The Haitian Ministry of Education has delayed the start of the next school year for one month, until October 3.
I have the budget for our Barefoot School in Haiti for the upcoming school year, now October 3, 2022, through July 2023. The total budget to operate the school for 10 months is $37,972.25. Our intention is to enroll 150 students, twenty-five in each grade, first through sixth. The school day will commence each morning at 7:00 AM and conclude every afternoon at 2:00 PM. After the regular school day, the teachers will remain at the school to offer extra help to students who are struggling with their studies. At 8:00 AM, each student will receive a cup of warm milk. At noon each day, we will serve a hot meal to each student.
Despite the conditions in which we operate, most of the books we purchased for the previous school year remain functional, but we will have to replenish some.
After much soul-searching, prayer, and consultation with my friend Justin in Haiti, we determined that it is right for us to reward the teachers and cooks with a small, monthly stipend. We are allocating $500/month to our seven teachers, two cooks, a maintenance person, and a nurse [a new and critical position we did not have last year]. This group of heroes has been committed to the children for a year now – the cooks much longer – and deserve to receive some financial recognition.
The upcoming school year’s budget includes $23,000 of recurrent [direct] expenses for food and teachers’ salaries ($2,300/month [$1,800 for food, $500 for teachers]) and $14,972.25 of one-time [indirect] expenses for items like uniforms, desks for teachers, medical kits, and other important items to make the school as effective and functional as our minimal budget will allow.
This is a list of important, indirect expenses that we will prioritize not necessarily in this order:
Securing funding for this project is challenging. Charitable giving is a discretionary expense that is too easy for most people to ignore particularly in today’s economic environment of high inflation that demands that each of us re-evaluate our spending habits and personal budgets. I’ve come to regard charitable giving as a non-discretionary expense, a human obligation provided we have the means to contribute to those less fortunate than we are, even if that means a personal sacrifice.
If you will consider helping the children we serve in Haiti, please use the contact form at the bottom of this page to reach out to us. We will respond ASAP to answer your questions, discuss your thoughts and tell you how you can contribute to our work in Cité Soleil. With the first day of school rapidly approaching, we’ve no time to waste.