Q. So, when did this, the Haiti ministry, begin?
A. Our first funding of teachers’ salaries was in 2008 –closure of the school was forestalled.
Q. Now, how is this project of the Haiti ministry funded?
A. Donations from the Grace parishioners and other friends. 100% of donations go to Haiti. There is no direct support from the budget of Grace Church – but one 4th-Sunday-of-the-month collection goes to the Haiti Ministry. This and all donations pass through the accounts of Grace Church and benefit from the tax deductibility. Administrative expenses are met by other individual donors.
Q. What is the mission of the Haiti ministry?
A. To reduce barriers to education in Haiti. One third of Haitian youth are unable to read; for peasant families, school expenses amount to 40% of the family income —click here.
Q. Tell me again, why Haiti?
A. Our neighbor, 700 miles off Miami, poorest and least developed nation by far in our hemisphere.
|Human Development Index||Life expectancy at birth||Mean Years of school||per capita income|
|Latin America & Caribbean||0.740||74.9||7.9||$13,767|
Q. What’s the curriculum at St. Matthieu?
Q. I have heard that the teachers are not qualified; why should we support them?
A. Regrettably, you are right. Indeed USAID reckons that three-quarters of teachers in Haiti are not adequately credentialed (http://www.usaid.gov/haiti/education). It is no surprise to find this is so at St Matthieu. Those that are credentialed teach in costly private schools in the capital. Think of it this way : these are dedicated hard-working individuals who wish to share their own learning (continuing in some cases) with children of their communities – not unlike home schooling together as occurs in the USA. They deserve our help on every front. The Diocese of Haiti is acutely aware of the problem and runs annual teacher training sessions. Furthermore we are partnering with Anseye Pou Ayiti to upgrade teaching at St. Matthieu. This year two of their trainees, Hoates Inson LYRA and Kesnel DECIUS, are leading the upper classes, find them .
Q. About that project to build new classrooms, there have been problems, haven’t there? Or so rumor has it.
A. Yes, for sure. Problems of expectations not met. But we have persevered. Four new classrooms welcomed over 160 students this fall .