Update On ST. Paul's School, Haiti

Imagine what your life would be like if you did not have the opportunity to attend school, let alone a good school, when you were 6 years old. That’s what it is like in Haiti–today. If you are one of the fortunate to attend school in Haiti today, hopefully it is a church-sponsored school as the public school standards are below par. If you attend a church-sponsored school it is usually able to operate only with outside support as many parents would not be able to afford the cost of tuition, books, and supplies.

The majority of church-sponsored schools in Haiti are able to operate by developing partnerships with supporting parishes in the United States. For the past three years Church of the Good Shepherd has been in partnership with St Paul’s School in Montrouis about 2 hours northwest of Port-au-Prince. The school of 140 students provides pre-school thru 9th grade level education. After that, the students transfer to a public school or leave and attempt to make a living to support themselves and their family. About 2% of Haitians graduate from high school.

Good Shepherd Church and supporting families have provided $6,000 over the past 3 years to assist with teacher salaries ($3,500 from COGS Operating

Outreach budget and $2,500 from member family donations). The school also receives support for a school lunch program from two other Episcopal organizations – St Stephen’s & St Agnes School in Virginia and St Luke’s in Minnesota.

Even with our support the teacher’s do not receive full pay. The annual instructional and support staff payroll expense is $18,000 for the year and that is for 24 individuals (19 teachers and 5 staff) or $750 for the 10-month school year. Yes, that’s $75/month if the funds are available

Montrouis is on the Caribbean and has many beautiful beach areas. There are several resorts that provide employment directly or via support services. The students of St Paul’s have the best chance possible for those jobs if they can complete their language, math, and social studies programs. The support from Good Shepherd and others is vital for the continued operation of the school to benefit the children of Montrouis, Haiti.

 

Tralee Johnson