Four Schools, 2,000 Students Equal Hope for Haiti

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The students at Saint Dominique Montesinos in Ti Tianyen, Haiti, led the donors down the hill from the community center to the new school.
The students at Saint Dominique Montesinos in Ti Tianyen, Haiti, led the donors down the hill from the community center to the new school.

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COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (May 1, 2014) – Since the 2010 earthquake, more than 33 schools have either been built or rebuilt in Haiti by generous friends of Food For The Poor. The schools have come in all shapes and sizes, depending upon the needs and histories of the communities, but they all have one thing in common – each one offers students the promise of a brighter future for themselves and their country.

“We know that education is the key to ending the generational cycle of poverty,” said Angel Aloma, Executive Director of Food For The Poor. “Once the basic needs of the poor are met, then we must turn our attention to those things that will give them the means to embrace life on their own. Schools are at the core of that vision.”

Recent dedications at four of the schools showed the diversity and dimension of the opportunities being offered to children whose schools were among the 4,000 the government says were destroyed in the earthquake.

“We believe that education will help them pull themselves up. From being here, we see that the principals and teachers are excited about what the new facilities have done. It has regenerated their interest and enthusiasm,” said Everett Hellmuth, a Food For The Poor donor from Virginia. “At every school, we challenge the children to become engineers, doctors, teachers or pastors, and to give back to their communities and make a difference. We want them to dream big.”

The schools being celebrated included:

  • Sainte Croix School in Cabaret, with 80 students from kindergarten to third grade.
  • Bon Berger School in Saint Marc, with 600 students from kindergarten to sixth grade.
  • Saint Dominique Montesinos in Ti Tanyen currently has 200 students, 80 of whom live at the attached orphanage, but the school has capacity to grow to 300 students.
  • Marie Clarac School, a downtown Port-au-Prince institution that serves more than 1,000 girls. The school is solar powered, is earthquake resistant and is built to withstand a hurricane.

At each of the schools, students presented skits, read poems and showed their appreciation by grabbing the hands of the visitors and giving them a tour. The visit can be experienced in this video.

“The kids are just precious, and they want to learn,” said Robin Hellmuth, as she stood in the courtyard at one of the schools and watched children romp from classroom to classroom. “They are also very thankful, and that’s what is so touching.”

She described her first trip to Haiti with her twin daughters, Ashton and Chesney, who since have graduated from college and gone on to teaching and marketing jobs.

“On the first visit, we saw a lot of kids, and realized that the biggest thing they needed here was schools,” she said. “We went home and talked to Everett, and that’s when we came to the family decision that we would focus on schools. To see the dream fulfilled, it’s just amazing.”

Food For The Poor, named by The Chronicle of Philanthropy as the largest international relief and development organization in the nation, does much more than feed millions of the hungry poor in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicines, educational materials, homes, support for orphans and the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance, with more than 95 percent of all donations going directly to programs that help the poor. For more information, please visit www.FoodForThePoor.org.

Kathy Skipper

Food For The Poor
Public Relations
954-427-2222 x 6614
kathys@foodforthepoor.com