The scholarship program began in 2007 when Williere Guerrier, a young man who had proven himself to be a hardworking individual, expressed an interest in attending plumbing school. The two-year program cost $20 per month, well beyond his financial means. This schooling seemed like it would provide an opportunity for him to support himself and his family, so we agreed to sponsor him. In 2008, he passed the exam, graduated the program and now holds a Plumbing Certificate. His work as a plumber enabled him to purchase a plot of land and build a house.
After two years of work, purchasing materials as he earned the money, we are happy to report that Williere’s house is now complete, and his family has a new home.
During our visits to Haiti a young girl named Nadege Pierre was often there to clean and help cook meals for us. As we got to know her better, she told us she dreamed of becoming a nurse. Christian informed us that the four year program cost over $4,000. With the help of a friend, James Talley, we agreed to support her financially. In 2012, Nadege graduated second in a class of 159 students. She made such a good impression on the faculty that she was offered a job and worked at the school part-time while she waited to hear about a full-time position at a hospital.
Nadege recently married pharmacist Gifau Joseph. They have moved back to Ouanaminthe to support the community. She is working as a nurse at the hospital in Ouanaminthe.
Juniace (Junior) is a mechanically inclined fellow who, like many Haitians, was finding it nearly impossible to find work. He talked to Pastor Christian about going to trade school for small appliance repair. We debated if it was practical to put money toward this goal since most of Haiti is without electricity. Why would his services be needed? However, on one trip to Haiti, we noticed that electrical poles were finally being installed from Cap-Haitien to Ouanaminthe, so we decided to support Junior’s schooling.
Junior completed his training program and works as an appliance repair man. He is now paying for additional technical training. He also functions as “house-father” in Pastor Christian’s home for 8 orphans and former street-kids in Port-au-Prince.
Dieule was being raised by an abusive stepmother, and at a very young age was forced to drop out of school in order to do all the cooking and cleaning for the family. Six years ago, she asked Pastor Christian if she could live with his family in Port-au-Prince in order to save herself. Her journey started with a 12 hour ride among our luggage on the road from Ouanaminthe to Port-au-Prince. She has remained in Port-au-Prince since 2010 and attended high school there Her dream is to someday follow in the footsteps of her “big sister” and mentor Nadage Pierre (above) and complete Nursing school. With a number of generous donations, we have been able to pay the tuition ($2220 US Dollars ) for her first two years. We are hoping to help Dieule finish her program and become a nurse.
Dieula recently completed her second year or nursing school, reaching the half-way mark! Two more to go.
One day when Dieule thanked Christian for all he, his family and friends have done for her, she told him that earlier that day she was sitting in class and looked down at her arm. When she rubbed her skin she realized that she wasn’t dreaming but was actually living her dreams.
This is why we do what we do.
Pastor Christian Almezy met Candy in Ouanaminthe. At that time, Candy, age 17, was homeless and looking for food in a garbage dump. After being reassured that Christian meant him no harm, Candy allowed him to approach. Not wanting to leave Candy on the streets, Pastor Christian offered him a home. Candy now lives in Christian’s house in Port-au-Prince. When asked what he wanted to do with his life, Candy response was his wish to go to the American-run high school. The cost for the first year was $880 US. We raised the tuition and paid for the first year and are hoping for donations to cover for the remainder.
Candy, 19 years old is now in his 4th year of high school (a 6 year program in Haiti) with two years remaining.
Jarnette is attending her second year of college with the goal of becoming a kindergarten teacher. Upon graduation, she plans to return and teach at the school in Ouanaminthe.