Schools in Haiti share some commonalities with American schools, but there are many differences that impact the future prosperity of this nation. In Haiti, the government funds education for only 20% of the children in the entire nation. Because of this, 98% of the schools in Haiti are private schools, often supported by organizations in Canada and the United States. Only 60% of Haitian children ever get to enter a school building. Of those that attend, most never get past 6th grade. Because Haiti is a nation of extreme poverty, about 4.4 million people suffer from acute hunger, eating only a few meals a week. In many of the schools, an education is provided, but a school lunch is not.
Children in Haiti walk sometimes 2-3 miles to get to their school building. Because parents must pay a tuition, they often cannot send all their children at once, so siblings from one home may alternate years, attending school every other year or every third year.
Trinity HOPE partners with 241 private, Christian schools throughout 13 districts in Haiti. Through our partnership, we show the Grace of God by providing a noon meal for the children and staff in these schools.
In a Haitian school with a Trinity HOPE feeding program, the cooks make large batches of rice, beans, and sauce over an open fire, often outside. This special recipe was created in partnership with nutritionists at Vanderbilt University, and provides a balanced meal of protein, fat, and carbs. This noon meal helps children concentrate and attend to their learning. It is also the conduit through which we share the grace and mercy of God.
Before the meal, children wash their hands with some sort of running water, often out of a large cooler. Dishes and eating utensils are scarce. Often, when mission teams travel to Haiti, we take spoons so that schools might have enough spoons for all children to eat at the same time. The children thank God for the provision of food and enjoy a meal that fills their tummies and souls.
The pictures in this article are from two Lutheran schools, Concordia and Evangelique le Lutherinne, both in Leogane, Haiti. Between them, we partner to feed about 80 souls. These pictures represent many of the unique attributes of Haitian schools. Throughout the next few months, we will be highlighting schools from all 13 districts on our Social media pages. Please visit us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/trinityhopehaiti and Instagram: www.instagram.com/trinityhopehaiti to learn more about the areas we serve, the people who work with us, and to get a better understanding of the amazing work God is doing through Trinity HOPE.
Anpil benediksyon (many blessings).