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.
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.
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