We have some exciting updates for you from Haiti. Mr. Benjamin Ousner, the computer teacher at Pastor Vincent’s Centre D’Etudes Professionnelles de la Fondation Bon Samaritain (CEPROF-FBS), is proud to report that some of his students graduated from the computer literacy training program on March 18th. The graduates are: Dorvilier Getro, Francois Merveille, Charlene Lucide, Leblanc Resilienne, Jean Pierre Marie Florence, Georges Jessinska, Noel Berline, Francois Samuel, Amilio Amilcar, Florison Nadie, Cineas Andrei Dejan David-Ocevic and Frederic Jean Edwige. Please see below for some pictures from this special day.
Congratulations to Mr. Ousner and his students for their hard work and for their accomplishments! The computer lab at the Good Samaritan Foundation in Cite Soleil is open to school children in the morning and to young adults in the afternoon. Mr. Ousner writes that this program is so important for training the youth in Cite Soleil and will help to reduce unemployment. He and his students would like to thank the Health for Haiti team for the laptops and for their support of CEPROF-FBS. Although electricity, salary and Internet are often not available, Pastor Vincent and Mr. Ousner have persevered and have demonstrated great dedication to providing this educational opportunity to their students and community.
We are also very happy to report that Amazing Grace Academy (AGA) opened for classes on April 2. Our friend Jean Frico reports that he has two classes of 50 children. Half come in the morning and half in the afternoon. He has 117 children who want to participate in the computer literacy and English classes, but he is starting with 50. Jean hopes to be able to accept more of the children soon. Jean says, “The children are smart and hungry for education.” He said that everyone came for the first day of classes and even though they had to sit on the floor, they were excited for class. Jean plans to paint the school, hopes to be able to purchase chairs and tables and a chalk board, and is in need of more computers, but AGA is off to a great start! Thank you for all of your efforts to create and open AGA, John Frico.
Computer classes also continue in Grande Saline. The new solar panels and classroom and the additional computers we brought in January have enabled Tida to grow this program to 190 students. The students continue to work hard and we thank Tida for his continued commitment to this program.
And we are sneaking in one community garden update. Upstate New York is cold and snowy this week but it is hot and sunny in Grande Saline. The community garden was cleared after the harvest last month, replanted and is growing well. The farmers will be installing some extra pipe this week to help with watering the growing garden. The school lunch program is going very well and we are excited to see more food growing in the garden.
We would like to say thanks once again to all of our Health for Haiti friends for following our progress and for your support of these projects! We would also like to thank and recognize the teachers in Haiti who demonstrate such dedication to their communities under difficult circumstances.
And finally, we would like to issue a special thank you to the parishoners of the Church of the Holy Family in Endwell, New York and to the Poverty Busters Giving Circle (http://povertybustersgivingcircle.com/) for their significant donations. These generous donors are helping to support our existing projects and are making it possible to explore some exciting, new, community-driven initiatives in Haiti. We look forward to updating you as these projects progress.