ST BARNABUS SCHOOL , Lotore community.
St. Barnabus offers classes for kindergarten through 6th grade. Currently there are 175 students and 9 teachers. Families pay 75 goudes/ month for children to attend 1st– 6th grades. This includes a pen and notebook but not a uniform. The children study French, Creole, math, science, art, writing and Bible. The Administrative Director is Carmil Bien-Aime, who also works as the laypastor for the church. Carmil is an amazing man- tall, quiet, strong and possessing great energy and wisdom. He is a true leader in this community. He finds a way to make almost anything happen. The school has 5+ classrooms, a teacher’s office, temporary sleeping rooms for staff, a 2 stall bath house, a kitchen and a 4 stall latrine. St. Barnabus Church is on the grounds as well. There is a cistern for water and some rooms are strung for lights when there is a generator available. Cellphone coverage is available if one stands behind the latrine in the pasture! Otherwise it is a 15 minute walk to an overlook that can receive cell coverage. The school was built in 199 with funding from All Saints Church, Pawleys Island SC who continue to support the teacher’s salaries and operating funds for this excellent school. We welcome the assistance of our new partners who creatively join in meeting the challenges of this remote community. Please enable the “photos” feature on GoogleEarth to find St. Barnabus on the map.
NEW DESKS FOR ST BARNABUS SCHOOL
In the fall of 2012 Linda Holt, an RN from SC served her third tour on a medical clinic team in Lotore. Her love for the community and joy in her work there were obviously infectious. After sharing her life-transforming experiences in Haiti with her Sunday school class at Surfside Presbyterian Church, the Logos class felt called to assist Linda with costs for her next trip. They were so generous that there were funds leftover. After discussing school needs with AD Carmil Bien-Aime. Surfside donated the remaining funds for new school desks, student tuition, and braces for a little boy that needed them to walk. Below are the pictures of the new desks. As the Partners continue to work with the teaching staff to make St Barnabus School the best it can be these desks may become more than just places to study. If a lunch program is someday realized these desks will also function as lunch tables. Desks to help feed the children’s mind and body!
RANDOLPH ELEMENTARY SCHOOL PARTNERSHIP
In an effort to reach and teach outside our school walls, the Randolph Elementary School Encore teachers have been working together on an international G21 project this year. We have named the project after the book Hope for Haiti book by Jesse Joshua Watson. All the encore teachers, Andrew Snead, Sue Vaughan, Mike Simmons and myself, had a strong desire to work with the students on a service learning project this year.
A close friend of mine, Leslie Jordanger, is a Louisa County resident and member of a medical team that travels to the village of Lotore, Haiti 3 times a year. The team assists the community by setting up a temporary clinic at St Barnabus Primary School. She has spoken often of the needs of the rural community, which go far beyond medical attention. She agreed to act as a liaison, allowing RES students to partner with St Barnabus school. Mrs. Jordanger agreed to speak at RES about her work in Haiti and the conditions of the school. Our students were eager to partner with the Haitian school.
Fourth grade students worked for over a month painting two “mobile murals” for the school. They used materials we had on hand in the classroom; lightweight Tyvek “house wrap” was their canvas and tempera, acrylic and markers provided the color. It was very inspiring to watch the students work so enthusiastically on something they would not keep for themselves. The murals were recently delivered to St. Barnabus school, along with personal letters written by RES students.
The murals are the first phase of our G21 project. In April, musical instruments (recorders), soccer balls, and instructional books (written by Mrs. Vaughan and the students) will be delivered. Our contributions to the school may be small, but the rewards have been great. Watching the students create artwork which benefits a community in great need has been one of the highlights of my teaching experience at Randolph.