Mercy Focus on Haiti
Haiti and GMercyU United in Spirit and Story
Mercy Focus on Haiti is a ministry of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas. Its members are led to service and solidarity with people who are materially poor, especially those living in Haiti. They partner with the Haitian people to meet their unmet needs and we collaborate with like-minded organizations.
Since 2018, the GMercyU community has embraced the efforts of this ministry by seeking opportunities to support on-ground efforts through service, scholarship, education, and fundraising.
To learn more about Haiti, visit our Library Guide.
GMercyU first engaged with Mercy Focus on Haiti (MFOH) in 2018 when a team of faculty, staff, and student delegates visited Gros Morne, Haiti to learn about the various programs offered by MFOH. With an initial hope to engage with our Haitian partners through travel to Gros Morne, since then political unrest in Haiti and the global pandemic challenged us to explore creative ways to collaborate with our international partners from home.
This year, MFOH will bring Haiti to the GMercyU campus.
To help our community better understand the work in Haiti and the importance of water in their communities, we will collaborate with Mercy Focus on Haiti and the engineer who guides the building of cisterns to build a cistern on campus.
It will collect rain water to be used to irrigate the Campus Learning Garden located near Valie Genuardi Hall. Students will have the opportunity to assist in the building of the cistern, and its presence will serve as a reminder of our connection to the ongoing work in Haiti.
We invite faculty, staff, and students to consider supporting this collaboration with the Sisters of Mercy and Mercy Focus on Haiti. We welcome offices, departments, classes, teams, and organizations to join with friends and colleagues to collects funds to support the building of our campus cistern. Then, participate in the building of the cistern this April.
The fundraising campaign begins February 1, 2024 and continues through the spring semester.
The Gwynedd Mercy University community was thrilled to present a $1,277 donation to build one cistern allows the people of Gros Morne, Haiti to collect 1,000-1,500 gallon of rainwater. Rainwater harvesting provides clean water to the community for drinking and for gardens, and helps control soil erosion. Without the cisterns, water collection usually falls to women and children who must walk one to two hours to collect river water and carry it back uphill to their homes.
GMercyU was excited to present a $3,600 donation to benefit the Lekól Jesi-Mari (Jesus & Mary Primary School). Our community held a fundraising campaign that engaged students, staff, faculty, who were humbled to learn about the efforts and community work provided by the school.
Social Work, Occupational Therapy, and Public Health faculty members at GMercyU partnered with Mercy Focus on Haiti in 2021 to conduct a secondary data analysis of the Chemin Lavi Miyo (CLM) program, also known as Pathway to a Better Life. The research project seeks to understand the factors that contribute to sustained outcomes for CLM graduates in the two years following graduation from the program. Anticipated results are expected in Spring 2022 and the team looks forward to engaging GMercyU students with our partners at CLM in responding to the findings of the study. Learn more here: Chemin Lavi Miyò Leads a Woman Out of Ultra-Poverty
Here are a few more examples of our innovative community-engaged learning projects from the past several years:
- GMercyU Sends Team to Haiti for Immersion Experience
- GMercyU Social Work Students Raise $600 for Chateau D'eau
- GMercyU Sponsors Pillowcase Drive for Mercy Focus on Haiti
- MFH - Pillowcase Drive
- Mercy Focus on Haiti Liaison Visits Social Work Class
- GMercyU Psychology Students Presents Research about Ultra Poverty
GMercyU Mercy Focus on Haiti Team
- Cindy Casey, Program Director and Assistant Professor of Practice, Computer Information Science
- Tatiana Diaz, Assistant Vice President of DEI
- James Gallo, Vice President for Mission Integration
- Mindy MacRone-Wojton, Assistant Professor, Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy
- Thomas Mernar, Associate Professor and Director, Occupational Therapy
- Janice Nuss, Assistant Professor & Director of Field Education, Social Work
- Mary Jo Pierantozzi, Assistant Professor, Education
- Betsy Stone Plummer, Director of Service and Catherine's Cupboard
- Jill Winnington, Assistant Dean and Business Program Director
- Sharla Willis, Program Director, Public Health