This program's mission is to assist the youth of the local community and district in which the trade school resides so that they can obtain the necessary education and skills needed to become leaders of their future homes, churches, and communities.
Special emphasis is placed on education and skill development that will enable the graduates to start businesses or gain employment within their local community and surrounding area. The funds used to initiate and subsidize the school are charitable donations given in the name of Christ. This requires that each school operate in an orderly, accountable manner so that all of us will be judged worthy stewards of God’s blessings before whom we will all give account.
School # 1 - Port-à-Piment Trade School
In 1986, this first school began by assisting a German missionary (Detlef Gwinner) with getting tools and equipment to help in the village of Port-à-Piment. Since that time, several German missionaries have served at this location. With God’s blessings along with the support of the Germans, this school is well organized. Currently, they teach the trades of woodworking, masonry, plumbing, computers, electrical and sewing. The morning begins with worship and a short Bible devotional led by one of the students.
Today, 80% of the teachers are school graduates. Prior to 2010 the school was being administered by the German missionary, Reinhard Schallar. Since then the director, administrator and all other staff are Haitian. Since the town provides no electricity, the school furnishes its own power using their own generator.
HarvestCall assists with the teacher’s salaries, repairs and replacement of tools. Tuition of the students covers the other basic operational expenses of their education. The Germans stress no handouts, including food. If tuition is not met, the student is dismissed. In the fall of 2014, the school celebrated their 25th anniversary of operation, a big milestone.
School #2 - IRD School, Les Cayes
Developed in the early nineties, IRD became school #2, being located in one of the three largest cities in Haiti. Some major differences between Port-a-Piment and school IRD is they have a fairly reliable electricity source. They have several trades, including masonry, tile laying, plumbing and computer classes and use outside teachers. Our main assistance is currently providing funds for the repair of tools and a second story addition to the school.
School #3 – Petit trou de Nippes Trade School
Petit-Trou is a small coastal town located across the mountains from the city of Les Cayes. Although only 75 miles apart, it requires about five hours to conquer this stretch of Haitian roads. The vision for the trade school centered around the idea to give church youth a trade before they left their community to find work in larger cities. The church congregation here desired an alternative to losing their children to the negative outside influences of the metropolitan cities.
Construction of the school building began in 1995. Over the years, groups from several of our congregations served in construction tasks including foundation work, roofing, building doors, windows, desks and workbenches, wiring and installing equipment. HarvestCall provides funding for the building materials and tools used by the students.
Opened in 1997, the school teaches carpentry, masonry and tailoring, with a current enrollment of 40-60 students in the three trades. Since 2014, they have also added a tile laying class. Students attend for ten months per year and each trade is three years long.
School #4 - Chantel
Chantal opened in the fall of 2005 consisting of four classes: masonry, tile laying, sewing and computers. 80 students, including several over 30 years old, currently use 20 computers with future plans of migrating towards laptops for less power consumption. This school is about 45 minutes west of Les Cayes located on the north edge of town providing a scenic view of mountains in the backdrop.
School #5 - Vieux Bourgh d´Aquin
Aquin has been the most recent addition to the five trade schools and was added in 2007. The school is about one hour east of Les Cayes on the main road to Port-au-Prince. The school is located in the middle of town making it convenient for students to walk to school. The four trades that are taught are masonry, sewing, cooking, and computer classes. They also have a generator as a lot of the power received from town is poor and unreliable. This school works well under the current pastor as he was the founder of the school. School at Aquin begins with singing and a short worship service before classes. They receive financial support for operational support and tools, if needed.
Currently, several evaluation trips to each school are made each year to accomplish the following: tool and generator maintenance, financial accountability and proper record keeping. HarvestCall trade school committee representatives also have various meetings with the school committee and teachers, discussing annual expenses, income budgeting and financial support.
The Haiti Trade Schools (HTS) program has been supported since 1986, originally formed from the AWA water aid program under the leadership of Elder brother Orville Ringger. As the program has expanded, several committees were formed to support the work at individual trade schools. These have now been consolidated under a single committee, the HTS committee. Presently, five trade schools in Haiti receive funding and support from HarvestCall.