Colorado Haiti Project

Mission Statement: The Colorado Haiti Project works in partnership with rural Haitian communities to support their rise out of extreme poverty. The Colorado Haiti Project (CHP) is a non-profit organization founded in 1989 to extend aid to the poorest of the poor in a rural area called Petit Trou de Nippes, about 80 miles west of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. CHP is supported entirely by donations from private individuals, local and national foundations, faith communities, and service organizations.
Feb 20, 2015

Affordable and Nutritious Hot Lunch at St Paul's in Petit Trou

Lunch for the 10th graders
Lunch for the 10th graders

Providing opportunities for children to access a low cost nutritious lunch or snack while attending school is an on-going goal for the Colorado Haiti Project’s (CHP) overall support to St. Paul’s school in Petit Trou de Nippes. Recent shifts in government and NGO supported food aid, including halting support to school-based feeding programs, has led CHP to work together with the community to develop innovative solutions to ensure continued access to healthy school lunch and snacks for students at the school.   This December, CHP supported St Paul’s to introduce a sustainable solution to increase the access of low cost hot and healthy food for all children through a locally-driven entrepreneurship program.

Until recently the World Food Program (WFP), supported a school-based feeding program for all the schools in the Petit Trou commune. As WFP pulled back from the school-based feeding programs, there was a concerted effort from the head of St. Paul’s school, Father Abiade Lozama, together with the community and other schools in the area, to develop a solution to fill this critical gap.

Initially, CHP offered resources to support a lunch program as a temporary stop gap measure. But Fr. Abiade felt that this was not ultimately a sustainable solution, and that targeted support for St. Paul’s could potentially torpedo the delicate collaboration with other local institutions. Therefore we brainstormed with Fr. Abiade and the community to produce a viable alternative solution.  

Small business and entrepreneurship activities and training were introduced by CHP at St Paul’s in the fall of 2014. (See CHP’s autumn Global Giving report). The decision was made to integrate CHP’s entrepreneurship program activities with interested community members to launch a more sustainable model for the lunch program. Enter TiTi, (Jean Yolene). TiTi lives near the St. Paul campus, and already had an informal business set up outside the school selling snacks to the school children. With a loan, and some guidance from the entrepreneurship program at St. Paul’s, TiTi opened up food services in kitchen and now provides low cost and nutritious snacks and lunch for students. A nutritious lunch from TiTi costs between 20 cents and one U.S. dollar. For most children and teachers, this is something they can afford. But for those who have trouble paying, Fr. Abiade has set up a program that identifies children in need of support and sets a subsidized price. This way all children have access to this invaluable service.

The launch of this program has provided a sustainable solution for children to access supplemental nutrition critical in increased concentration and school performance. And additionally, it supports TiTi’s livelihood, and that of the two helpers she has already employed. The idea is that this spreads to the other schools in the area, and others from the community benefit from this entrepreneurial lunch model.  

TiTi cooking lunch.
TiTi cooking lunch.
Four young girls of St Paul
Four young girls of St Paul's at lunch
A student enjoying a peanut butter sandwich
A student enjoying a peanut butter sandwich
Nov 18, 2014

The Story of Vladimy

We are excited to report that another year of award winning education has begun! Over 700 children show up in this rural and under-resourced area, everyday, ready to learn. A new playground provides the young ones with their first ever recess, while some of the older students can be seen helping each other with their new Entrepreneurship and Agricultural lessons.  An Entrepreneurship focused curriculum, created by a Haitian organization, was launched this fall. Nothing like this has ever been done in the area. St. Paul's Campus is a vibrant place to be, teeming with opportunity and hope. One former student in particular has a story of hope. The story of Vladimy.


Vladimy began his education at St Paul’s where he attended 1st through 7th grade, all the classes St Paul’s had to offer at the time. Today Vladimy is a 26 year old college student working on a degree in Accounting.  He is the recipient of one of the vocational development scholarships through the Colorado Haiti Project.  He was chosen because of his outstanding community service. His time at St Paul’s is where he learned about community involvement through work at the church and school.  As he finished up his high school education, he began to tutor other kids in math, writing and Kreyol.  Along the way, he discovered that Accounting would be a good career path as there are not many accountants in Petit Trou.

Today, along with attending the local university, he spends half his days teaching Entrepreneurship. His gift for leadership lead to an invitation to an Entrepreneurship training last summer.  Now he teaches it to the 7th, 8th , 9th and 10th graders and the sewing apprentices.Nothing is more rewarding than to see a student from St Paul’s give back to the community that helped raise them up.


Help support the next Vladimy by donating today.

A peek inside the classroom
A peek inside the classroom

Links:

Aug 19, 2014

Educational opportunity for 7th, 8th & 9th graders takes a leap forward in Petit Trou, Haiti

Judith- Trainer & St Paul
Judith- Trainer & St Paul's sewing school graduate

With support from the Colorado Haiti Project, new educational opportunities for students at St. Paul’s will take a leap forward this new school year. Starting this fall, courses to build entrepreneurship skills will be offered to all 7th, 8th and 9th grade students at St Paul’s School. A local Haitian partner, Etre Ayisyen (To Be Haitian), will organize innovative programs for young adults at the school.   Etre Ayisyen has conducted a training of trainers exercise with three top students from the community who will be prepared to be leaders for the program this fall.

Through the entrepreneurship program students will learn critical skills in small business development for both formal and non-formal sectors, and gain important knowledge to set them down the path for success. There are even plans to help students launch small businesses of their own. This program, although not exactly the same, mirrors Junior Achievement training that is common in U.S. based schools. Because many students do not have access to education after 9th grade, this program will be instrumental in building the capacity and skills of these vulnerable young people to support themselves and their family, and have a positive impact on the local economy. For students that continue to secondary school the skills learned through this program will provide a solid base of knowledge as they also look to support themselves and their schooling.

$40 a month supports not only the entrepreneurship classes for these 7th, 8th and 9th graders but also their classical education. Help these students forge their own paths to sustained progress and development for everyone in the community through this enhanced curriculum.

Stay tuned as St Paul’s launches this exciting vocational program!

Rika- Trainer & future sewing teacher
Rika- Trainer & future sewing teacher
Vladimir- Trainer & accounting student
Vladimir- Trainer & accounting student

Links:

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