After the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti in January of 2010, The “School of Hope” opened its doors in Port-au-Prince. welcoming children in 1st – 4th grades. The school added a preschool class the following year. A class has been added every year with the School of Hope currently serving students up to 6th grade.
TeacHaiti’s original vision was to add a grade to the School of Hope until it reached high school. Due to increased costs and a need for additional space, TeacHaiti re-evaluated this plan and decided to instead partner with a nearby school where students are sent after they finish the 6th grade at the School of Hope.
The School of Hope employs a full-time English teacher, which most primary schools in Haiti do not have. In total we have 8 classes, 11 teachers, a principal, a secretary, a book keeper and two janitors. The curriculum also includes Art and Music and other standard subjects. Sponsored students receive daily meals through the nutrition program and regular medical care from doctors.
The School of Hope places a high value on parental involvement. Each parent of a student is required, as part of their sponsorship, to volunteer at the school once a week, helping the school operate by cleaning, providing maintenance, repairing broken items, or preparing meals. In this way, parents are involved and participate in their child’s education, creating ownership and responsibility.
What does the School of Hope mean to the TeacHaiti Founder and Director– Miquette Denie?
“It is very challenging to find the right words to express my feelings as I see School of Hope welcoming in students for the very first time. As I reflect on what the opening of the long-dreamed-of TeacHaiti School of Hope really means to me, I recall a painful experience suffered by me and by many Haitian students. As a child, I remember, at the beginning of each month a teacher would call all the students together and read a list of those who must stand up and go home. Their families had not paid tuition for that month because there was no money to be found. When my name was called, my face would burn with shame as the other kids taunted me and I had to walk home by myself. I would often miss a month, maybe several, and then try to catch up. I remember suffering through this humiliation, but I know that sponsorship in TeacHaiti means over 200 kids will not have to endure a similar experience this year. They can attend every month, every day, of school, and pursue their education as far as their dreams will take them.”
“First and foremost, I thank God for using me to make a difference for His people in Haiti. I thank every single board member for their hard work to make this dream of mine a reality. I thank every supporter for their generous gifts that put such a great smile on these childrens’ faces. Words are not enough to thank you. You are making a tremendous difference in Haiti. Thank you for joining us in the work of TeacHaiti. We do have big dreams and we hope you will continue to walk with us in our dream of building a TeacHaiti School of Hope campus where hundreds of children will eat the bread of education. “Many hands make light work” says a Haitian proverb. Thank you for offering those hands!”