We have many wonderful photographs and images of our partnership programs. It warms the heart to see little children with a huge plate of rice and beans or a new baby carefully tended to by a trained midwife. Fundraising experts tell us that donors love to see their contributions in action.

DSC_1074One of our most important programs, however, is largely unseen — the adult literacy program. This program was launched in response to a simple request from a woman living in the remote village of Nan Mango, who had the courage to step up and say, “We want to learn what our children learn in school.”

Since that time, hundreds of adults have attended free literacy classes in ten communities. The impact of this training is difficult to capture in a photo. One cannot capture the power of people, who for the first time can write their own names and go to market without concern that they will be cheated, or read the instructions on medications they receive at the clinic.

The literacy program was completely revamped last fall when Dantal Martin, the lay leader of St. Francis and director of the program, met with all the community teachers. They began to analyze the current program and find ways to improve it. Dantal and his colleagues intensified the program, adding more math to the curriculum and enhanced teacher training.

They decided that students should be allowed to continue in classes as long as necessary to reach satisfactory levels of literacy. The Haitians “own” the program now, and we merely provide the financial resources to sustain this critical and fundamental educational program.

All of this may not be visible to the casual observer, but literacy training is enabling adult students to participate fully in their church, empowering marginalized people to have a voice in their communities, and giving them the foundation for further skills development.

The primary focus of La Gonave Haiti Partners is to build the human infrastructure on the island and this adult literacy program is a key element of that effort. The impact of a contribution to this program is long lasting and continuously expanding.

Please consider donating today to keep these classes open. They empower the students and make jobs for the teachers.

Lee Wilder

For the Partnership