Gwo Mon – Gros Morne is a rural city in Haiti, its name means “Big Mountain.”
The La Resurrection Episcopal Church and Primary School experienced rapid succession of priests-in-charge following the catastrophic earthquake that hit Haiti in 2010. Prior to that, La Resurrection was a flourishing primary school complete with a computer lab. The campus included a health clinic, a technical school that included tailoring and other professions, a kitchen and cafeteria for the student lunch program and a water purifying system. These services were also sold to the community to help support the school budget.
The campus of life changing opportunities came to a halt and all, but the primary school closed with teachers being paid little and sporadically based on what student tuition came into the school. The commitment between the families and teachers remained strong and hopeful for over the years; hence the name Campus of Hope. Recently, the Episcopal Dioceses of Haiti re-assigned Père Colbert Estil as the priest-in-charge to Gros Morne.
The goal of the Campus of Hope is to provide an education for children living in this challenging and difficult place.
The private sector has become a substitute for government investment in education, supporting about 90% of the schools.
There is unanimous agreement in what resources are needed by La Resurrection Primary School among the priest-in-charge, teachers, students, lay leaders, and the visitors. The immediate priority is to pay the teachers and purchase books and basic school supplies for the students.
Some of the children have workbooks and paper if their families can afford to purchase them. If not, they sit quietly while others are reading or writing. There isn’t music which is very important in the Haitian culture and one of the first things students asked for during our visit!
Sisters Catherine Wagner and Laura Wagner visit the area twice a year to monitor expenditures, meet with students and parents, and teachers and administrators; and use a train-the-trainer model to provide public health and personal hygiene education, which is open to the community. Catherine and Laura have been going to Haiti for 14 years and have known Père Colbert and his family for the past ten.