Since 1998, Sacred Heart in Winnetka has been the twin parish of St. Jean Baptiste Parish in Sassier, Haiti. Sassier is located about 160 miles west of Port au Prince, Haiti’s capital. It is in a remote area with no electricity, public water service, or other services we consider essential. There is one dirt and gravel road, so people walk most places. Only motorized transport is motorcycles. There are very few cars. Sassier is situated about 8 miles outside of provincial capital of Jeremie, about a 2 or 3 hours walk. The parish is about 20 square miles, with a population of 10,000. People are very, very poor.
Zanmi Sasye–Partners with Sassier collaborates on the US side with Sacred Heart Parish in Winnetka. St. Jean Baptiste, the Diocese of Jeremie and two Haitian not for profits [Oganizasyon Zanmi Sasye (OZS) and Oganizasyon Zanmi Grandans (OZGA)] collaborate on the Haitian side. Our primary activities include:
Haiti Parish and OZS collaborate on management and operation of the Parish school with 750 students from Preschool to 13th grade; US provides funding and technical assistance
- 2OZS owns and operates the Sassier Clinic with Parish collaboration
- 3OZGA builds schools and other infrastructure projects, as well as developing and implementing the Agriculture Project that was established following Hurricane Matthew (October 2016)
- 4Sacred Heart supports Parish activities and the Parish schools in Haiti; Sacred Heart parishioners were also most generous in their response to the devastation after Hurricane Matthew
- 5Zanmi Sasye provides technical assistance for a variety of economic development and other projects, primarily implemented thru OZS and OZGA, with cooperation of Parish; also provides or arranges funding from US or from international organizations.