In 2013, we launched a scholarship initiative, the annual “Academic Achievement Awards” in the Institution Mixte Martin Luther de platon school in rural Marmalade. Oftentimes, the economic pressure in Haiti forces families to retract their children from school, disrupting the continuity of their children’s education and severely impacting the children’s potential for the future. Thus, we’ve made it part of our mission to encourage families to allow their children to complete their full education with academic excellence.
During our trip to Haiti last month, we were excited to introduce this same program to the Institution Nouvelle Etoile de Bethlehem school in Cap Haïtien. During the church service on Sunday, October 23, we called up 20 young students and their families to the front of a densely packed churchschool and presented them with achievement certificates, New Testament Bibles and financial gifts to pay for the next year of school tuition!
The recipients of our Achievement Awards are determined by the scores reported on Haiti’s Ministry of Education national exam. This yearly exam is designed to measure the students’ retention of knowledge as they progress through each grade of school. Children are graded on a scale of 1.0 to 9.0, with 9.0 being a perfect score, and must achieve a minimum 7.0 to be recognized in our Academic Achievement Awards.
We received incredible feedback from the congregation during this awards ceremony. Every student was welcomed to the front of the church with clapping and cheering, and some even received standing ovations! We saw some children with just one parent, and in one case we saw one parent with three children, all of whom achieved academic excellence by surpassing the standards we’ve set! We shook hands with many of the parents, encouraged by their brilliant smiles that conveyed the gratitude that our language barrier could not.
We care very deeply for the children of this school. We have great hope that these parents will begin to recognize the importance of their children’s education so that, together, we can help these children build a better future in Haiti.
The Help for Haiti Team
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