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Meet eleven year old Chirley, 8 Years ago

Chirley Hyacinth was 5 years old when she lost her mother. When we met her she was 11 years old, and been in our care ever since. She completed her primary school cycle at age 15, to attend her secondary at Les “Soeurs de la Charité de St-Hyacinthe”. Now 19 Chirley is been offered a scholarship to come to Port au Prince at the Ecole La Providence to complete her schooling. She wants to be an Agronomist, for the development of Custine, the village where she was born. Picture to the left she is with Sister Jacqueline, who adores her.

Free education as we know it in the United States is nonexistent in many developing countries, including Haiti. Today Haiti faces a multitude of challenges, magnified by the devastation of the 2010 earthquake, resulting 600,000 children are illiterate. ARCF’s mission is to break that cycle of poverty among our youth.

8-year old Widlene  in 2008

Meet 8 years Widlene, 8 years ago

Eight year old Widlene, among many kids enrolled in first grade, for the first time at “Ecole La Jemmerais” de Custine, she had difficulties coping with the younger kids, in the same classroom, finishing eight grade at age 16. Now, she has grown mature in her faith. She’s learned to trust in God. Despite her struggles, she has aspirations to break the cycle of poverty and make a diffrence in her family life.

“I want to be a nurse ” she said.

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Water

Haiti’s widespread lack of access to safe drinking water and poor sanitation is the leading cause of infant mortality and illness in children. Many children, especially those living in rural areas, do not in fact have any drinking water. Often, they spend long periods obtaining and carrying water: to the detriment of their education. In the Custine area nearly every water source has become contaminated with human and animal waste because of the absence of a sewage sanitation system. Give a well there would be life saving. The average cost for digging a well is $5,900 US Dollars.

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Education

Although education is “free” in Haiti, only half of all children are enrolled in primary school. This is because 92% of schools are private, leaving most families unable to pay school fees
The average yearly cost to send a child to school is estimated at $550.00 in urban areas and $330.00 in the countryside. This includes enrolment fees, Tuition, uniforms, books, shoes, and all other supplies. These costs are impossible for nearly 80% of all Haitian families, and render school as unattainable.

With the help of a recent scholarship the children of Marie Dorzilma is going to school for the first time.

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Build School

Free education as we know it in the United States, or elsewhere is nonexistent in many developing countries, including Haiti. Today Haiti faces a multitude of challenges, magnified by the devastation of the 2010 earthquake, now hurricane Matthew resulting 600,000 children are illiterate.

Greater Custine,  has  only 1 grade school and no additional facility. It  charges 2,800 Gourdes equivalent to $70.00 U.S dollars a year, not including books, uniform, shoes or special fees. This fee prohibits the attendance of nearly all the children in the community. This problem has resulted in an illiteracy rate of more than 75% of the population.

Many Haitian parents who are unable to feed, and send their children to school, so with broken hearts, they give them away to more affluent families, hoping that their child will live in better conditions, and obtain an education.  But, with few exceptions, these children work as domestic servants, working in the homes of their “masters” from early morning till night. Many of them are not permitted to go to school and are exposed to domestic violence.

These hurdles to an education can easily create a sense of desperation in parents and contribute to the hopelessness of children.  As a result, a seemingly perpetual cycle of poverty continues, generation after generation. That is why Soveyo School Learning Center is so vital to changing the culture of poverty in Haiti.

These are the harsh, life-and-death issues that have brought children to ARCF’s school program. ARCF program provides the poorest of the poor with benefits they may never otherwise receive.