"...have the courage to go against the tide of this culture...
the culture of exclusion, of rejection, is spreading...
There is no place for the elderly or for the unwanted child;
there is no time for that poor person in the street.
Be servants of communion and of the culture of encounter!"
– Pope Francis
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Bois de Laurence is one of the interior communal sections located in the Northeastern part of Haiti. It is bounded by the Commune of Vallieres to the North, Commune of Carice to the East, Commune of Mombin Crochu to the West (Bois de Laurence is part of this Commune), and the Commune of Cerca Carvajal to the South.
Bois de Laurence is a town helmed in by mountains; there is only one road that traverses the path to and from the nearest cities of Hinche and Ouanaminthe. This road is woefully inadequate, especially during the rainy season. The main means of transportation accessing the town of Bois de Laurence are motorcycles and various kinds of animals, namely cow, horse, mule, and donkey.
Bois de Laurence has a population of more or less 23,000. Children (0-12 years) and the youth (13-30 years) comprise a greater percentage of the population.
The major sources of income are farming (98%) and jobs provided by the government private institutions (2%). Some residents are into commercial activities. Others are into charcoal making and into indiscriminate logging, two occupations that pose a big environmental problem. Some women are into embroidery and commerce.
There are some government structures present that provide social services such as a dispensary, primary and secondary school, a tribunal, and a government records office. However, these institutions don’t function effectively due to the lack of supplies and personnel. There are three primary schools being administered by the Catholic and Protestant groups.
There are some Catholic and Protestant churches and some charismatic movements present in the community, but the biggest number of the population is Catholic.
St Anne's Parish
The Catholic church, St. Anne’s parish, is located in the diocese of Fort-Liberté, in Northeast of Haiti. Founded some years back, today St. Anne’s comprises four large communities aside from Bois de Laurence, which is the center: Gerbobe, Logatte, Langouamithe and Sylvestre.
Saint Jean Bosco School
The Ecole Presbytérale Saint Jean Bosco School was founded in 1974 by Father Augustin Vrecko, a Salesian priest. Today the school services the Catholic community of Bois de Laurence and is run by Father Anaclet Mukendi Mpunga, CICM, of St. Anne’s parish. The school enrolls over 700 students grades Kindergarten through Grade 6. There are about 45 students in each classroom and two or three classrooms per grade.There are currently 22 teachers teaching at the school.
The dedicated children, teachers and staff can walk up to four hours each way every school day to attend or teach class and many also attend Sunday service at one of the three sites serviced by St. Anne’s. Many of the teachers also teach CCD on Saturday mornings for the local children of the communities. Seven cooks prepare a much needed nutritious meal that is subsidized by the World Food Program for all children each school day and two others maintain the school facilities.
The biggest need of the Saint Jean Bosco School is continuous funding of teachers in order to maintain high quality education to the young and dedicated children of Bois de Laurence.
Ministry Contact: Sean McArdle