Outreach Ministry: A School for Kayimet
A Real School
A real school is the dream of the small rural community of Kayimet (also spelled Caimet) in northern Haiti. For a village in the poorest nation on earth, such a project is out of reach. We want to help them realize this dream. All of the pieces are in place for Kayimet to succeed. They have strong community leadership, a plan, a piece of land, and they have some friends. We invite you to be one of them.
Trinity Church was introduced to the people of Kayimet through the work of Global Health Ministry. Rev. Sharon has taken part in this non-profit organization's yearly trip to Haiti. The visits to the villages are to set up health clinics that are organized by Sister Jackie Picard, from the convent The Religious of Jesus and Mary, in Gros Morne, the nearest town to Kayimet. She is one of our local partners for this project.
A two story building, built to the best earthquake and hurricane resistant standards, will house seven classrooms, a cafeteria, clinic, office, restrooms and showers. It will also include a food pantry, and a storage facility which will qualify Kayimet for distributions from the World Food Program.
The plan, which includes local labor, is projected at $79,400. Realism tells us to plan on a bit more.
How you can be a part
Let's put social networking to work. Facebook and other social networks are perfect media for gathering groups around a great cause like this. If you want, you can even put together enough funds to name a classroom after a beloved relative, friend, or teacher. A contribution of $7,000 will name a classroom or the clinic, $10,000 each for the cafeteria and food pantry.
So, gather a team, set a goal and set your creativity loose. Have fun and make a difference. Give the children and the whole community of Kayimet a chance to believe that dreams can come true.
The Kayimet Story
by Rev. Sharon Gracen
I first met the people of Kayimet, Haiti, in 2012 as I took part in a medical mission with Global Health Ministry. The day we spent there was the best organized of all of the villages to which we traveled. The entire leadership of the community came to greet us and sing for us as the day was ending, and then the children sang. What we didn't know was that many of the children were orphans from the 2010 earthquake. Kayimet, like many villages, had these children simply dropped in their midst; Port au Prince was not a safe place for them with no family.
Later that week, Martiale Dareus, the leader of the Kayimet community, brought a request to the Global Health organization for help with school uniforms for the orphans and the many other children whose families could not afford them. I intercepted it and brought it back to Trinity. The congregation was enthusiastic in its desire to help. We wired the money to the local convent, The Religious of Jesus and Mary, and the uniforms were made by local seamstresses. The extra money we sent was used for food, which is always in short supply.
In November 2013, I returned to Haiti and fully expected to learn of further needs for the village. Indeed, Martiale gave me a letter outlining his plan to build two classrooms and a room for secure food storage, without which the village cannot receive aid from the World Food Organization. During our visit to Kayimet, I learned that it was part of a larger vision that I find most exciting.
Martiale has managed to buy a piece of land next to the existing school, which consists of three small buildings, one of which is not much more than a lean-to with tarps. Over 280 children are educated there. Martiale's vision is to build a real school with adequate classrooms, a cafeteria (which will also be used by the community) offices, a clinic, bathrooms and the much needed food storage space. The Global Health team all chipped in to give Martiale the $250 for the engineer/architect's report, which we received by the time we left Haiti.
We already know Martiale, the visionary community leader, and have great confidence in his integrity and drive. He would build the school himself, if he had to. The engineer is Gilbert Norvilus, a graduate of the best engineering school in Haiti, and for whom people that we know and trust in the region, sing high praise. Between them and the Sisters at the convent in Gros Morne, I believe that this team can accomplish what they have outlined within the funding requested. I am in email contact with the Sisters and Gilbert. Sadly, there is no way to communicate directly with Kayimet.
There is a further part of Kayimet's vision; to purchase another piece of land to begin community sustenance farming to improve the health of the people. They want to educate their children and take care of themselves. I believe in them and their ability to realize their dream.
Left, Sharon with one of the children, and right, the school teachers (Martiale is 3rd from right)