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Mar 8, 2019

Days for Girls - A Girls' Empowerment Update

Our Girls' Empowerment program continues to thrive, both at St. Paul's School and a the local public high school. Last week women teachers and mentors spoke with adolescent and young teen girls about health and hygiene, and the girls received Days for Girls kits, thanks to the help of Days for Girls, as well as long-time supporters St. Bart's in Estes Park and Linda Rowe!

 

In 2016, CHP began the Girls’ Empowerment and Mentoring (GEM) program.  This program has reached girls across the community of Petit Trou de Nippes and created dialogue and action on girls’ empowerment, providing mentors and education that girls do not receive in school.  Programming confronts the challenges girls and women face in their rural community, providing information, a safe space, and access to a network of supportive women and men.  Between two groups of students at St. Paul’s school and two groups of students at the national high school, 100 girls currently participate in GEM with hopes to expand the program in the future. 

Learn more about the Girls Empowerment and Mentoring Program at St Paul's here.

Mar 8, 2019

Agro Raphael Brings Special Guests to Garden Club

 

 

Recent Saturday mornings at St. Paul’s School have brought some new celebrities to campus. At one of the latest garden club meetings, dozens of students—most of them members of garden club—gathered around Agronomist Raphael Fernandez Salvador as he introduced a hands-on component to a lecture he had given the week before on animal husbandry.

Underneath the shade of the school garden’s lean-to structure, Raphael hung a giant wire-frame cage that students had previously helped to construct. Crouched inside were five rabbits in shades of white, tan, grey, and brown. Raphael reviewed proper care for the rabbits as the students gazed curiously into the cage.

There were two goals for the session ahead: that students feel comfortable properly holding a rabbit by the scruff of its neck, and to identify a rabbit’s sex. Some students were initially unsteady with their rabbit-holding technique, but Raphael gently coached them so that by the end of the club’s meeting, students appeared to be experts at rabbit handling.

Raphael is known for encouraging his students to dive in and attempt new skills; he knows that mistakes and hesitancies are simply part of the learning process. His remarkable teaching style was evident at a similar garden club meeting in February—this time, goats took the place of rabbits as the furry class guests.

Raphael demonstrated once how to give the vaccine before allowing the students to take over. There were a lot of details to learn, including the method of suctioning the vaccine into the syringe. One girl named Guierline particularly loved giving the shots to the goats, making CHP staff wonder whether she will be a future veterinarian.

Nov 27, 2018

Planning for the Next 30 Years

We support local leaders in Haiti in a variety of areas. Community health, agriculture, girls' empowerment, and jobs creation are important priorities that we are committed to continuing to invest in. While we continue to fight for progress in these areas, the staff, students, and families of St. Paul's School remain our top priority, in particular when it comes to their safety.

Since the earthquake of 2010 the leadership teams of St. Paul's School and CHP have together been monitoring cracks in the school structure.  The question is not if another natural disaster will strike Haiti, the appropriate and sobering question is when.  Over the past year we’ve hosted multiple engineering firms in Petit Trou to evaluate safety, and through a great deal of dialogue and discernment we are pleased to share the plan shown below.

Our 322 students are safe and sound and still at St. Paul's School using the safe buildings on campus. These buildings include the church and cafeteria, and while they are a safe and passable short-term solution, they are not ideal in the long-term. The project described above will provide a safe and durable space for our students while safeguarding the long-term future of St. Paul's School.

Implementation will occur in two phases:

Phase 1 - Build a structure to house our Kindergarten through 6th grade classes. This building will have 7 classrooms and two offices, providing space for roughly 200 of our children and costing approximately $165,000.  

Phase 2 - Convert significant portions of the existing St. Paul's School into a one story, light roofed structure, with the goal of preserving important water cisterns and using the foundation to support safe, simple, lightweight, one story structures. This will be a place for starting plants, having community meetings, storage, and potentially sheltering animals.  As a second part of phase two, we will install ground-mounted solar for the campus, this thanks in part to a grant from the IEEE in the amount of $45,000.

Thank you for your continued generosity and please don't hesitate to reach out to Wynn at wwalent@coloradohaitiproject.org for more info on the impact of your support!

 
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