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 Children  Haiti Project #14673

A School in Haiti- changing 300 children's lives!

by Colorado Haiti Project
A School in Haiti- changing 300 children's lives!
A School in Haiti- changing 300 children's lives!
A School in Haiti- changing 300 children's lives!
A School in Haiti- changing 300 children's lives!
A School in Haiti- changing 300 children's lives!
A School in Haiti- changing 300 children's lives!
A School in Haiti- changing 300 children's lives!
A School in Haiti- changing 300 children's lives!
A School in Haiti- changing 300 children's lives!
A School in Haiti- changing 300 children's lives!
A School in Haiti- changing 300 children's lives!
A School in Haiti- changing 300 children's lives!
A School in Haiti- changing 300 children's lives!
A School in Haiti- changing 300 children's lives!
A School in Haiti- changing 300 children's lives!
A School in Haiti- changing 300 children's lives!
A School in Haiti- changing 300 children's lives!
A School in Haiti- changing 300 children's lives!
A School in Haiti- changing 300 children's lives!
A School in Haiti- changing 300 children's lives!
Children harvest vegetables from the school garden
Children harvest vegetables from the school garden

There was much bustling about on Friday morning in preparation for the annual St. Paul’s School Harvest Festival. Vendor stalls needed to be built, vegetables harvested, eggs gathered and children corralled.

Each year, the school holds this festival to showcase the agriculture program, led by Agronomist Raphael Salvador, which teaches students about farming and animal husbandry, and supports small family farms in the community. There is a small fee to enter and the proceeds help support the school's program. After a welcome from Agro Raphael, Father Luc Desire and Principal Maxo Valcin, the children sang songs, performed dances and enacted plays advocating for the preservation of trees, care for the environment and the importance of nutrition.

Artisans and vendors displayed their wares in stalls made from long sticks. Local women kept the stoves going nonstop cooking delicious “fritay”, or fried Haitian staples such as plantains and manioc. Eggs gathered from nearby chicken coops and a large spread of okra, peppers, eggplants, melons, sugar cane and carrots harvested from the school garden made up the offering from St. Paul’s program. Goats were tethered to a tree in the shade and the rabbit hutch was on display nearby.

Later in the day, a bicycle was raffled off and St. Paul’s students played a soccer match against students from a nearby school. This year’s festival was a big success, with fantastic attendance from St. Paul students and parents, as well as students, parents and community members from the surrounding area.

Teachers Raphael & Vladiny with a student
Teachers Raphael & Vladiny with a student
Student displays her artwork for the festival
Student displays her artwork for the festival
Student displays his artwork for the festival
Student displays his artwork for the festival

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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.

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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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Chess Club at St. Paul's
Chess Club at St. Paul's

It's been a busy summer in Petit Trou!

-We had our first chess club meeting at St. Paul's School.

-Guilot, our school administrator, and Genevieve, a teacher at St. Paul's, were married on campus with many children and staff attending.

-Our gardens are thriving, thanks to hard work by Raphael, our agronomist, and a team of volunteers.

-Maxo, St. Paul's School's director, along with Father Luc and Madame Ricardie, attended a week-long training with InnoVed, a teacher formation and curriculum development organization in Port-au-Prince.

-Summer camp has been a big success, with our culminating sessions in agriculture and girls' empowerment set to begin next week!

Please stay tuned for our next report, which will provide important information on an exciting new project to keep our school safe and transition to solar power this year!

Guilot's Wedding
Guilot's Wedding
Jameson and Schneider help organize summer camp
Jameson and Schneider help organize summer camp
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Harvest time for the peppers!
Harvest time for the peppers!

Petit Trou de Nippes, Haiti is an agrarian community.  Most families have a bit of land they garden as a critical source of food.  Many families have larger plots that they farm as a source of income.  Traditions and farming methods have been passed down through the generations.  With today's economic pressures on families and with a changing climate, some of the old practices no longer serve the farmers and families well.

Three years ago, St. Paul's School introduced agriculture to the middle school curriculum. An agronomist was hired to help the students learn and practice best techniques for farming in the region.  The sixth through ninth grade students spend an hour a week in class learning the principles and philosophy of agricultural production for their gardens.  And then, every Saturday morning they put into practice what they have studied at Saturday Morning Garden Club in the school gardens.  They spend two to three hours hoeing, planting, watering, weeding and harvesting. 

The introduction of agriculture to the school curriculum has not only expanded the students' knowledge, it has made the subject "Cool" and fun.  Weeding and watering the home garden before was a chore. Now its a chance to put in practice what they have learned and to succeed and share with their classmates and professor all they have accomplished in their gardens.

The agriculture program introduced an Agriculture Festival on campus last June.  It is like a combination of a county fair and a 4-H show.  Each class was given a product from the school garden to promote and sell at the festival.  There were goats, chickens, starter plants and produce of all kinds.  Local entrepreneurs provided food and arts and crafts.  The girls' club had a booth to sell baked goods to support their summer camp. The community loved it!

Two young men, Schneider Chancy and Jameson Figot, from the community were so inspired by what they learned through St. Paul's agricultural education program, they chose to further their education in agriculture and are now studying at Zanmi Agrikol to become agriculture technicians and help the community with additional expertise. They will come home the end of May to help Professor Raphael prepare for the agriculture festival and to share some of what they have learned this year with the students at St. Paul's.

So this coming Friday, June 1, 2018 will be the second annual Agriculture Festival at St. Paul's.  Please follow the Colorado Haiti Project on Facebook or Instagram to enjoy the accomplishments and growth of these rural students as they celebrate a year of agricultural education.

To help us continue this vital educational program, please contribute now through GlobalGiving. Many thanks and happy gardening!

Students with Professor Raphael at Garden Club
Students with Professor Raphael at Garden Club
Kinsley holds one of the chickens for the festival
Kinsley holds one of the chickens for the festival
Schnei. and Jame. learning best practices to share
Schnei. and Jame. learning best practices to share

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Organization Information

Colorado Haiti Project

Location: Louisville, CO - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Teresa Henry
Director of Donor Relations
Louisville, CO United States

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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