In April 2009 OfC obtained a plot of agricultural land in the village of Bellabe in order to support our educational programs, including an Agricultural Demonstration Center (ADC). Although the ADC has not been a primary focus (with only pigeon peas planted), future uses of this land include researching and testing alternative methods for maintaining soil health; and identifying and testing alternative crops than have traditionally been raised in this village, ultimately to enhance the nutritional value and yield of crops raised in this area.
A small house was built in 2009, with a bathroom and running water. A well was also dug. Over time a second floor has been added, a second bathroom (outhouse with running water) has been built and improvements to the well have been completed (cement apron and metal door). In June 2010 classrooms were constructed with metal doors. These have been used as classrooms, dormitory-style accommodations, and kitchen.
The Institution Miscte Maranatha was begun in 1998 by Headmaster Amos Filius in the Simon neighborhood of Les Cayes. The school allows Restavek children to attend class in the afternoons, after the regular school day.
OfC’s initial introduction and discussions began in the fall of 2008. Timothe Indrik deliver OfC’s first contribution of $200 in February 2009, enabling a new teacher to be hired for the remaining school year and allowing the 3rd & 4th grade to be split into 2 classes. In June 2009 the kitchen was renovated and proprane was introduced. In 2011, 200 Haitian students were served in summer school (Lekol Dete).
OfC is currently supporting 2 teachers (sewing and music) $50 for each teacher/month.
If you are interested in learning more about sponsoring some portion of this effort, please contact us!
Restavek children are indentured servants, children without parents or abandoned by their parents who are allowed to stay with other families in exchange for labor such as cooking, cleaning and childcare. See: Restavek
In June 2010 OfC made a commitment to help the Lafresilière Community School get back on its feet. Construction of the school was started in 2000 by Maitre Jean, but never has been finished. Enrollment dwindled to just over 50 students due to the extreme poverty of this community, as tuition ($1 per child per month) is too expensive for most families. In return for OfC’s support of the school, the community is involved in maintaining the building and grounds. During the 2010-2011 school year, OfC sponsored all teachers and covered their salary ($4,000). Enrollment grew to over 120 students and every grade has its own teacher. We built and provided blackboards to replace the crumbling particle board shared by multiple classes and built a latrine (the school had no toilet facilities). We have continued to support school building construction. Walls and floors have been completed – each grade now has it’s own room – and a door was installed making it possible for the school to participate in a free-food program.
OfC partner Timothe Indrik speaks about his image for OfC
OfC would not have so many courses and projects running in Haiti without our extraordinary Haitian partner, Mr. Timothé Indrik. Timothé’s intelligence, leadership and organizational skills, infectious smile and love for all people make him the heart and soul of OfC’s Haitian program!
Timothé was born in Les Cayes, Haiti, to very poor parents who could not afford to send their 10 children to school. Timothé, though, loved to go to church, and when he was 9 years old, a woman visiting his Sunday School class asked if he would like to go to school – he enthusiastically answered, “YES!” Soon Timothé was on his way to kindergarten. He completed primary and secondary school at the Baptist Mission Schools in Simon, the neighborhood in Les Cayes where he was born.
Timothé recently explained how he became so involved with his community and especially the children:
I felt so blessed and wanted to give a response to God for what he had done for my life. Now I feel called to return home and serve my people and my communities through a retreat center and with other projects. I give thanks to God who made it possible for us to meet and build that great network which is called ‘OPPORTUNITIES for COMMUNITIES,’ which has already done a lot for my people and my communities. Thank you so much and I really feel blessed through our friendship and partnership.
In addition to working for OfC, Timothé has more than 15 years’ experience in organizing youth sports programs at the community, national, and international level. For the last 10 years, Timothe served as Haiti’s representative to the International Sports
Coalition, and participated in exchange programs in Thailand, France and several Caribbean countries. He has two beautiful children, Edilson, 18 (pictured), and Jessenia, 16.