Jump to menu

Our Work So Far

Grace Church’s support of St Matthew’s began in 2008 — a response to the Millennium Development Goals (#2, universal primary education). We have funded teachers’ salaries, repairs to the roof and walls, school room supplies and textbooks.

We’ve partnered with Food for the Poor to provided daily lunch and we have set up the kitchen. We held wonderful arts camps in the alternate summers.  We have helped with school uniforms. Enrollment has risen from 35 to over 160,  sixth grade has been added, and in 2016 four new classrooms were built. Teaching has been reinforced by partnering with Anseye pou Ayiti.  The new classrooms have also accommodated health clinics run by Health4Haiti thus extending their work in nearby Gonaïves

Also, in 2016,  St James, Indian Head, MD, joined in equal partnership with Grace Church in supporting this mission.

 

Schooling is a long haul. We need engaged partners, donors, sponsors and visitors. Parishioners from age 14 to 83 have visited; warm and deep relationships are forming.  Join us!

Check out this video clip!

 

Meeting Needs, Breaking Barriers

Classroom

There is no school without teachers. Grace funds the salaries of the teachers — our initial and continuing promise. Salaries are still below the national standard, $100 a month. Teacher training is mandated but lagging. In the summer of 2015 we funded training sessions for the first time.

In 2008, at our first visit, there were no textbooks and few pencils, pens or notebooks;  just five classes and five chalk boards. Each visit we go laden with classroom supplies from parishioners. And we’ve sent money to buy supplies and textbooks, which also benefits the local economy. State-designated textbooks cost $45 per student each year, on average. There are no books for out-of-school reading.  A little learners’ library is needed!

In Haiti, as elsewhere in the less developed world, it is matter of great pride to go to school. To wear a uniform is mark of that pride — and also a national requirement (rarely enforced). We have witnessed a child, lacking shoes, coming to school in his dad’s outsize boots, and also the excitement as kids were measured for uniforms, which are made up locally. We are footing the bill.

The hungry child cannot learn. Food for the Poor is active in Haiti, and we have tapped into their program for rice and beans for school lunch. We supplied the kitchen cauldron, dishes and utensils. The women of St Matthew’s prepare and cook. It’s a partnership!