Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, and one of the poorest in the entire world. Although much international aid and numerous NGOs flooded the country following the massive earthquake in 2010 and subsequent hurricanes, the country still struggles with basic issues of governance, inadequate resources, a poor economy and extreme poverty. This is particularly true in the neglected northeast where government involvement and international aid efforts are all but non-existent.
We are active in Phaeton, a small village of approximately 3,000 located along the northeast coast of the country. Since the close of a sisal plantation in the 1980’s, there has been no industry, little opportunity for employment, and people subsist on a variety of small scale informal commerce and fishing. There is no electricity, no reliable water system, or decent sanitation. The village exists in severe poverty, with 70% living on under $1.00 US per day, and although over half the population is under 24, there is virtually no organized schooling, job training, or social programs to support the community.
Children and the School
We joined members of the community to establish Noah’s Ark, a small school now serving approximately ninety students age 3 to 12. Currently, we provide basic schooling and a hot lunch which represents the only substantial feeding for most of the children. In collaboration with local leaders who are dedicated to creating better opportunities for their children, TCI is working to improve the conditions and expand the school population to serve more children in need. We recently graduated our first 6th grade class of three students now attending private middle school in Terrier Rouge with TCI’s ongoing support. Our accomplishments, programs and projects include:
- Secured approximately 5 acres, established the school, built a modest 3 classroom school building, a two classroom tent, and kitchen facility.
- Expanded the school from 35 to 90 students, now with 7 trained teachers and a Director.
- Planning now for a desperately needed 4 classroom building.
- Provide a hot lunch and morning Vita Mamba snack program to provide energy, eliminate malnourishment, and stave off hunger and fatigue.
Children and the Community
We recognize that children cannot prosper if they and their parents are malnourished, have no reliable source of clean water, receive no basic medical care, and live in unsanitary conditions. And so we partner with other NGOs who bring capabilities to address these challenges.
- Initiated annual medical exams, basic vaccinations and meds as needed, and monitor height and weight of every child.
- Piped in water which used to be hand carried to the school.
- Established and are now expanding a dynamic school garden.
- Worked with a local doctor to address the village medical needs by supporting his clinic and coordinating medical missions.
- Addressed the community’s primitive sanitary needs by piloting a latrine and composting toilet program.
Our Phaeton Mission
Like any other place in the world, the people of Phaeton want better lives for their children. By empowering, collaborating and supporting the local population and its leaders, TCI is helping secure a brighter future for this community and its children.