First, ICHaiti would like to thank all who contributed so generously to our 4th quarter 2017 collection. We appreciate your ongoing support. Please remember that over 99% of your donation goes directly to Haiti to help the people we serve.
ICHaiti’s mission is to support healthcare and education in Haiti. Our primary project is the Fr. Marc Piche Immaculate Conception School located in Puit Chacha, Haiti. This K-6 grade school provides an education and free meal service to over 300 children who would otherwise be without easy access to a school.
Recent updates from our team on the ground in Haiti included news that the school is now working to improve the quality of education by providing teacher training. This article is a moving tribute to the success of our school in Puit Chacha!
ChaCha School Trains Teachers to Help Build Literacy in Southern Haiti
The ChaCha School was founded in 1986 in ChaCha, a community of Fonds des Blancs. SBHF has supported the school since 2010, when IC Haiti partnered with SBHF to fund construction of a new school building. IC Haiti continues to fund operating expenses for the school and a school feeding program which ensures that the over 200 students there get a nutritious meal every day. Today, the ChaCha School has become one of the premier primary schools in Fond des Blancs.
Alson Jeune, the current principal of the Cha Cha School, grew up in the community and remembers before the school was built, “When I was a kid I walked 7 or 8 kilometers to attend school in another community. Due to this huge distance, we wanted a school in our community, but it took many years before we were able to start a small school in the church building here. I feel very proud about having this great school in my community, and the fact that our kids do not have to walk many kilometers to attend school, as I did.”
The school was supported by the church for many years, but when it outgrew the church building IC Haiti and SBHF stepped in to support construction and growth of the school.
The ChaCha School recently held a teacher training session for teachers from the Fond des Blancs community, as well as some educators from Les Cayes. Principal Jeune explained, “the idea is to avoid some gaps in our education system, to help our kids have better pedagogic support. We are focusing particularly around reading and writing, which is a big gap for many primary school students in rural Haiti.” This was the second teacher training session that the ChaCha School has run, with support from SBHF and IC Haiti.
Gady Lorsenat was the lead trainer for this session. He has been conducting teacher training sessions for several years, and takes pleasure in his work helping teachers improve their skills and work to improve the pedagogic system for students in southern Haiti. “For this training we focused on technical reading, as we know that the teachers are already familiar with these themes and the methods used, but could use some updates and improvements in their skills. We did simulation exercises to work on methods for teaching reading, and the teachers said they enjoyed the training. We know that reading is the first step of learning, and there are many gaps for our students being able to read well. We had a discussion with the teachers about the causes of their students’ reading problems, and talked about teaching techniques to address those problems.”
Nadege Dorcé has been a primary school teacher at ChaCha for five years, and participated in the training. She noted that, while all of the teachers had learned techniques for teaching reading, this professional development opportunity allowed them to refresh their skills and learn new ones to improve their teaching techniques. “We learned things like expressive reading, new methods for teaching reading, and how to teach students to answer questions from material they have read. I feel like I now have a better approach to take with my students. This training has been very helpful.”
Thanks to IC Haiti for their support of the ChaCha School, which is helping increase access to high quality education for children in the Fond des Blancs area. As SBHF and St. Boniface Hospital have increased the number of good jobs in the area, more and more children look forward to staying in their community and giving back by working at the hospital, in the schools, or in other businesses that have grown up in the community because of these opportunities and services. The ChaCha School is starting many young people on this path, and is a key part of the region’s development potential.