Project Esperanza

Project Esperanza is a non-profit organization that began as and remains a Virginia Tech student organization. Project Esperanza serves to connect the Blacksburg, Virginia community and the Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic community through service. Our programs are designed to work toward breaking the cycle of poverty present among the lower social classes in these two communities, as well toward breaking the cycle of apathy present among the upper classes.
May 12, 2014

Still hopeful

David, at work in the DR
David, at work in the DR

While we have not been able to raise enough money to fully support this school's needs, we were able to send enough funds in February to give all of the teachers and staff a small stipend and a bit of hope and encourage them in their important work.  Recently, another group that works in Puerto Plata, DR contacted us inquiring if they could send school supplies this summer.  This greatly encourages us as before we started sending minimal aid, the school had nobody to help at all and now another group has also seen the need.  The more people who know about the school and who can talk about it, the better.  We are hoping that more funds will come in to Project Esperanza on the June 25th matching day as we are trying to raise money ahead of time in order to send our Director, David, back to oversee and report back regularly with photos during the 2014-2015 school year.  The goal is to raise enough to cover his salary so that he can remain in Haiti, and also support the school's basic needs.  We are planning to visit the school in July to talk more with the teachers and get photos of the students.  We are also thinking about starting a student sponsorship program for the school at the same time.  If anyone wants to donate school supplies, they could be delivered during the July visit.  Contact us at Project Esperanza for more details about how to send items.

Mesi anpil for your support!

Feb 10, 2014

Maranatha School Begins a New Chapter

Maranatha School began the 2014 semester with some new energy.  With a passionate new Director (who is from Ouanaminthe, Haïti, but had been teaching in the Dominican Republic) in place to manage funds raised and better support the teachers, there have been several parent meetings and teacher meetings in January to reorganize and plan for the future.  We were also able to purchase 20 locally made chairs (we thought that this would help the community more than purchasing the fairly common plastic chairs for sale) for the smallest students, as they had been brining their chairs from home every day!  The Director reports that they were all excited about the new furniture and that everyone was studying hard!  We were also able to purchase a few supplies, like chalk, to get the year off on the right foot.  We have been discussing the importance of uniforms with the parents as well. Haitians are used to school children wearing unifroms to school and most see this as a priority for their school and students. In February and March, though, we hope to focus on providing some textbooks for the school along with some more chairs and desks for the older students.

The pictures of the chairs and kids attached here a fuzzy, because they have been taken with a cell phone. Hopefully, we will find a used camera soon to improve the quality of our reports. 

May 14, 2013

Signing Off for Now

Well, we are going to have to put this project on the back burner for now for failure to progress. It is really a project that is secondary to our organization's focus and we are unable to dedicate much time to fundraising for it. Funds raised have allowed for different works to be done on the building for the internet center and long-term volunteer apartment that is above it, such as electric work, plumbing, and the purchase of a toilet. However, we have not had a final cushion to get things up and going, so we will have to just put things on the back burner for now and if the opportunity arises, progress with it.

I apologize if this update and news is dissatisfying to you as a donor. However, this is the reality of how things are often done here in this country for this reason of lack of resources. You often see half built houses or houses that have the starting of a second floor but are left that way for years. This is because people invest when they have the resources and take steps toward their end goal, but just put the project on the back burner when resources are not available. So when in Rome... we will have to do the same.

Thank you so much for your support and you may be interested in checking out some of our other ongoing projects that we are more able to focus on at this time.

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