Old school: Desks getting new life in Haiti

June 8, 2017

By Ed Byrne The Brillion News

GREENLEAF – Many old school desks end up in storage for a few years, then find their way to a landfill.

But many of the old desks that once filled St. Mary’s Catholic School in Greenleaf and St. Paul’s Catholic School in Wrightstown are off on a Caribbean trip.

More than 300 used school desks from the two schools were shipped to Haiti, where they will be put to use in schools there that are too poor to provide desks for students.

The desks, and the child-sized chairs that go with them, were rounded up from the old Wrightstown St. Paul’s Convent and from the basement of the old St. Mary’s Catholic School, and sent to impoverished areas of Haiti, one of the poorest countries in the world.

The unused desks were sent to a port in New York for shipment to Haiti.

Many of them will go to a school being built under the auspices of Sister Maria Marciano, a nun from Brazil whose drive and organizational skills are exceeded only by her vision.

She has degrees in civil engineering, hydrological engineering, agronomy, veterinary science, economics and business administration.

A Dominican nun, Marciano was the keynote speaker at Marquette University’s commencement ceremony on May 21.

Her work has led to the building of roads, water systems, schools, community centers, and agricultural formation institutions.

Her missionary efforts have given children and adults basic literacy schooling, and taught methods of irrigation farming.

Projects she organized have provided employment for local construction workers, road builders, carpenters and laborers.

Her missionary work aims at building up what she considers the six pillars of a sustainable society: roads, water, home and school construction, academic and health education, agricultural and manufacturing productivity and fair trade.

Please see the complete story in the June 8, 2017 edition of The Brillion News. 

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