After a brutal summer characterized by unparalleled gang violence and delays mandated by the Haitian Ministry of Education, we opened the doors to the Barefoot School in Cité Soleil, Haiti last week. This will be our second scholastic year. Our relationship with the Guepard Boxing Club of Cité Soleil [GBCCS] which operates the school goes back to 2016 when we began funding GBCCS’s programs to create a positive environment for the children of Cité Soleil, the poorest and most dangerous ghetto in the western hemisphere. To emphasize that point, please watch the short video at the end of this post that will provide you with a glimpse of the living conditions in the area we serve. During those six years, we’ve fed thousands of hungry children three days each week. With school in session, we feed nearly 150 children, five days each week.
Our school operates Monday through Friday. We teach first through sixth grade. Our curriculum includes French; Creole; Social Science; Experimental Science; and Math. Students also receive grades for conduct, sports, religion, art, computer science, and writing. Each student receives a glass of milk and a slice of bread in the morning, and a hot meal when school concludes in the afternoon. Each meal is preceded by a prayer. We purchase our food and our school supplies from the Haitian market, and our school is managed and operated by Haitian teachers.
Our Barefoot School is funded by a small but growing cadre of committed individuals who believe that the only way to minimize and eliminate poverty is through education. We practice “direct giving.” Every penny, 100% of all funds raised and donated to our project goes directly to GBCCS in Haiti. Justin is our Program Director in Haiti. He presents us with an annual budget and requests funds against that budget as needed. Justin responds to all dispersed funds with invoices and receipts, and photos of goods purchased. “Direct giving” is based on trust and it has worked well for the benefit of the children we serve.
This year’s budget is $37,972.25. Of that total, $23,000 covers monthly, recurrent expenses that include food [$18,000] and a small monthly stipend for the 11 in-country Haitian staff members; $14,972.25 is reserved for one-time, indirect expenses like school supplies, uniforms, furniture, and medical supplies.
As we near the end of the calendar year, our financial resources have dwindled to less than $3,000 against our $38,000 budget. Can you help the children we serve at the Barefoot School? You can learn more about the program by visiting the “Work in HAITI” link on the navigation bar.
If you would like to donate to our program, please let us know by using the contact form below. We will respond within 48 hours to answer your questions and explain how you can donate to our program and help the children of Haiti.
The Neighborhood We Serve in Citè Soleil
a short video from Justin’s brother Erick
who is a member of the Social Agent Community trying to treat cholera