This campaign is designed to provide immediate assistance to the school children of two elementary schools and their communities who have been impacted by the recent South, Haiti earthquake. Please read below for more information on who we are and the kind of service work we do.
1) The "Shamaking" Elementary School and Community:
To begin, I'd like to share with you the story of the “Shamaking” school children. For over three decades, Renand Hilaire, a pastor and humanitarian, together with his wife, Marie Jeannita Hilaire, a proponent for children’s education, dedicated their lives to Christian ministry, children’s education, community development, and resource justice in Chardonnières, Haiti. In 1987, they built a school for adolescents. In 2014, they extended their reach to young children by building , “Lekol Shamaking”, an elementary school comprising of Chardonnières’ first kindergarten education and for more than 35 years, they’ve facilitated the education of over 4,000 children.
To much dismay, on August 14th, 2021, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck the south coast of Haiti, wrecking this small town and destroying many of the homes of these children and their families, including parts of this school which for so long served as a beacon of hope for this community. Presently, “Lekol Shamaking”, has over 200 students, and its affiliated church, also created and led by Pastor Renand Hilaire, has 530 members. With little national and international aid reaching this small rural town since the earthquake, people are most affected by a shortage of food, water, medical resources, and secured shelter. Among those most affected are young children, pregnant women, and the elderly. Due to the subsequent landslides and tropical storm Grace, the water system has been contaminated, making clean water especially scarce for this area. Additionally, as many homes in the area have been destroyed, over 260 people have taken refuge in the partially destroyed “Shamaking” school. The situation becomes especially uncertain during days and periods of heavy rain, where the school gets flooded and becomes unsuitable for dwelling due to the desolation of parts of the school's ceiling and walls. Finally, much of the people’s crops and produce have been destroyed and contaminated, and with very little financial means, many people are going hungry. Please view below under the “Shamaking” section to view the direct impact of the earthquake and the storm to this region.
2) The "First Baptist" School and Community:
The second school I’d like to tell you about is the First Baptist School of Chardonnières. Founded in 1982 by Pasteur Jean-Benoit, this elementary school community, serving a cohort of over 260 children, has also been impacted in various ways from the recent crisis. Many families of this school community have been displaced from their homes, several children and adults have acquired physical ailments and remain in need of urgent medical attention. As per structural damages, the school which was due for a renovation and was in the process of reformation has seen a complete desolation of its beginning efforts. This has consequently set it far behind its reconstruction agenda and in need of increased financial aid to achieve its goal. The majority of the desecration can be seen in the school’s ceiling, walls and flooring.
Moreover, the psychological impact of the crisis on the young children is also gruesome and with few mental health services, it is challenging but necessary to devise a prompt remediation plan. For many people, especially for the 260 children of this school, this is the first major natural catastrophe this area has seen. The traumatic effect of this crisis is said to be intense and it is not yet clear how long-lasting its impact will be. Increased support is needed for this school to provide a safe and healthy space for students to debrief following this crisis and learn. As this school only receives funding from its associated Church, the First Baptist Church of Chardonnières, it requires great financial support because many of its members have been severely affected by the earthquake and storm. Thus, in addition to structural reconstruction, financial assistance will be directed to providing basic medical services, paying school staff, feeding students, devising and financing a plan to provide mental health support, and ensuring the attainment of basic school resources.
The Emergency Relief Goal:
Consequently, the Grace Online Bible Ministry, a young faith-based and humanitarian service group based in NYC is working to mobilize the community to help raise emergency relief funds for the children of the “Shamaking” and the "First Baptist School" schools and their community. After conducting a comprehensive needs assessment, we have decided to pursue a minimum goal of $50,000 to assist in restoration efforts and help provide hope for a better future. We invite you to look over the Emergency Needs Assessment document attached to understand the full breakdown of the resource needs and the plan to ensure a focused and efficient response.
We are one humanity, one people, all of us are children of God, and while we may not control where and what situations we’re birthed into, we have the power to touch lives, ease suffering, and bring hope to this world. At times we wait for divine intervention, but the truth is, we are the hands of God, so let us be the change we want to see. We ask that you kindly join this important cause. Please help us promote this by sharing it with your friends, family, and on your social media platforms. Any and every support is appreciated. We thank you in advance.
Deadline: Due to the urgency of this crisis, we are asking you to please donate at your earliest convenience!