“Leave your country and everything you hold dear, go and do good!” These words became the foundation of Anne-Marie Javouhey’s life. She was born in 1779 in Bourgogne France and joined a convent at the age of 19. Her life’s mission was fighting for the poor. She advocated against slavery and was determined to educate youths in the most vulnerable parts of the world. She saw the problems of her time and vowed to make a difference. She lived to see all her hard work blossom in every continent. The risks she took paid off and her many accomplishments multiplied.
She founded the missionary congregation Sisters of St Joseph of Cluny. She dedicated her life to advance her mission throughout the Caribbean and nations of Africa until her death at the age of 72. In 1864, three Javoueh sisters of the Sisters of St Joseph of Cluny congregation left their country and family behind. Sister Louise Wight, born in Trinidad, was one of the sisters who boarded a ship headed to a beautiful mountainous island referred to by many as “My darling Haiti” and affectionately labeled “The Pearl of the Antilles”.
The sisters along with the Fathers from St Jacques and Brothers from L’Instruction Chretienne (Christian Studies) braved treacherous sea conditions for a month-long journey to Haiti. Since that first trip, the sisters endured political instabilities, annual hurricanes and ongoing health scares. But not once have they considered leaving. They were there to fulfill their missions of educating children and bringing hope to the most vulnerable parts of the Caribbean.
École Mère Louise (EML) or Mother Louise School, named after the pioneer Sister Louise Wright, opened its structurally famous iron gate soon after their arrival in 1864. The school was designed to provide top-notch education to a group of girls of underprivileged families. Over the course of 155 years, many girls like the founder of ITIAH Angels For Learning have benefited from this unparalleled opportunity. Inspired by the Cluny sisters, ITIAH Angels For Learning organization is poised to expand learning opportunities for students to excel so they can in turn create self-sustaining opportunities for themselves, their families and communities.
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