Great News: The School Construction is Complete!
Posted Feb 18th, 2016
Dear Friends of What If,
I just came back from Haiti and I am so excited to share that the new school building and kitchen/cafeteria we have been working on for several years is now complete! Thanks to your support, the “Building the Dream” project in Ti Plas Kazo is a reality.
During my visit, I was deeply moved not only because of the building’s beauty, which makes it stand out in the neighborhood, but also because it fills the students and community with pride and hope.
This school has been a long-held dream of the Ti Plaz Kazo community and was built in loving memory of Father Jean-Juste, whose vision of a children’s food program inspired our founder, Margaret Trost, to create the What If? Foundation in 2000. Fr. Jean-Juste was a passionate advocate for the poor and believed that every act of love made a difference. His beliefs continue to live on through the everyday teachings and outreach of our partner on the ground, Na Rive
The school is not just the culmination of Fr. Jean-Juste’s vision, and a symbol of hope for the community, but a true catalyst for developing a new generation of Haitians. The plans laid out by Na Rive entail a combination of high academic standards with teaching
s of respect, empathy and civic duty among students and the community, aimed at building the next generation of leaders.
The students will be entrusted with maintaining the school and the surrounding yard. In addition, their parents will be encouraged to get involved in their education so they know how best to support their children despite the fact that many of the parents are unable to read and write. This approach will create an environment and space for transformation where the children in Ti Plaz Kazo can thrive and grow to become change agents in the community.
“We want our students to be examples, to be thinkers, to be leaders. And this will be possible because of the education they will receive in this school. Then, when they graduate, they can be leaders in the community and wherever they go.”
Lavarice Gaudin, Na Rive Program Director
The building has three stories and six classrooms, each comfortably fitting 40 students. It is equipped with a kitchen and a spacious cafeteria where nutritious meals will be cooked and served to students. In addition, meals will be prepared for other hungry children who attend the food program.
Now that the construction is complete, Na Rive is hard at work developing plans to relocate the food program kitchen and house the after-school program and the summer camp in the new building.
The What If? Foundation Board and staff, and Na Rive, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your ongoing support which has provided the resources needed for such an important project. Your generosity has opened a brighter future for the children of Haiti.