Hey everyone! Just a note: I'm really trying to catch up posting our latest e-newsletters on the blog, but am a little behind. Thanks for your patience.
28 September 2021
The start of school is a stressful time for parents, even more so as the economic situation continues to deteriorate and fuel shortages make transport increasingly difficult. Despite the hardships many are facing, Almaïs shared that he was touched and encouraged to see about 70% of students present on the first day of school (it is common in Haiti for students to skip the first day or more of school). A good number of parents also attended the opening ceremony and time of prayer in the Chapel.
School is in session!
Giggling first graders. :)
As we mentioned in our last e-mail, the opening of this school year came with challenge after challenge. We praise God for Almaïs and his staff who confronted each one to open classes successfully and smoothly. "After all the difficulties, I was not expecting this level of motivation and enthusiasm from everyone right away," Almaïs shared. "I am really encouraged and full of thankfulness."
"Education in our community carries many unique challenges. At times our goals feel unattainable.
We recognize that it will take generations to fully achieve them. But we believe that the journey is worth it.
We believe that by the grace of God and with hard work, dedication, and investment in people, we can provide an excellent education for our students.
But we can’t do it alone..."
To all of our Grade Sponsors: THANK YOU!
The school could not function without the support of our Grade Sponsors. We could not pay our staff, provide a meal, and strive for quality education solely on what local parents can afford to pay. Our Grade Sponsorship program subsidizes the cost of education for the vulnerable families of our community.
In order for the school to be fully funded, we need to have all our grades fully sponsored.
We are currently in deep need of sponsors.
One thing sponsorship funds allow us to do is provide the kids with a hot meal every school day. However, with spiking food costs, we are very concerned about our ability to sustain this program at our current level of funding. So far this year, we have not yet been able to start the school food program at full capacity.
We need 53 more sponsors!
Can I ask for your help in filling up these empty sponsorship slots? Would you consider forwarding this e-mail and sharing the need with at least one other person who you think may be interested in sponsoring education for kids on the Plateau?
A few photos from the first day of school...
second graders having fun
the fifth grade boys
Mèt Wislet greets his third grade class. ("Mèt" is a term of respect for male teachers and other positions of authority. Students use "Madame" or "Mademoiselle" for women.)
(More photos below.)
Praise and Prayer: From the School
Praise God for grace and wisdom He gave to Almaïs and his staff in meeting the challenges at the beginning of this year. Please keep them in your prayers for whatever they encounter in the coming months. Pray for continued unity, motivation, and perseverance.
Praise God for a succussful and smooth opening of school with good attendance.
Pray that all our Grade Sponsorship blocks would be filled.
Pray for a solution to the question of transport: Our bus died about two years ago. Last year, the school worked together with a private individual in our community to provide transport. This year, however, with the fuel shortages and other difficulties, the school has not been able to find a means of transport for the kids from Anse-Rouge and other outlying areas. This is an added complication and burden for parents.
two sweet faces from the fourth grade
sixth grade girls, ready to go
From their still relatively new classes on the second story: The middle schoolers (eighth grade, to be precise).
The kindergartners tend to take a serious view of life on the first day of school, despite colorful decorations and energetic teachers...
...After a couple days, however, they are loving it!
Ultimately, our aim is that our students would leave our school with 4 things:
1. An understanding of who God is, what he has done for them through Jesus Christ, and His purpose for their lives.
2. A quality academic education that prepares them to excel in higher education or a trade – as they so choose.
3. A love for their country, a respect for authority, and an ability to bring positive change wherever they end up.
4. A love of the written word, an ability to read with ease and understanding, and a passion for learning through reading.
Please pray toward this end.
Coming soon in the next e-mail: making our community into a place where people want to live--news from Community Development!