By Ryan Worms
On this Saturday 5 November the people of Trianon are celebrating. Today the Caritas Hinche – Trianon health centre is being inaugurated, a major event for this small community from the Central Plateau region in Haiti.
From now on, the people of Trianon and neighbouring districts will no longer have to make a journey that can take more than three days to access healthcare. In this new health centre they will be able to get vaccinations and medical attention 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. Women will be able to benefit from prenatal care and professional support during childbirth. A hospital ward will also be able to admit and treat the most urgent cases for a short period before transferring them to larger hospitals if necessary.
“Caritas is above all the strength of the community”
Early in the morning the entire Trianon community got ready to welcome the dignitaries who will attend the inauguration. The Caritas Hinche team, headed by its director the Reverend Jacques Volcius, put the finishing touches to the formalities. The choir assembled in the courtyard of the health centre in front of around 400 people. A couple of minutes later, the Bishop of Hinche, Monseigneur Simon Pierre St Hillien, arrived and began celebrating the Holy Eucharist.
In his homily, Mons. St Hillien held up the community of Trianon and its priest, Fr Jean Serdieu, who also heads the parish Caritas, as an example. He warmly congratulated them on this great success and reminded everyone that the strength of Caritas is above all the strength of the community.
A health centre born out of the sacrifices of the community
It took four years to get this health centre up and running, as 60 percent of the construction costs were financed by funds raised among this modest Haitian community. But this is also what underlies the greatness of the health centre, which is a source of great pride for all of Trianon’s people. As Father Serdieu points out: “This centre was born out of the sacrifices of the community and the solidarity of Trianon’s people, and is a first vital step in the regeneration of our region.”
According to the centre’s senator, Doctor Francisco de la Cruz, “this undertaking is proof that the Haitian people are capable of doing great things on their own, and we must continue the transformation of our country”.
On conclusion of the Mass and the official speeches, people were able to enjoy the banquet laid on in their honour and celebrate their happiness. The engineer Marcelin Esterlin, the project manager, joined in a toast with Father Serdieu. The two men are the linchpins of this construction. The engineer said that he was truly moved. “It’s extraordinary to see that our work serves the community and may improve the living conditions of its inhabitants.”
Efforts will still be needed to ensure that the health centre is well equipped and running smoothly. However, Father Serdieu and the Caritas parish team are not afraid of a few more weeks’ work. He concludes by saying that “God will present us with our next challenges and we will serve him by tackling them”.