Making Education Possible
There’s nothing better than hearing conversations, laughter, and singing from the schoolhouse, while sitting under the gazebo on Peredo’s campus, thinking of all the wonderful opportunities the day may bring. It truly embodies the feeling of pure joy and one cannot help but smile. I had the pleasure of visiting all 6 Emmanuel Christian schools this past May. Never have I met students so welcoming and eager to learn than those attending these schools.
With a degree in Elementary Education, it was encouraging to see how engaged the students were in what they were learning. This can be difficult for any classroom, but especially when considering the neighboring classrooms that can be easily heard as well as other home life circumstances. We have very dedicated students who want big things for their life! In the US there is such a big focus on having a perfect classroom from fun, colorful decorations to hands-on activities to having the latest technology. In Haiti, although those things could be useful, these students do not necessarily need all of the bells and whistles to be successful. Although there are many differences when comparing schools in Haiti and the US, there are also many similarities. They learn their shapes, sing alphabet songs, and learn about living organisms and their habitats. All schools in Haiti teach four languages: Creole (their version of English/Grammar), Spanish, French, and English. I found it interesting to observe a classroom in Grand Bois where the students had to fill in the missing number in a number sequence based on the forming pattern they saw because I had just taught that same lesson to students in the US a few weeks prior.
However, as I visited each school, I could not help but wonder what it must be like to choose between your child’s education and the basic, everyday necessities. Take a moment and imagine you were this parent. The cost of sending one of your children to receive a quality education is higher than what the average family will make in at least three months. With the cost of tuition, uniforms, and supplies, how do you pay for this while paying for the absolute necessities of food, water, and shelter? Unfortunately, this is the reality for many families in Haiti. School costs have been known to rise into the hundreds throughout the country. Luckily for the children attending schools supported by Haitian Christian Outreach, there are individuals such as you, who are dedicated to doing something for Haiti that will last.
At Emmanuel Christian Schools, families provide their child with black shoes, a uniform, and a yearly tuition fee of an average of $5 US. Of course, different arrangements have been and will continue to be made based on need. A child sponsor’s financial gift of $20/month allows our schools to keep their tuition fee low and it helps offset other costs such as food, curriculum, teacher and staff salaries, and other school-related needs without having to lower the quality of education our students receive. In addition to a high-quality and highly desired education, our students attend bible classes and have access to free healthcare. With the help of HCO’s child sponsors, our students at Emmanuel Christian Schools are not only intellectually and physically cared for but they are spiritually fed as well. Our schools continue to receive high praise for their exceptional scores on government exams, despite their increasing level of difficulty. And we can’t wait to see what this school year has in store for our nearly 2,000 students!
So how does one become a sponsor? Upon request, a representative from Haitian Christian Outreach will visit your church or organization to provide further detail about the schools, children, and sponsorships during an Every Child event. Those who commit to becoming a sponsor have the opportunity to choose an individual student profile to take home with them. Another way to become a sponsor is by signing up online where you will be assigned a student of your desired gender, grade, and school if mentioned and if possible. In addition to our monthly Estories, sponsors receive an annual update, which includes a new picture of their child and more information about him or her and their school. A meeting can also be arranged while school is in session so that sponsors have the opportunity to interact with their child.
We ask that you prayerfully consider sponsoring a child from one of our six schools and partner with us in doing something for Haiti that will last! Visit our website for more information about child sponsorship or to sign up today. We also encourage you to watch our Child Sponsorship Video and share this opportunity with friends and family.
If you have further questions or would like assistance with becoming a child sponsor, please contact me, Larissa Blevins, Child Sponsorship Coordinator for Haitian Christian Outreach.