Education is an integral part of success for individuals, families, and communities. Over the past couple years, both the COVID-19 pandemic and political tensions across Haiti have forced many schools to close doors for extended periods of time.
In addition to this, Haiti faces many other challenges when it comes to higher education.
- There is a lack of government resources and structure, partnerships with the local community, and curriculum that gives students a consistent quality learning experience. In order to foster quality student learning, Haitian students desperately need additional resources and policies to support higher education.
- Technology, laboratories, libraries, and other learning facilities are not readily available across the country for students to learn or research various topics of study. The limited availability of the internet and technology for Haitian students also impacts the sharing of lessons, collaborating with others and access to information during closures.
- Most accredited and successful universities are often located outside of major cities (Port au Prince).
You may be asking why we are sharing this information? The past year for Joel and Marvensky, specifically, both studying in Jacmel, Haiti has been tough. Here are a few updates on the circumstances of each of their journeys.
Joel was able to successfully complete his freshman year at Notre Dame in Jacmel. The length of time that it took to accomplish that was longer than anticipated; the start and stop of that establishment were disrupted due to multiple school closures. Joel’s long-term goal is to study in the United States. That is his hope right now as he works toward that goal. For those of you that know Joel personally, he is driven and focused. Unfortunately, with limited opportunities to travel to Port Au Prince and the closure of government offices, this journey will require perseverance and patience for Joel. In the meantime, he works at Hands & Feet Project as an Education Assistant assisting Eliezer Joseph, our Education Advocate in Jacmel. We now serve 117 students in Jacmel alone; we are grateful for his help! Please continue to pray for Joel’s path, that he pursues God’s will for him today and every day.
Due to school closures caused by instability in the community, it took two years for Marvensky’s school to complete one academic year. There were additional concerns that his school wouldn’t be operating this fall. After a lot of consideration, Marvensky and our team explored new options. One of those options was Notre Dame with Joel. After evaluating his other options, Marvensky has decided to go to the Dominican Republic to study. He has spent the last three months in Spanish Intensive classes. Haitians learn Kreyol, Spanish, French, and English in school already, but this effort will refresh and better prepare him for his time in the Dominican Republic. He has his education visa and is planning to leave for the Dominican Republic in February. Marvensky said: “This is the first time I’m going to leave Haiti. I don’t know how that’s going to work for me, but I’m praying that everything goes the way God is planning for me.” He is the first of our students to study in the Dominican Republic. We are excited for his journey, though we anticipate it will be difficult as he leaves his sisters, his community, and our Hands & Feet Project family. Please continue to pray for courage in this journey.
We are so excited to let you know that Roosvelt Alexis, Mercidieu’s older brother, started attending a public university in Jacmel this month. He graduated high school in the spring of 2021. At university, he is studying Business Administration. Because of the challenges listed earlier in this email, we ask that you pray for his education and his time spent in university to be fruitful. For the past several years, Roosvelt has been working at Hands & Feet Project as a House Assistant in Jacmel, where he leads the children in activities and sports and provides general campus supervision. In addition to beginning university, Roosvelt is also changing his role by working on our purchasing and distribution processes through managing our Depot.
It is clear that young adults in Haiti are in need of greater resources to succeed. Facilities, laboratories, and internet access are just a few places to start. Would you connect with Haiti on a deeper level and stay informed, pray, and support us as we continue to press forward?
Let’s stand with Haiti, together.
If you would like to contribute to the College Scholarship Fund, you can do so by clicking this link.