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.
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.
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!
Meet Evaniaka - or Evo as she is affectionately called: Evo is the little girl in the photo, smiling out at us from under the table with pink ribbons in her hair. She is in the youngest grade at St. Paul's School in Petit Trou, Haiti - the 3-year-old preschool class. Evo lives with her extended family in a group of simple homes just a 5-minute walk from school. Every morning Evo walks to the campus with her mother, Judith, who is a vocational student in the St. Paul's sewing program - learning to become a seamstress to help support her family. After preschool lets out at mid-day, Evo goes over to the sewing school to be with her mom for the afternoon. As you can imagine, Evo is the darling of that adult classroom!
Education is the foundation upon which the community's hopes for the future is built. It is wonderful to look into the eyes of these youngest schoolchildren and see the future of Petit Trou. They will become the teachers, the farmers, the seamstresses, the mechanics, and the healthcare providers of their community - literate and educated.
It only costs $25 per month per child to ensure that these pre-school students can continue into primary school and on to high school. Please help Evo and her friends have that opportunity. Their future is bright - if they can just stay in school. Thank you for your support and for your love of these children!
Students, teachers and families at St. Paul's School in Petit Trou de Nippes, Haiti really know how to throw a party! For months eyes were set on the weekend of Jan. 25th, 2014, which marks the 25th Anniversary of the founding of St. Paul's School. Begun under thatched roofs and stand-to's, with children gathered around teachers with no books or blackboards, St. Paul's now welcomes 700 students from pre-school to 10th grade to a modern and expanding site developed to be the best school in the region. St. Paul's staff and students had worked hard to become a government-recognized Center of Excellence, and they were ready to celebrate!
Dignitaries, political, social and cultural, poured into town for the weekend. Three visiting choirs joined their voices; parents brought gifts real and symbolic of their commitment to the school, and to show thanks for what the school does for the children. Madame Odette, one of the school's founders and behind-the-scenes provider of whatever is needed, received an award from the Colorado Haiti Project, which sent down 15 representatives. Some of the American guests were board members, former educational or medical mission trip participants, and long-standing supporters of the school.
Jean Fritz spoke at the party of a dream he had had over 25 years ago, that three men would come to the village and start a school. When three Episcopal priests showed up, he told them he had been waiting for them! And Guillot Tibert lived on the grounds of the school for many years, attending St. Paul's and now returned to it as bookkeeper, computer science and educator and star former pupil, who received a scholarship to higher education.
We hope you can taste some of the fun, music and celebration of our 25th Anniversary party through pictures and video on our website. And those of you that supported us last year, we invite you to donate now to the school in 2014 in increments of $25 in honor of our anniversary, to support the education of over 700 children. Thanks for everything you've done, and may do!
Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating or by subscribing to this project's RSS feed.