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Monday, October 17, 2011

Passing Out School Supplies in Haiti

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On Friday I had the opportunity to visit the CACH school in Carrefour, outside of Port-au-Prince, to distribute school supplies to the approximately 100 students that the school supports.  I want to thank the Girl Scouts of America and the Zillah Church of the Nazarene for donating all of the school supplies and backpacks so that these children can have a wonderful school year without worrying about having to buy pencils, pens, scissors, erasers or other school supplies.

I was first contacted about the CACH school by Ishmeet Singh, an individual that was part of a United Sikhs Disaster Response contingent that spent months helping the victims of the earthquake in 2010.  One of their projects resulted in the CACH school, a partnership between the United Sikhs and a committee of devoted parents that did not have the opportunity to send their children to schools in Carrefour.  As a result Ishmeet and the United Sikhs have been sponsoring the school for 2 years now.  When they no longer had someone available to ensure the continued operation of the school I was contacted to serve as an intermediary between Ishmeet and the school.  For the past year we have been working together to create a school that provides an education for the community and its children.

The school has grown from a two room institution to now enrolling children from Kindergarten to 6th grade.  Additionally the enrollment of the school continues to increase from year to year.  The school charges a minimal fee to cover basic necessities such as chalk and drinking water, but the rest is generously provided through Ishmeet and his friends.  I am happy that H.E.R.O. was able to play a small part in the operation of the school through our donations of school supplies and we hope to continue building our relationship with the CACH school to provide additional assistance in the future.  They would really like to begin a feeding program for the school but funds are limited both to purchase the cookware and the daily food requirements. 

The largest class by far was 1st grade, which the rumor mill contends will be 100% free for all children through President Martelly’s education plan.  Unfortunately, at the CACH school, and the school to which our orphans attend, they have received no news about the factual base of this rumor, despite the two weeks of school that have already been completed.  There is hope, however, as just this week the Prime Minister and all Ministerial positions have been approved by the government.  We are eager and ready for the government to take concrete action to increase the quality and quantity of education provided in Haiti.  Education is the only true vehicle available for the elimination of poverty in this country.  Let’s do it!


Steven M. Kirby, Ed.D

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