In July of 1995, Rolande Celestin Fernandez, a native of Diègue, returned to give back to her community. First, she started by providing training for doulas (natural birth assistant) to lessen maternal and infant mortality, then she later set up a free clinic housed by two freight containers as the need for one became apparent. As time passed, she noticed a lot of children wandering around the area. Needless to say that Mrs. Fernandez started a school for the children .
Originally 12 students attended Ecole Rose-Mina de Diègue, today about 360 students attend the school. A daily meal used to be provided to the students after having several of them faint during class due to their empty stomachs and exhausting heat, however with the harder times that have come our way, we've had to discontinue this for the past 5 years.
As for the orphanage, when Mrs. Fernandez learned about the dangerous/negative home life of some of the students, she decided to take some of them into her home (with parent/guardian approval), thus providing them with a safer and more positive positive environment. At one point in the early 2000's there were 96 children in her home. Today, 36 of these children are still in her home, ranging from toddlers to twenty-somethings.
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