Education
 Haiti
Project #8911

Change Lives with English Education

by International Disaster Volunteers (IDV)
Vetted
Thanks for helping to make 2016 a great year
Thanks for helping to make 2016 a great year

Thanks to your amazing generosity 2016 has been another great year for the English in Mind (EIM) Institute in Haiti.

The school’s existing students have all continued to progress well in their English education, and this was reflected by the majority passing their official Cambridge exams back in the summer.

These results are a testament to the hard work of the students, and also the amazing Haitian teachers too. Many of the teachers at EIM started as students themselves, or are still studying in EIM’s higher level classes. So, they’re all passionate about the subject, and also about passing on their knowledge to others at the school.

The teachers all remember their own nervousness and questions when they first arrived at EIM, and this translates into a supportive, encouraging environment for newly admitted students.

And the admission process itself is also critical to the school’s continued success.

Earlier this year over 200 people poured into EIM in the hope of gaining a place in class. The school would love to be able to admit everyone, but limited resources means this sadly isn’t possible. So, great care has to be taken during the enrollment process.

Potential students take a series of past exams, which test their level of speaking, listening, reading and writing. This helps to ensure that those admitted start at the right level, and also have the aptitude and motivation needed to succeed.

This year, after much hard work and thought, EIM admitted 80 new students, including two completely new beginner classes - one for men and one for women. This separation by gender is also important, especially in the beginning, as it allows the school’s new female students to better encourage and support each other during the daunting early weeks of class.

This careful admission process has continued to contribute to EIM’s success this year.

In past years there used to be a fair amount of drop outs in the early months, with some students deciding the commitment was too much. But we’re now a few months into the 2016-17 school year, and ongoing attendance has never been higher!

This is a great result and again shows how well the school’s staff understand their work, and the challenges faced by new arrivals.

And there’s more great news too.

As well as running the school on a day to day basis the EIM team are also very focused on its overall sustainability. After all, it would be a shame for all the knowledge accumulated over the years to be lost due to a lack of funding.

So, earlier this year the school launched its own social enterprise called EIMAdventures. As a result, in 2016, EIM has been able to welcome seven different groups of international volunteers to work with the school, before then enjoying some of Haiti’s beauty.

Profits from these trips have been folded back into the school to help meet running costs, and participants' rave reviews mean that EIM are already making plans to expand the trips next year. Two further students will soon be hired as guides, giving them some vital income and yet another chance to practice their English skills with native speakers.

Although EIM is well on the way to self-sustainability your support has continued to be vital throughout 2016. Your amazing generosity not only helps keep EIM running, but it also gives the staff some crucial extra time to think about future sustainability as well.

For example, after EIM purchased its own land back in January 2015 the school has just recently finished planning the construction of its own building. The plans include six classrooms, a computer lab, a library, an office and a meeting space for all 200 students!

It’s a very ambitious project and EIM recently launched a year long capital appeal to raise the needed funds.

Overall, it’s been another great year for EIM, and your generous donations have helped to make this possible. Thank you so much!

With your help EIM will not just continue survive in 2017, it will also thrive and continue to grow!

As always, if you ever have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email Andy@IDVolunteers.org or Steph@Englishinmind.org, both of us are always happy to provide direct updates.

For more updates about IDV’s work please like us on Facebook or follow IDVExec on Twitter. You can also email Andy is you would like to be added to our direct mailing list.

 

Students dress to impress on their first day
Students dress to impress on their first day
Laughs are often shared in class
Laughs are often shared in class
Volunteer trips continue to earn rave reviews
Volunteer trips continue to earn rave reviews
A new school year is starting at the EIM Institute
A new school year is starting at the EIM Institute

Thanks to your incredible support the English in Mind (EIM) Institute in Haiti is looking forward to the start of another exciting school year.

As with our previous project reports we asked EIM’s International Director, Steph, to provide an update from Port-au-Prince. Here’s what Steph had to say:

“Our 2016-2017 school year is about to begin!

This September, 230 students will walk through the doors of EIM, eager to start their new classes. Many will be returning students hoping to get one step closer to graduation, while others will be starting their very first year with EIM – either as a transfer student or a [total] beginner.

The energy level is high coming off another successful exam season, followed by the August summer vacation.

Based on the success of last year, we’ll once again be splitting our beginner students up by gender. This separation is especially important for our female students as they find these classes to be more comfortable and empowering for them.

