Technology
 Haiti
Project #5647

Provide Technology for Haitian Students

by Mortel Family Charitable Foundation
Palmyra students holding welcoming signs for Carl
Palmyra students holding welcoming signs for Carl

Dear Supporters,

This holiday season, we delight in the joy of Carl.  Our Palmyra students hoped to sponsor a student from one of our partner schools in St. Marc, Haiti.  Students conducted a fundraising campaign that involved selling coupon books.  The fruit of our students fundraising labor is the sponsorship of Carl! Carl is a kindergartener enrolled at Les Bons Samaritians School in St. Marc.  Carl has brought a great deal of joy to us all and smiles to all whom have seen his picture.  We look forward to having a long-standing relationship with Carl and to watch him grow and learn through the technology that this project has helped to provide for him and his peers.

Please consider a 2015, tax-deductible; year-end contribution to help provide the technology that Carl and his peers will require to become educated global citizens in a connected world.

We wish you all the joys that this season brings.  We hope that the pictures of Carl and our Palmyra students in this report lift you up in the spirit of the season.  We wish you a happy and prosperous New Year and thank you all for your continued support. 

Carl, our sponsored kindergarten student
Carl, our sponsored kindergarten student

Links:

Joy filled learning at Les Bons Samaritains.
Joy filled learning at Les Bons Samaritains.

As we near the end of another year, we are thankful for the many educational opportunities your support has provided. We are thankful for Acerneau, an alumnus of Les Bons Samaritains in St. Marc, who is helping with our wiki project in Haiti and provided the picture heading this report.

We are thankful for the opportunity to share our unique project with others. We have presented our project at a recent Bill and Melinda Gates sponsored education conference in New Jersey.  We also presented to a local Lions Club and will be presenting to an educational technology conference in Lancaster, PA.  A copy of our presentation can be found in the links below.

We are thankful for the support of local media personalities through the years.  WJTL’s Lisa Landis, WTPA’s Ed Coffee, and recently WITF’s Tim Lambert have given their time and talent to help mentor our students and help them promote our project.  You can find out more about Tim Lambert’s work with our project in the link’s below.

Our Palmyra students have recently held a fundraising project selling coupon books in the hopes of raising enough money to sponsor a student at our partner school in Haiti, Les Bons Samaritans. Sponsoring a student makes our connection with our schools in Haiti even more meaningful.

If you are looking for an opportunity to make a lasting impact in joyful and industrious student’s lives, please consider a donation to our project for yourself or a loved one on #GivingTuesday (Tuesday, December 1, 2015) or throughout the holiday season. Sharing the word about the good being accomplished at our sister schools in Haiti are also so appreciated.

Wishing you many moments of joy and thankfulness this holiday season,


p.s. GlobalGiving now offers the opportunity to purchase tribute cards as holiday gifts for your loved ones. Tribute cards allow you to give directly to our project, while also sending a note to let your loved one know that they have inspired a charitable donation during this season of giving. These notes can be sent via email, printed at home, or mailed directly to the recipient.

Our Gates Foundation Presentation
Our Gates Foundation Presentation
WITF
WITF's Tim Lambert visits our project.

Links:

Acerneau Giving Back
Acerneau Giving Back

Les Bon Samaritians (LBS) School was born in 2001 to educate the poorest of the poor in St. Marc, Haiti.  Central to the school’s operation is instilling character, integrity, and a longing to be good stewards of Haiti’s future.  Since 2001, additional schools have been built through the Mortel Foundation’s leadership espousing the ideals of LBS.  The schools have not only educated and inspired a spirit of giving back; they have also become the largest single provider of employment in St. Marc.

One such story of giving back can be found in LBS graduate, Acerneau.

Acerneau was among the first students to be enrolled in the LBS.  He was a beneficiary of our computer instruction and is now helping our Palmyra-Haiti Technology Project from Haiti.  You can get a sense for Acerneau’s passion and desire to help others below…

I am passionate about computers.   That is why my hobby is to stay in St. Marc and work with my computer to discover new things about technology and to share that with others. In St. Marc, I like to see young people like me work for a better Haiti. My family is poor but there is love and hope, which makes us smile.  I do not want to leave my city, I want to participate in its development.  I am thankful for Les Bons Samaritians, the Mortel Family Foundation, and those that have contributed to helping us. They have instilled in me a desire to give back.  I am greatly indebted and want to help the other students at Les Bons Samaritains in any way that I can.

Acerneau has been noted for his local blogs and Facebook page promoting the efforts of LBS.  His AA LBS Facebook page can be found below.  As a new school year starts both in Palmyra and in St. Marc, we are inspired by and look forward to Acerneau’s increased involvement in our program. We feel blessed to know that Acerneau’s exposure to technology at LBS and his involvement in our Palmyra-Haiti connection has bloomed into a true advocate for promoting and growing the good things that are happening in Haiti! (One being the annual Flag Day celebration at LBS celebrating and instilling pride in Haiti - pictured below)

As you can see, your support is helping many eager students! Without it, Acerneau’s passion, would not be possible.  We encourage you to continue to help our program by sharing upcoming bonus donation events including:

  • Global Giving’s 30% Bonus Day on Wednesday, September 16, 2015 beginning at 9:00am EDT  ($70,000 in matching funds available!)
  • Microsoft’s #YouthSpark Final 100% Bonus Day on Wednesday, October 7, 2015 beginning at noon EDT  ($75,000 in matching funds available!)
  • Giving Tuesday, December 1, 2015

 Thank you!!!

