“Bonjour! M’rele Jean. I am three years old. I live in Fort Jacques, Haiti. You have made a big difference in my life! I want to thank you for helping me to go to school. I do not have anything to play with at my little house, so I run to school every morning because I want to play with the toys there. I feel loved by my teacher and she’s taught me how to hold a pencil. I can almost print my name, all by myself. I am also learning how to pray every morning. School is so much fun! Mesi Anpil!”
– JEAN R., a student at the school.
Education is a privilege in Haiti. Over 75% of the children in the provinces, who live away from cities or villages, do not go to school. Many ‘buildings’ are made of banana leaves or dried palm leaves. Haiti faces both supply and demand challenges in education. On the supply side, there are not enough spaces for children to enroll in school. On the demand side, parents spend on average $130 every year to send their child to school, and more than 200,000 children remain out of school. Most schools ask for tuition fees, a barrier for many. (Source: Worldbank.org) This means education can be out of reach, especially for the 5.5 million Haitians living on less than a dollar daily. Consequently, illiteracy plays an important role in deepening the social and economic divide.
Hope amid Unrest
Haiti is in the middle of a political uproar with no security as gangs exert control. ImpactHope supports the construction of a school – an actual building made of cement with genuine windows and doors! The community of Fort Jacques also has a small church that is part of the school. The small school is located at a 4500-foot level and away from the city-centered gangs. Gangs are fighting against each other in an area where there is a home for pregnant moms to get medical attention during their pregnancy and then to be able to birth their child.
In the same area, there is a small school for the poorest of the poor, and all the children have had to stay under lockdown because it’s not safe to be on the streets. It feels like a war out there for the residents who are terrified by the sight of such big weapons. Prices are very high for essential items, and there is a shortage of food and fuel for vehicles and generators.
Serving The Vulnerable with Love
Our Haiti contacts, Marie Estelle and her husband, Pastor Clermont, live and work in the community of Fort Jacques. Fort Jacques is in the mountains above Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Their vision is to build a sustainable community through agriculture, education, and spiritual development. The educational and agricultural projects began in 2017 with nine students in kindergarten. The small church was already functioning in a large lean-to building. In 2018, a roof was installed on the building being used as a school. In 2019, a clean water system was established for the school and community.
Ann Farquarson is our representative in Haiti for this project and works with Marie Estelle. They operate a school with 30 to 40 children from very low-income families. As of 2022, the school teaches Kindergarten to Grade 3. Next year, with the construction of a classroom during the summer break, we will be able to welcome the grade 3 students back for grade 4!
The heart behind starting the school as part of the Community Development was to educate local children up to grade 6. We wanted to develop the community spiritually, educationally, and economically. The children follow a government-given curriculum with a focus on Christian values.
Along with education, these little ones have the opportunity to accept Jesus as their personal savior. Every school day begins with prayer, and worship is held every week. The children are encouraged to read and memorize the bible. The students are provided with a fresh meal every day.
Thank you for making Loukensly smile!
In Haiti, birthdays are seldom celebrated among those who have little money. Many unschooled adults aren’t even sure about their actual birth dates. Here is the story of little Loukensly, who celebrated his special day in a big way at school in Fort Jacques, Haiti!
“I am Loukensly! I had never had a birthday party before attending this little school. A nice lady made some cupcakes with icing for the whole school. I had never eaten a cupcake before, and the icing was so very yummy! The students and teachers sang “Bon Fet! Loukensly!” for me! It was such a happy day for me. I am thankful to my sponsors who support me to go to school.”
Stronger Walls for Growth
The last was not without difficulties, but with God’s help and Haitian ‘degaje’ methods, the school was able to have a positive year. Degaje means to do what you need to do with what you have. This community is a powerful testament to the strength given by God to overcome adversity!
“We overcome unfinished walls by using rocks to hold down papers and wear sweaters when it is cloudy, cold, and windy. We use low voices in classrooms as separating walls are still unbuilt. When teachers fall sick, classes double up! When the cook can’t come, Marie or one of her daughters does the cooking. We can indeed do all things through Christ who strengthens us!” – Ann F.
Children that have never held a pencil or opened a book are now learning how to write and read! This year, there are about 40 students, from kindergarten to grade three, and three teachers.
Please help us bring Hope to Haiti, Brick by Brick.
Children unable to go to school would work to support their families. Children as young as 18 months old will carry a gallon of water on their heads from wherever their water source is to their home. Some children will work in a garden If their parents are farmers.
Learning to read and write opens new doors for many in the future. As a Christian School, the desire is to help every child that comes through our doors to know Jesus Christ as their personal saviour. Monthly expenses include books, supplies, food, and teachers’ salaries.
Marie Estelle, staff, and students are very excited as they receive reports of the generous donors helping them reach the financial goal of $15,000. This money will build another room for the fourth graders and finish walls on the second floor where the children and teachers are doing school.
We are constructing a real building made of cement with real windows and doors! The urgent need of the hour is to meet this goal as construction will begin at the end of June when school is out. Some materials have already been purchased, and we need YOUR help to complete this project. To bring the light of education to these little ones’ lives, go here.
How can I help?
Thanks to your involvement, these children will grow up happy and empowered with the light of education.
Support us through one-time or recurring donations:
- Purchase Books for the classrooms – $10 for three books.
- Sponsor a Student – At the cost of $35/month, change
a child’s life forever!
- Buy a Brick – We are praying for approximately $15,000
to finish the fourth-grade classrooms!
- Sponsor a teacher – Support a teacher at $150/month.
Are you ready to change a child’s life? Sponsor TODAY here.