Dear friend of the Kenbe La Foundation
This week we received a report from the Children of Haiti Project
(COHP) school with some chilling facts
about the current situation in Haiti.
After hearing the report, we here at Kenbe La Foundation
are glad we have continued supporting the Children of Haiti Project school. We consider this to be an exceptionally well-managed, effective and, in some instances, life-saving project.
Together we have supported the school in 2011, 2012 and 2013 with donations of NZ$15,000
each year. Dominique Pierre, Directrice of COHP school, responded to these donations by saying:
- "I would like to thank the Kenbe La Foundation on behalf of the children and their parents for being an active member of our school community. Kenbe La's contribution to these children's education is valuable beyond measure. So many in this country go to bed hungry or have no hope for even the most basic education. Imagine what the world would be like, if it were filled with compassionate organizations like Kenbe La."
Dominique's December report however, had some chilling facts about the current situation in Haiti and the hardships and challenges faced by the school
- which we felt we needed to share with you. It has toughened our resolve to continue supporting what we believe is a worthy, active and vibrant project.
We know we cannot do everything. But we remain committed to supporting this project, and these children who are the future of Haiti, on an ongoing basis to the best of our ability.
Kenbe La - Never Give Up
Children of Haiti Project school report : Dec 2013
(excerpts) Read full report here...>>
General situation in Haiti
As the majority of aid groups are leaving, the country is returning to its status quo: extreme misery. The political climate is on the verge of being volatile as elections approach.
Students have been inadequately relocated
The [tent camp] next to COHP, where the children originally came from, has been closed. The inhabitants were displaced to inadequate housing. (Often fourteen family members in a one room house). Several of the COHP students now travel (mostly on foot) 2- 2 ½ hours each way; they still arrive on time and enthusiastically to school. Staff at COHP either pitch in for transportation, or occasionally give rides halfway.
COHP student passes away
Sadly, during the first week of January 2013, COHP lost one of its children to complications from a stomach infection caught during the holidays. This could have been prevented if the parents were properly educated in basic preventative measures. On the first day of school after severe stomach ailments the pupil was taken to a nearby public hospital. After several hours of waiting for medical attention he was referred to another hospital, which tried in vain to save his life. Despite medicine and hospital fees paid by COHP, it was too late. COHP arranged for a modest burial ceremony to avoid his body being thrown in a mass grave in the north of the country.
The lack of instructional space
This is one of the major challenges COHP faces. During the rainy season, school time is often disturbed or modified by the fact that the students are confined in a limited space where it could be said that they are ‘packed like sardines’. The rented building was not designed to be a school, and is feeling smaller each year as the children grow and demand more physical space. In addition, the space used for lunch is not water-protected and is flooded when it rains. The lack of funding makes it impossible at this time to resolve this pressing problem.
Visible improvement in character and behavior
COHP students are not afraid to speak their mind respectfully and they are less aggressive in their interactions with each other and within their families. This type of skill really stands out in comparison to other local school settings.
Attendance has never been an issue in our school. The parents are very appreciative of the fact that their children receive a quality education and they go out of their way to make sure that their children are in school. Respect is part of the school climate, with teachers and employees taking their jobs seriously.
Students are making academic strides
This year students are fully immersed in the French language as the language of instruction. However, Creole remains a very important language in the curriculum. The majority of children attending COHP are at or above grade level in the basics. They can all read or listen to a French or Creole text at their level and display an outstanding level of comprehension, even when the French language remains an area of concern in terms of expressing themselves and in general usage.
Parent's sewing club
COHP launched an after-school program for the parents. One of the children’s parents is a professional tailor and has been hired to teach the group of mothers to sew commonly-used items within the Haitian society. This program aims to make the parents financially independent. As part of their training, they meet once a week for a literacy program.
To read full report, click here...>>
FRIDAY 7 MARCH 2014.....SAVE THE DATE!
This is the date for our flagship fundraiser, the 2014 Purple Cake Day Global Day of Action. Please put it in your calendars and start planning!! Of course you can fundraise and learn and spread the word any day of the year, but this is a big one for us at Kenbe La Foundation. Check our website at the end of January 2014 for updated information and resources to download.