Flag Day Pride
Flag Day Pride
Acerneau and Peers Back In Their LBS Days
Acerneau and Peers Back In Their LBS Days

Links:

Historic Graduation
Historic Graduation

This July represents a historic moment for our schools in Haiti.   During a recent graduation ceremony, students that entered Les Bons Samaritains (LBS) School as kindergarteners have graduated from the College of James Stine (CJS). They were the first class of students to enter our schools during the LBS inaugural year.  To think that these students, selected to attend the school from the poorest of the poor, are now high school graduates! We are so very proud of their academic achievements, hard work, persistence and determination! It is humbling and gratifying to imagine how these graduates will positively impact Haiti’s future.

The students at LBS and CJS continue to be positively affected by the technology provided by the support of so many. In a recent news report, our CJS students sited access to information by way of technology as vital to Haiti as water, food, and healthcare.  Haiti’s sustainable future has technology in it.  Your support combined with the passion of the students in Haiti helps to forge a technology connected Haiti.  To find out more about this bright young group of technology advocates, please check out the link that features them in a local TV interview in Haiti.

Thank you for your continued support.

The computer club at The College of James Stine
The computer club at The College of James Stine
Ambition + Technology = Progress
Ambition + Technology = Progress
Some of our technology at CJS
Some of our technology at CJS

Links:

Palmyra teachers participating in a fundraiser
Palmyra teachers participating in a fundraiser

When my wife Helen and I moved to Palmyra 28 years ago, we had no idea of what a caring community we were joining. Palmyra is situated in South Central Pennsylvania near the center of the Pennsylvania Dutch heartland. South Central Pennsylvania has had a proud history of helping those in need around the world.

Palmyra's compassion for the less fortunate has been impressive. When this project was conceived several years ago, a history of support was started.  The Palmyra Area Education Foundation (PAEF), a foundation that provides financial grants for unique educational projects in our district that go beyond the regular school district budget, is funded through the support of local businesses and the citizens of the Palmyra School District.  PAEF awarded a grant to kick-start our project (A laptop and a Flip video camera) to be used at our school in Haiti, which helped start our collaborative.  As our project grew and gained the attention of major players such as Intel, Microsoft, and Google, we sought and were awarded another PAEF grant to celebrate the project's successes at the Haitian Embassy in Washington, DC.

Soon after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Palmyra's caring was evident. Through clothing and food drives, we helped feed and clothe those affected by the quake. In addition, a high percentage of our project's top contributors and recurring contributors come from caring citizens within our Palmyra community.  Many of these citizens have also contributed their time and talent to help us.

The Palmyra Area Education Association (PAEA) and, the staff and administration of the Palmyra Area School District have participated in a variety of fundraisers to help support this project.  Among the fundraisers have been dress down days, backyard picnic game competitions, and photo scavenger hunts.  Thousands of dollars have been raised from personal employee contributions to the project.

Academically, our district has track record of academic success, recently scoring a 94.2 for our high school and 90.7 for our middle school on the Pennsylvania School Performance Profile. We have even had visits by Pennsylvania Secretary of Education and the 2015 State Teacher of the Year to share in our successes.  We have sought out and applied best practices in education for many years, which has contributed to our success. We have shared best practices with teaching peers in Haiti and are poised to do more.

Probably the most rewarding evidence of caring comes from our students who have been influenced by our project.  Some of our students have pursued education and careers in international studies. One such student recently chose a Foreign Service position in Haiti to serve the needs of the Haitian citizens.

On Tuesday, April 14th, starting at 9:00 am EDT, Microsoft will match any donation by 50% up to $1,000 per individual contribution. A $10 donation will be turned into a $15 donation.  A $100 donation would become $150! Please consider supporting this unique project with a contribution.  Matching funds go quickly so please consider timing your donation as close to the 9am start time as possible.  Please spread the word about this great matching opportunity as well.

Together we are making positive change in the lives of appreciative, eager Haitian students!

Thank you for your continued support!

Equipment purchased from our first PAEF grant
Equipment purchased from our first PAEF grant
Loading a truck with earthquake humanitarian aid
Loading a truck with earthquake humanitarian aid
Palmyra staff member conducting training in Haiti
Palmyra staff member conducting training in Haiti
A caring community
A caring community

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Organization Information

Mortel Family Charitable Foundation

Location: Hershey, PA - USA
Website: http:/​/​mortelfoundation.org
Project Leader:
Jeffrey Remington
Teacher / Project Director
Palmyra, PA United States