Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Officials at Pwoje Espwa in Les Cayes, Haiti are covering up an incident of child sexual abuse

Pwoje Espwa - Hope in Haiti - Are Children Safe From Abuse?

On Tuesday, May 3, 2011, Brother Robert-Anthony Campbell, FSD, posted a story on his "Haiti's Littlest Angels" blog of how he put his hands on the naked body of an 11 year-old boy while Campbell showered the boy from "head to toe, scrubbed his hair and washed his shorts." When confronted about his behavior, Brother Robert immediately shut down his entire blog. Brother Robert has since been recalled from Pwoje Espwa Sud in Les Cayes, Haiti by his superior pending an investigation.

Secrets and Cover Up at Pwoje Espwa will not be tolerated

May 23, 2011

Rev. Marc Boisvert, OMI
Founder/Executive Director
Pwoje Espwa
Les Cayes, Haiti

Dear Rev. Boisvert,

Please issue a public statement in which you explain the reason(s) why Brother Robert-Anthony Campbell, FSD has been recalled to the United Stated by his religious order.

The removal of Brother Campbell from your Pwoje Espwa staff is a  grave and serious  matter that demands your immediate and undivided attention.

You must be open and transparent about the circumstances surrounding this issue. Attempts by you, your board of directors and/or senior Oblate officials to keep secrets and cover up this incident will not be tolerated.

Please feel free to contact me.

Paul Kendrick
Freeport, Maine
207 838 1319
May 17, 2011

Brother Paul-Allan Carey, FSD
Founder and General Minister
Franciscans of San Damiano
Troy, NY

Dear Brother,

By now, you have surely been advised of my concerns about Brother Robert-Anthony Campbell's inappropriate touching and physical contact with a naked 11 year old Haitian boy.

The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People provides guidelines for the handling and investigation of sexual misconduct allegations.

I want to be assured that Brother Robert-Anthony has been removed from Haiti and has no access to children until an investigation is completed.

I urge you to immediately advise me as to what steps are being taken by you in this matter.

Paul Kendrick
Freeport, Maine
207 838 1319

Brother Campbell must be removed from Haiti

From: Paul Kendrick <>
Date: May 15, 2011 12:31:09 PM EDT
To: Bill Commer <>
Cc: "Cynthia DeSoi, MD" <>, Robert Morris <>,,,, Brother Robert-Anthony Campbell <>
Subject: Brother Campbell must be removed from Haiti
Mr. Commer,

Does your failure to respond to concerns about Brother Campbell's inappropriate touching and physical contact with a naked child indicate that you approve of Campbell's behavior?

Cambell must be immediately removed from Haiti and Pwoje Espwa. His religious superiors must not allow him to have any access to children until an investigation has been completed.

Your silence in this matter indicates a certain amount of hostility towards efforts to protect children from abuse at your orphanage.

Rev. Marc Boisvert, Founder and  Executive Director of Pwoje Espwa, has already signaled his message: "I do not care. Do not contact me."

And why hasn't Dr. Cynthia DeSoi, Pwoje Espwa's medical director and a Lewiston, Maine physician, contacted fellow Mainers, Michael Sweatt and me (both of whom have contacted her)?

My best guess is that you will choose to deal with this matter by issuing a "cease and desist" or other such legal tactic, in an effort to silence me and others.

The problem is, Mr. Commer, that while you're busy putting together a legal strategy, I and others will remain focused on ensuring that children are safe from any form of abuse at Pwoje Espwa.

I simply cannot understand why you and others are not anxious to assist in this endeavor.

Paul Kendrick
Freeport, ME
207 838 1319

Bizarre behavior by Catholic Brother at Pwoje Espwa in response to questions about the protection of children

Franciscan Brother Robert-Anthony Campbell's bizarre behavior raises more suspicion. 

In response to questions earlier today from, Marie, a child protection advocate, Franciscan Brother Robert-Anthony Campbell, FSD, immediately shut down his blog, "Haiti's Littlest Angels."

In recent days, Brother Campbell has been asked to explain why he was washing, touching and shampooing a naked 11 year old boy.

Brother Campbell is assigned by his religious order to missionary work at Pwoje Espwa located in Les Cayes, Haiti.

Rev. Marc Boisvert, a Maine native and founder and executive director of Pwoje Espwa, while keeping his blog open, has shut down all ability to communicate with him.

Child protection advocates are calling for a full investigation of child protection policies, systems and procedures at Pwoje Espwa, with or without Rev. Boisvert's cooperation.


Blog has been removed
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May 13, 2011

Bill Commer
Chairman of the Board
Free the Kids/Pwoje Espwa
Les Cayes, Haiti


Please accept this letter as a formal complaint of inappropriate sexual contact with a minor by Brother Robert-Anthony Campbell, FSD, a current employee of Pwoje Espwa in Les Cayes, Haiti.

Although I made this information known to you two days ago, neither you, Rev. Marc Boisvert, nor any of your board members has contacted me for a clarification and further explanation of my concerns (two of your board members, one a lawyer, the other a pediatrician, reside right here in Maine).

As your first order of business, please make Brother Robert-Anthony Campbell's and Rev. Marc Boisvert's religious superiors aware of my complaint.

Rev. Boisvert's superiors are located In the United States. In 2002, the U.S. Bishops Conference implemented the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People for instruction and guidance as to what to do in matters like this.

What is your agency's protocol for handling sexual misconduct complaints? I am certain this is covered in your "child protection manual."

It's interesting, Bill, as to how this all developed in such a short time.

All I initially wanted was a copy of your child protection manual. When too much time went by, I asked again. This time I felt pushed back. I then wrote to Rev. Boisvert, who pushed back even further with his passive aggressive behavior. I then took a closer look at the organization and came across Brother Campbell's disturbing references in his blog.

I suspect you will say, hey Paul, this is Haiti. Things are different here. In Haiti, it's ok for a Catholic priest or brother (both adult men) to befriend one of the students in a loving way that makes (grooms) this particular child feel special and different.

You may say, hey Paul, it's ok in Haiti for a Catholic priest or brother to wash a child's bare back, shampoo his hair and help him into a new pair of shorts.

Or, Paul, don't you know that Catholic
grown men who are priests and brothers in Haiti always wash and scrub a naked child's body in the shower "from head to toe" and then shampoo the child's hair (as Brother Campbell did to 11 year old Phillipe)?

If anyone reading this has a teenager or 11 year old son, I want you to think about what you would say and do if you came home early and discovered your houseguest, Brother Campbell, rubbing soap and shampoo with his hands all over your child's naked, wet body in the bathroom shower at your home.

What would you do? What would you say?

Now, pause and think again about Brother Campbell's hands being on your child.

What's not right for a child in the U.S. is not right for a child in Haiti.

You need to take immediate action.


Paul Kendrick
Freeport, ME
207 838 1319

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