Getting a solid foundation is critical when learning a foreign language, and we’re excited to see how this method impacts our students’ success in their future, co-ed classes as well.”

Steph also sent us some information about some of EIM’s new and returning students.  For example, she had this to say about one of EIM’s new intake.

“Stanley [pictured], is a brand new student at EIM. A self-taught English learner, Stanley’s impressive home study enabled him to transfer into EIM at our Intermediate level. We’re very impressed already and are excited to see his skills develop as he finds his home with us – his first institute!”

Steph also had this to say about one of EIM’s returning female students:

“Medjina [pictured], or Jina as we call her, is one of the youngest students at EIM. Despite her age, Jina doesn’t get intimidated easily. As one of the only girls in her class, she’s always the first to raise her hand and offer an opinion or question. We can’t wait to see her continue to grow and thrive as she takes on Intermediate this year!”

On behalf of Steph, Jina, Stanley and all of EIM’s new and returning students, thank you so much for continuing to support this amazing English school.

And remember, while EIM is incredibly grateful for your donations, the staff and students aren’t just sitting around becoming dependent on them.

EIM’s own social enterprise, EIMAdventures.com, is continuing to organise trips to Haiti with focuses on education, health, yoga, design, local coffee production and adventure travel. These trips employ EIM students as guides and the profits are folded back into the school to help make EIM become more sustainable.  

So why not check them out today and personally visit Haiti and the school your donations support?

As always, if you ever have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email Andy@IDVolunteers.org or Steph@Englishinmind.org, both of us are always happy to provide direct updates.

For more updates about IDV’s work please like us on Facebook or follow IDVExec on Twitter. You can also email Andy is you would like to be added to our direct mailing list.

Note that IDV is now also fundraising on GlobalGiving to increase its overall capacity to help disaster survivors.

 

Stanley is one of this year
Stanley is one of this year's new intake
Medjina is a returning student
Medjina is a returning student
Thanks for helping provide the joy of learning
Thanks for helping provide the joy of learning
EIM Assistant Principal and Teacher Enock (Nocky)
EIM Assistant Principal and Teacher Enock (Nocky)

The English in Mind (EIM) Institute in Haiti recently hosted a volunteer, Emily, with some amazing photography skills.

So, although we only sent you an update two weeks ago, we couldn’t resist posting a quick “photo report” using the some of the pictures we weren’t able to include last time.

We also wanted to share another great opportunity to help EIM thanks to GlobalGiving.

This June 15 donations to this project will be matched by an incredible 50%.

Matching will start at 9am Eastern US Time and donations up to $1,000 will be matched per donor while funds remain. In the UK matching will start at 2pm and up to £1,000 will be matched per donor.

So, please consider making a gift on June 15 if you can, and please also spread the word about this incredible opportunity.

As always, if you ever have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email Andy@IDVolunteers.org. I would be delighted to hear from you.

We hope you enjoy Emily’s photos.

Pierre and his fellow beginner students
Pierre and his fellow beginner students
Teachers Elza and Stephanie - amazing role models
Teachers Elza and Stephanie - amazing role models
Stephanie is also an advanced student at EIM
Stephanie is also an advanced student at EIM
A packed recent women-only beginner class
A packed recent women-only beginner class
Teacher Alex in his advanced level 1 class
Teacher Alex in his advanced level 1 class
The EIM Institute is thriving because of you
The EIM Institute is thriving because of you

Thanks to your fantastic generosity the English in Mind (EIM) Institute in Haiti is continuing to thrive.

As with our previous project reports we once again asked EIM’s International Director, Stephanie Price, to provide an update from Port-au-Prince. Here’s what Steph had to say:

“Exam season is almost here at EIM and our students are hard at work!

Every July our students take one of four official Cambridge exams that tests their skills in reading, writing, listening and speaking. The stakes are high as those who pass will move up a level and start a new class at EIM come September. They will also earn a valuable certificate that can be used to find new employment.

Those who don’t pass are able to repeat their current level and try again next year. But, this doesn’t stop our highly motivated students from pouring everything they have into passing!

The summer is also the time we prepare to welcome new students into our ranks. Our plan is to accept new applications this June and ultimately accept around 80 new students across all our various levels.

We are especially excited with our developing women-only and men-only beginner classes. The friendly competition these classes have created has greatly increased both attendance and performance among all our beginner students.

Outside of classes, the volunteer trips that EIM runs to Haiti are growing and expanding like never before! So much so that we’ve recently launched ‘EIM Adventures’.

