A Divine Mission
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A Divine Mission
Deacon Patrick Moynihan is a missionary in Haiti who runs the Louverture Cleary School, offering a free secondary education to youth in this Port-au-Prince suburb. He believes that the way to rebuild Haiti is through providing education everywhere, no matter how bad the conditions may be.
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Produced and directed by Paul Franz.

Find out more about Haiti's education crisis.


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Segment 1

DEACON PATRICK MOYNIHAN [Director, Louverture Cleary School]
Education really works this way: a teacher, a blackboard to write on, and somewhere for kids to sit. And if all the community can provide at this point is a shady tree, get teaching under a shady tree. We don't need any expert ideas in Haiti. We need work - hard, basic work - and a lot of funding. My name is Deacon Patrick Moynihan and I am the president of The Haitian Project as well as the head of Louverture Cleary School just outside of Port-au-Prince in Santo. They opened the school in 1987 and I came in 1996, and since then we took the school from being 175 students to 350. I decided to leave trading in 1995; I was working for Louis Dreyfus as a commodities and options trader. My faith is at the base of everything I do, and theology and how the church looks at social teachings and the gospels underline everything that we do here and everything that I do. And so from day one, I've always called myself a missionary. It literally changed my life. From trading and working for my own success and making sure my family was successful to changing to working for other people's success and giving my life back. What you receive for free you must give for free. I received a lot of education in my life and so it just made sense to be part of giving education to people who had no chance for it.
To have a good education in Haiti you have to pay a lot, at Louverture Cleary it's totally free. We try to take people who cannot pay for school, people who need the school. I have a good education with nothing. You don't pay for it.
This school is all about the country of Haiti and rebuilding the country. And this was before the earthquake, of course. Before the earthquake we said, "Nous pret a rebatir Haiti," which means, "We are ready to rebuild Haiti." We come in and work at the level, and move from the level up. We don't come in and say the level is so deplorable you can't work at it. And that sets you apart from the NGO and the other strategies; the missionary is a very specific strategy and it works very well in Haiti.
Video by Paul Franz, Lara Petusky Coger. Produced in association with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting as part of Project:Report, a YouTube/Pulitzer Center contest.