Haiti’s mountainous terrain led the Taíno people to call the land Ayiti, the land of the mountains. Despite boasting mountain peaks that reach over 8,000 feet high, the entire country is smaller than the state of Maryland. Nearly 11 million people call Haiti home, but roughly 80% of Haitians live beneath the poverty line and only about 60% of Haiti’s residents are literate (CIA World Factbook). To put this in perspective, imagine if 4.8 million of Maryland’s residents lived in poverty.
Throughout Haiti, only 76% of primary school-aged children are enrolled. Of these children, only 35% complete primary school. Statistically, only 27 of 100 children will complete primary school. Approximately 20% of eligible students are enrolled in secondary school, so this opportunity is highly valued. While there is no tuition to attend public school, there are fees for textbooks, uniforms, supplies, etc.
Savanette, Haiti: Fund a School and Feeding Program
Savanette is located in rural southwest Haiti about 6 miles northwest of the coastal town of Les Cayes. An eight classroom building for St. Jean Baptiste School was completed in 1990, giving children in the Savanette area their first opportunity to attend school!
The school partnership which transitioned to Education Equals Hope in 2016, centers on providing a quality education in a safe and loving setting for primary students grades 1 – 6 and preschool classes for ages 3, 4 and 5.
The generosity of our donors supports not only academic expenses like salaries, textbooks and classroom supplies, but also a meal each school day for all students. Sadly, this is the only meal many students will eat that day. Just as proper nutrition is pivotal to the health and development of these students, so too does the meal aid their ability to focus in the classroom.
Two programs help strengthen the community. A goat program provides a sustainable source of food and income with SJBS orphans the first to receive a goat. Wonderful donors made it possible to give 11 goats and 50 pair of chicken to students in February 2017 to help replace animals lost in Hurricane Matthew (Oct 2016). In 2012, St. Jean Baptiste organized a micro-finance program with business education and loan components to help adults create an income generating business and provide for their families. The school now offers classes through 11th grade with these upper grades being funded by student tuition. This is a huge success story for the community!
Funds are also needed to replace the classroom building roof which was blown off during Hurricane Matthew in 2016; for now, the salvaged panels have been reattached and are very leaky…
School Budget: $49,500 provides a quality education for 270 students plus a daily meal for approximately 410 students including grades 7 – 11.
Les Cayes, Haiti: Sponsorship Program
Les Cayes is a seaport city located in southwestern Haiti. Including the outlying areas, the population is around 70,000 people. Port-au-Prince is roughly 120 miles away.
Primary school tuition is generally between $100 and $250 each year, with secondary school tuition ranging from $250 to $450. Since 70% of Haitians living in rural areas of the country don’t have regular jobs, paying for anything outside survival essentials is difficult. Many of these families may make less than $3 USD per day.
E=H’s program in Les Cayes provides financial sponsorship for the remainder of tuition that the student’s family can’t afford to pay. This amount varies based on the grade level, which school the student attends, and the individual family’s financial need.
Budget: $28,000 per school year to support about 275 sponsored children.
Cavaillon, Haiti: Fund a School and Feeding Program
Cavaillon is located in a flat plain region of southwestern Haiti on the road to Les Cayes, approximately 100 miles from Port-au-Prince. E=H’s program is located in a rural area called Anotte a few rocky and dusty miles outside Cavaillon. More than 90% of people in Anotte live on less than $1 USD per day with limited drinking water and no electricity, sewage system, or medical facilities.
E=H funds the St. Esprit School (Ecole St. Esprit), a private school with a feeding program and primary and middle school classes. Additionally, E=H supports and coordinates health education workshops, women’s programs, and business development opportunities. Each summer, there is also a Vacation Bible School program for anywhere from 200 to 300 children.
For orphaned students pursuing secondary education, E=H provides financial assistance for tuition, uniforms, materials, and fees to attend a secondary school in Cavaillon. Currently, 20-25 students per year receive this support. Jimmy Brutus, the Onsite Coordinator, meets with guardians to assess the level of need. Many of these orphans live with extended family members who already have their own children and have no means to pay for extra education.
Budget: 61,600 (School Operating Budget) $6000 sponsored orphaned children, $35,000 for repairs and construction projects. (The Kindergarten classroom was destroyed during the hurricane in 2016)