This is a social business EIM has created to leads various trips to Haiti with focuses on education, health, yoga, design, coffee and adventure. These trips employ EIM students as guides and generate profits that are folded back into the school to help make EIM more sustainable and less reliant on foreign donations.

Interested in joining us?

Check out EIMAdventures.com

Thanks so much for continuing to support EIM as it continues to develop into a sustainable, independent entity.    

As always, if you ever have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email Andy@IDVolunteers.org or Steph@Englishinmind.org, both of us are always happy to provide direct updates.

EIM
EIM's women's beginner class in Exams
And the men
And the men's class too!
The ladies preparing before exams
The ladies preparing before exams
Elza is a teacher and a role model at EIM
Elza is a teacher and a role model at EIM

Thanks to your amazing support it’s been a great start to 2016 at the English in Mind (EIM) Institute in Haiti.

As with our last report we once again asked EIM’s International Director Steph to provide an update from Port-au-Prince. Here’s what Steph had to say:

“Back in the fall of 2015 we admitted 90 new students to our school. In years past there has been a fair amount of dropouts in the first few months as students decide if this is a commitment they really want to take on. Happily this is NOT the case this year!

Nearly all of our new students have committed to classes and are getting involved in the life of our school. We are especially impressed with our new women-only Beginners class, which has the highest attendance rate in the school!

What's more, after our first graduation this past November we also decided to create a special new class for our alumni. With the help of our newest teacher, Alison, EIM is now offering a bi-weekly class to help our grads secure meaningful employment using their new English skills. From resume writing and interview skills, to tourism trips and networking opportunities, we’re helping set our grads up for success in whatever career they choose to pursue.

Lastly, our volunteer trips are also expanding this year. Beyond the six scheduled trips usually planned, we have recently formed some exciting new partnerships to offer more types of trips in more places. For example, we’re now working with a mobile maternity clinic out west in Cayes to bring groups of volunteers in for public health / tourism trips. These trips are led by EIM guides and trip leaders, and the proceeds will benefit both the clinic and our school!

It’s a win-win and partnerships like these are creating more employment opportunities for our students, more in-country revenue for EIM, and introducing more and more people to this beautiful country.

Thanks for your support and feel free to come and visit! “

Steph also sent us some beautiful photos and background information on EIM students and staff which we wanted to share with you as well - some of these faces you might recognise from your amazing support of our microproject appeals.

Firstly Elza, pictured above, is more than a teacher at EIM, she’s a true leader. Now in her second year of teaching with EIM, Elza heads up the school's growing women-only Beginner class. In Haiti women’s education is sadly not typically as highly valued as men’s. So, EIM is trying hard to encourage its female students more by giving them their own class when they're most shy. Beyond teaching them language skills, Elza is a true role model of what a well-educated, English-speaking women looks like.

And then there’s Florence below. Florence started with EIM as a beginner back in 2011. Now, five years later, she’s in the highest level class – Advanced 2, and is aiming to graduate this summer. Beyond being a student, Florence is also training to be a volunteer trip leader with EIM to lead groups of foreign volunteers out west for a week. Doing this she’ll apply not only her English skills, but also the vital leadership skills she’s learned within the EIM community.

Pete, also below, transferred to EIM last year as a shy, intermediate student. One year later his English has bloomed and he’s also come out of his shell - Pete was also recently chosen to be a  volunteer trip leader!  We have high hopes for what this charismatic Advanced 1 student will now achieve, both in school and in life.

And finally, Ansly is a quiet leader at EIM. While his soft spoken demeanor might fool you, Ansly is a strong personality at the school – leading others both as a trip leader for foreign volunteers and as the president of the garden club which runs on EIM’s land.

Thanks so much for supporting Elza, Florence, Peterson and almost 200 more students at EIM. As always, if you ever have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email Andy@IDVolunteers.org or Steph@Englishinmind.org, both of us are always happy to provide direct updates.

Florence has learned English and leadership skills
Florence has learned English and leadership skills
Pete was shy but his natural charisma now shines
Pete was shy but his natural charisma now shines
Ansly may seem quite but he
Ansly may seem quite but he's a strong leader
 

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Organization Information

International Disaster Volunteers (IDV)

Location: Bristol, Somerset - United Kingdom
Website: http:/​/​www.idvolunteers.org
Project Leader:
Andy Chaggar
Bristol, Somerset United Kingdom

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