March 2013 Newsletter
by Vernon Giesbrecht
Dear friend of Double Harvest,
A Trip to Remember – From March 9-16, my wife and I and a team of 11 from our church were at our project in Haiti “Blessing the School”. Double Harvest Haiti consists primarily of agricultural, fish and chicken projects, however, a quality Medical/Surgical Clinic and a Christian school (Pre-School-Grade 13) also have a significant presence on our 200 acres. While our team engaged in various projects at the school, we were very aware of the privilege our 500 students are afforded to receive a first-class education and compassionate care. Third world conditions take a toll on buildings and infrastructure, so buildings were painted, doors repaired, a water fountain and stairs installed, concrete pads poured, signs replaced and painted, and flowerbeds created. We participated in Chapel Hour, visited classes, and had fun at recess. An added ministry bonus included two trips to village churches where around 200 bags of family clothing, rice and beans were delivered. The joy and gratitude on the people’s faces was worth the trip!
An Education Crisis – Haiti stands alone in the Caribbean with the highest rates of illiteracy and abject poverty. The key to reversing this downward spiral is quality education. But Haiti’s public education is in disarray. Costs remain high for poor families (50% of the population); access is difficult in rural areas; public schools cover only 20% of the demand; the quality of education is often poor due to untrained teachers and deficient curriculum; basic services are lacking in the majority of the schools – sanitation, equipment, supplies. For many observers, it is the top-priority issue for the future of the country!
Meeting the Need – Our school was established in 1996 beginning with two classes of 30 students each. The goal remains to provide a quality education, trained Haitian teachers, a Bible curriculum, decent facilities, a nutritious noon meal, and medical care by our on-site clinic. The school has been rated in the 95th percentile of the standards of the Haiti government. A Sponsorship Program is in place, giving compassionate individuals and churches the privilege to invest in the lives and futures of our students at $45/month. Our heartfelt appreciation goes out to our Sponsors for their faithful support!! To give value to their education, students’ families pay a reasonable tuition and provide uniforms which are required in all schools. The school is directed by a talented, compassionate, and spiritually committed principal. For him, education is important but integrity, honor and respect for the teachers and each other are also taught. Above all, the Bible classes and the Christian worldview infused into the classes are key to the students’ moral, ethical and spiritual transformation. Our team was blessed to have helped with this mission to the youth of Haiti! Check out our website for more information on the school and a fuller explanation of the education crisis in the August, 2012 Update (Under Newsletter).