Hope for the future of Haiti

  • Posted on: 15 March 2006
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

Kids-&-Matron Hope for the future of Haiti will depend to a large degree on the education and enlightenment of the Haitian children of today. Although much financial and intellectual support will be needed from other nations, it will ultimately be the Haitians themselves who must take the lead.

The HOPE Center for Girls (Haiti Orphanage that Protects and Educates) is located in Croix des Bouquets, a small community outside the capital city of Port Au Prince. Its purpose is to protect and educate orphaned Haitian girls.

The vision of the HOPE Center is:

To provide a Christian family environment which will enable orphaned Haitian girls to grow and mature in order to demonstrate these principles in leadership roles in Haiti.

These girls will be cared for until adulthood and will become educated and dedicated young women who will be instrumental in the improvement of social conditions in Haiti.

The education of the girls will be organized and facilitated through the efforts of Dr. Terri Teal Bucci, a Professor from The Ohio State University who has volunteered to coordinate the program. A comprehensive curriculum will supplement a basic Haitian education with additional studies in languages, math and social sciences.

The idea for the HOPE Center was conceived in 2000 by a mission team from Church of the Saviour in Montgomery, Ohio. Several of the team members convinced Christian Service International (CSI) in Muncie, Indiana to support the project. The funding to build and furnish the facility was raised through contributions from numerous individuals and churches. Construction took place starting in 2001 and was accomplished by the shared efforts of volunteer mission teams from a number of American churches working with paid Haitian workers. The facility was completed in 2005 and the first group of girls was accepted in September 2005.

The HOPE Center is managed by Directors Tim and Toby Banks, an American couple whose deep Christian faith has led them to dedicate themselves to this project.

In 2005 the Banks family left a home and business in Ohio to live in Haiti. They and their four children reside at the HOPE Center facility where they manage a staff of Haitian workers to care for the girls.

Oversight and support for the HOPE Center is coordinated by an Advisory Board of nine members who represent Christian churches in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana. On site counsel and support is provided by the CSI Field Director in Port Au Prince.

For more information on the HOPE Center and ways to support the project visit the web site at: www.haitihope.org

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