Tuesday, February 3, 2015

A Visit

This update is long overdue! A group of 6 volunteers traveled to Grisongarde in July 2014 to visit the school. We left Puerto Plata in a rental car around 6 AM and made it to the border in Dajabon around 10 AM. It was almost two hours getting through the border with passport checks and vehicle checks on both sides of the border. We checked into a hotel in Cap Haitian a few hours later, rested a bit, then headed out on the hour long drive down a gravel road to Grisongarde. It was about 5 PM by the time we arrived. 
Cap Haitian, Haiti

There were still dozens of kids waiting for us. They had been waiting for hours. Many had gone home. I forgot to mention that we had to drive through quite a lot of river bed to get to the school. The director had filled out a registration paper for each of the students from the previous year. We were able to take photos of many of these students and are seeking sponsors for them. We met the director and much of the teaching staff as well as the school's founder, who is the father of the director, Devenique. Many of the teachers are family members as well. We gifted the school with some supplies and had some small toys to share with students too. 

It grew dark quickly and we didn't stay long. We tried not to make promises but congratulated the director and teachers on their hard work and said we would be in touch. The director has called and written throughout the fall. We have not sent any funds but have sent some tarps to cover outside classroom space and had a volunteer, Martine, who runs a separate service organization called CRE, send two large barrels full of supplies, which we received in our office in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, then sent to the school in Haiti from there via truck. They were very grateful!

The director reports that they have over 300 students this year. Their attendance has increased due to our visit and the hope people have that the school will receive aid. It is hard to understand how the school functions with so many students and such limited space and resources. Nonetheless, every year they send 6th grade students to the national exam, and a certain amount pass, so there is serious learning being achieved!

We hope that you will consider sponsoring a student or two. We believe that this is a very valuable investment. You may not get a monetary profit in return, but you will be benefitting a nation that is longing for such development.