In early 2015 it came to our attention that the educational system in Haiti was broken. We were finding children in 4th and 5th grade still unable to read, due to overcrowded classrooms and the antiquated methods of teaching that plague Haitian schools. In Haiti, most teachers use only one method to teach - lecture, and kids learn primarily through rote memorization and recitation. There is a significant lack of resources and the public education system is so problematic that only 20% of children attend public schools.
During the spring and summer of 2016, New Life for Haiti built Lekol Espwa - The School of Hope, in a forgotten river valley with an adult literacy rate of just 2%. That same summer, Marnie Van Wyk led a team of teachers in the first annual New Life for Haiti Teacher Training Seminar - a five day seminar to help Haitian teachers learn better teaching methods and philosophy. The school opened in September of 2016 with three Kindergarten classes. And despite being almost destroyed by Hurricane Matthew in early October 2016, the school reopened in January 2017. An addition was built during the summer of 2017, and the school continues to flourish with children in Kindergarten, first, and second grade. A grade level will be added each year, as the school continues to grow from the bottom up.
New Life for Haiti has made a commitment to this little community of Rivye Mawo. First a school was constructed, then bathrooms with community access were built. In May 2018 a well will be dug that will give the entire community access to clean water for the first time ever. And two American churches have stepped up to support the planting of a much needed church in this little village. We're standing side by side with the people of Rivye Mawo to assure them that they are not forgotten.