Haiti Trade Schools.
Most of us have had educational opportunities from childhood to young adulthood, first in elementary education programs and then in secondary education, either in college programs, or skilled trades that enable us to make a living. Imagine a country where no national education system exists, less than half of the children receive any education, most of the people are illiterate and poverty is widespread. In Haiti, this is the reality. For most, the chance to escape the cycle of poverty and despair, to a life of hope and opportunity is remote.
Support for trade schools began in 1986 as an outreach effort of the Apostolic Water Aid Program in Haiti. Brothers from the Bluffton congregation coordinated support for German missionaries operating the Port a Piment Trade School, located on the west coast of the southern Haiti peninsula. Several years later a second trade school was established in Les Cayes. We assisted in the development and expansion of this school.
In 1996, brothers from Francesville, Remington, and Wolcott helped construct and develop a third school in Petit Trou, on the north coast of the southern Haiti peninsula. In 2005, the fourth trade school in Chantal, west of Les Cayes, opened with the support of these brothers. At the Chantal school, students are trained in carpentry, masonry construction, sewing, and computer systems. A fifth school was opened in Aquin.
Hope and Opportunity
Francois is a young man living in Simone, a small village north of Les Cayes, Haiti, a large town on the southern coast of Haiti. He was given the opportunity to develop valuable life skills and a marketable expertise as a plumber in one of the Haitian Trade Schools. The education and training he receives in the Les Cayes school will give Francois the ability to provide for himself and his family. He will have skills to service and repair water well pumps installed by Apostolic Water Aid (AWA), and develop into a valuable member of society with the opportunity to glorify God with his talents.
Claudinette is a young woman in training as a seamstress. Every morning she participates in a devotional to help learn and grow in the grace of God’s word before beginning her training using sewing machines to produce, mend, and alter clothing. This training will enable Claudinette to improve her economic condition and help others with her skills.
In Aquin, a town on the main highway of the southern Haitian peninsula, a class of young adults meets to learn computer skills. The training these students receive will enable them to enter the workforce with technical skills that are rare in Haiti. The opportunity that this provides will be the difference between another generation of poverty, and a step forward to a brighter future and better life by using their God-given abilities.
The enthusiasm expressed by the students at these trade schools testifies to the hope and opportunity that the training provides. These young people are instructed in God’s Word as they begin their day, and the skill and expertise developed give the students a sense of self worth and purpose as they take their place as an active participant in God’s kingdom. HarvestCall continues to provide financial support for tool replacement, technical support and work teams for building expansion where needed. Several work teams are scheduled annually to support the efforts of the trade schools.
Posted on Tuesday Nov 10