Six years ago at the Association for the Advancement of International Education (AAIE) Conference in Boston, Massachusetts, Forrest Broman, Founder and CEO Emeritus of The International Educator (TIE), suggested to a contingent of international educators that it was time to give back to the global community—with something greater than just a moment or a one-time donation—with something that could make a difference in the education of children in one of the most disadvantaged regions of the world. The original group, after much discussion, decided to start a new educational, nutritional, and medical program for a group of children in Haiti, residing in a refugee tent camp in one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere. Haiti had attracted the world's attention on January 12, 2010 when it suffered a devastating earthquake. In the wake of this event, the group put a unique plan in place, and the Children of Haiti Project (COHP) was born.
Over the past few years, COHP and its donors have experienced the joy of offering support, hope, and inspiration to an area that had been crushed by poverty and political turmoil. COHP's philosophy mirrors a profound statement shared by Mother Teresa, "We know only too well that what we are doing is nothing more than a drop in the ocean. But if the drop were not there, the ocean would be missing something." Just like Mother Teresa, COHP looks to help desperate people, "one drop at a time." Since 2010, the project has sponsored 65 young children, 50 of whom started in pre-K, kindergarten, or first grade when they were four and five years old. Through 100% charitable donations under a 501-C3 Foundation, COHP has been able to assist these children for six years, providing education, food, and medical support. The remaining 15 are an evolving group of older children aged 8-14 who attend literacy and vocational education programs. The aim is to support these children through high school. The dream is the children will eventually become leaders for their nation, Haiti.
Several programs the school implements for both children and mothers include full-time and part-time literacy programs as well as dormitory services for eight students throughout the school week. Three times per week, COHP offers empowerment consultation strategies, sewing classes, and literacy workshops to mothers and other women in the community. Classes and workshops will enable them to secure jobs or start their own small businesses. Not only does COHP influence these children and parents, but it has also made a tremendous impact on the overall wellbeing of the Delmas sector of Port-au-Prince.
The commitment of the contributors, volunteers, and the school personnel is one of the greatest assets to the growth and success of the project. In 2010, very shortly after the earthquake, a task force of three—John Randolph, Jacqueline Fabius, and Frank Anderson—was sent to Haiti with the goal of finding a location for the program and developing appropriate resources to facilitate the project and guarantee its sustainability. In the beginning, Superintendent of the Union School of Haiti, Marie Jean-Baptiste offered invaluable support and advice. Today, COHP Director Dominique Pierre, a gifted and respected local Haitian educator and "Saint on Earth," provides extraordinary leadership for the project seven days a week. COHP is currently directed by a General Board and an Executive Committee (EC) reflecting international and U.S. educational and service-oriented leadership.
The Board of Directors is committed to seeing these children and their communities receive assistance through their high school years, but THEY NEED YOUR HELP. Unlike other nonprofit organizations and charities, COHP's U.S. support staff receives no compensation for their volunteer efforts. Every donation goes directly towards assisting the children in hopes that they will thrive despite terrible living conditions and little or no family life. The project is a demonstration of a formula that can be replicated if given the proper dedication, support, and resources.
Currently, COHP utilizes one facility, but there are efforts to expand and build or re-assign a new and larger facility. The project is open to accepting a donation to build a facility in honor of a contributor. This would assist COHP in saving a substantial monthly rental fee. If you, your family, or company would consider purchasing the current rental property where the COHP school is located, please contact Frank Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To make a donation today, please click here. Every penny counts towards the philosophy of impacting a child, "one drop at a time."