, served on the founding board of Fonkoze. 

Fonkoze is a family of organizations that work together to empower Haitians – especially women – to move their families out of poverty. The organization’s 45 branches cover every area of Haiti and are the only access to financial services for many Haitians. It envisions a Haiti where “people, standing together, shoulder to shoulder, have pulled themselves out of poverty.”

“As a Haitian institution, Fonkoze is adept at navigating the complexities of working in a failed state with limited infrastructure, insecurity, economic instability, and climactic crisis,” according to Leigh Carter, founder of Fonkoze USA. 

The organization is working to mitigate the damage brought about by Hurricane Matthew on October 4, 2016. The hurricane brought “near total devastation” to some areas, and coastal areas continue to suffer from flooding, Leigh Carter reported. Communications channels and the efforts of rescue teams were hampered by the effects of the hurricane.

Before Matthew struck, staff members of the Fonkoze branches had taken precautions by securing files and equipment. The day after the hurricane struck, 27 branches were operating online to assist the people who desperately needed financial help in the wake of Matthew.

Staff members of Chemen Lavi Miyò (CLM), a Fonkoze program that serves the ultra poor, immediately began to visit the households of their clients. CLM’s budget includes an emergency fund to support its clients in the current crisis. The nurses in Fonkoze’s Community Health Store reached out to the local community health entrepreneurs. In addition, they will hold a campaign between October 17 and October 31 to train the entrepreneurs on hygiene and cholera prevention, making antibacterial soaps and chlorine solution tablets more readily available. 

Fonkoze has learned from its experience in several disasters that have struck Haiti: Hurricane Jeanne in 2004; Hurricanes Faye, Gustav, Hanna, and Ike in 2008; and a 2010 earthquake that killed more than 200,000 people. In those situations, Fonkoze took the steps necessary to help their clients recover from disaster: forgiving the outstanding balance of loans, offering special loans to help in their recovery, and offering money transfer services to people who desperately needed the immediate financial help.

Founded more than 40 years ago, the PAB was a response to the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ vision for social change. Firmly rooted in the tradition of Catholic social teachings, the PAB helps the Congregation to advocate for social justice in two ways. Through Community Investments work, the PAB offers low-interest loans to non-profit community organizations that benefit low-income people and underserved communities. The PAB Corporate Responsibility arm monitors the Congregation’s investments and engages in shareholder activities on matters of justice involving corporations in which the Congregation invests.

Feature photo: Hurricane Matthew wreaks devastation in Les Cayes, Haiti. 161014-F-MQ799-0385 by The 621st Contingency Response Wing on Flickr, CC BY 2.0

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By Cara Hansen

October 25, 2016, West Palm Beach, Florida – To meet the needs of parents, Rosarian Academy has expanded its Early Childhood program offerings to include three-day and four-day program options for children ages 12 months to 4 years old. The growing and popular Montessori pre-school, conveniently located to downtown West Palm Beach, now allows parents to choose three, four or five half days or full days. 

Children’s House teacher Devin Andersen helps a student water the flowers in the classroom garden.

Rosarian’s Early Childhood program comprises the Junior Toddler House (up to 24 months), Toddler House (ages 2 to 3 years) and Children’s House (ages 3 to 5 years). 

The program strictly follows the Montessori curriculum. The classrooms provide a caring, individualized, and structured learning environment. The school’s highly trained Montessori-certified teachers lead their students through challenging lessons that develop concentration, independence, and sense of self. Emphasis is placed on developing a love of learning through hands-on Montessori lessons, investigation, and discovery. 

The Children’s House curriculum is enriched with co-curricular classes in physical education, art, music, library, Spanish, and gardening. Extra-curricular offerings include Strings Chamber Orchestra, karate, and dance.

A Toddler House student works independently on the Montessori practical life lesson of pouring water.

Rosarian Academy is hosting an open house on Wednesday, November 30, at 9:00 a.m. Visitors have the opportunity to tour the campus, meet the administration and faculty members, and witness students joyfully engaged in the learning process. Register for the Open House online at www.rosarian.org/open-house  or call 561-345-3106 to schedule a personal tour.

Rosarian Academy, founded in 1925, educates students from early childhood through eighth grade and offers an exceptionally strong academic program enriched by athletics, visual and performing arts, and community service opportunities. The independent Catholic school is located in downtown West Palm Beach and is sponsored by the Adrian Dominican Sisters. For more information, visit www.rosarian.org or call 561-345-3106.



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