New school brings hope and joy
Posted May 5th, 2016
Every trip to Haiti is transformative, but this last one was especially so. After many years of planning, collaboration and hope, we went to Port-au-Prince to witness the naming and ribbon cutting of the new school you helped to build. The Father Jeri School, named in honor of Father Gerry Jean-Juste (Gerry is Jeri in Creole), is not just a long-held dream come true, but a beacon of a brighter future for the entire community of Ti Plas Kazo.
A moving ceremony
Hundreds of people came together on a Saturday afternoon to join in the celebration. Members of What If and Na Rive cut a beautiful ribbon, shared memories of Father Jeri, and spoke of his love and hope for Haiti and his indomitable fight for social justice. The Ti Plas Kazo community lined the halls of the new building and it is hard to describe the energy that connected us around this new symbol of hope. The Father Jeri School will not only provide much-needed education, but intends to raise a new generation of change agents in the community and in Haiti as a whole.
“ 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
Standing tall and proud
The school truly is a sight to behold, beyond compare in the area for its thoughtful design, including climate and earthquake protection and large classrooms filled with natural light. As proud as we are to have contributed to its creation, the families of Ti Plas Kazo are even more so. This building means so much to them: daily nourishment, access to quality education and entrepreneurial development for the next generation, as well as a place to gather, plan and beheard. It represents opportunities that have never existed before and we now have a chance to help those opportunities come to fruition.
Back to school in a big way
Na Rive is now hard at work planning for the biggest back-to-school season they’ve ever had. The new building makes all this possible, yet ensuring the programs have a strong start and are funded for years to come is now our main priority. Na Rive has teachers to hire, curriculum to solidify, supplies to buy, uniforms to sew, and of course, a new cafeteria to stock so that meals can be served to students and other hungry children in the neighborhood.
Your generosity is central to their success. Let’s help Na Rive fill this new building with as much possibility as possible.