As we close out 2022, we are cautiously excited to share that we are moving forward in faith to open Grace Emmanuel School on January 9, 2023—and want to ask your help to make this possible.
Earlier this month, Haiti’s Department of Education announced that schools across the country would officially open on January 9. (Some schools have already reopened, including the school that the Lighthouse kids attend.)
The reality for Grace Emmanuel School is that it won’t be simple to start this school year, given the scattering of our students and the insecurity that remains in the area.
After the government announced the opening date, Director Andris met with school staff and teachers to discuss if opening would be possible for GES.
Everyone was in agreement that they wanted to reopen, but with some important measures in place.
Staff requested an increased presence of security guards, a stricter process for anyone entering and exiting the property, and support from counselors for students who have experienced trauma. In addition, a few staff members have requested financial help to rent homes closer to the school since traveling from their homes is still not safe.
Even with all of these measures in place, it is hard to tell what attendance will be like.
It has only been a month since Source Matelas was brutally attacked and people are not yet ready to return. Many kids have been sent miles away from the gang violence to live with extended family. Some no longer have homes to return to. Some may have permanently moved. Families who have stayed in the area are understandably nervous to send their kids away from their homes and surveillance for the school day. It will be a challenge to transport kids to and from school. JiHM is also housing 50 people at the school right now and will need to transition these families somewhere else in the next week.
The challenges are many, but our God is greater. We want to do everything possible to once again provide this place for students to learn, grow in their faith, and experience the love of Christ. There has been so much bad news over the last six months in Haiti—we have never been more eager to share the Good News!
Will you help us cover the extra costs of providing a safe and nurturing environment so the students at Grace Emmanuel School can return? A gift of $50 would help cover additional security for one day.
PS. Even as we share a need once again, we cannot possibly thank you enough for your generosity throughout 2022. Because of your faithful giving while Grace Emmanuel School was unable to meet, JiHM was still able to continue to pay school staff their full salaries every month. When Andris met with everyone last week, they expressed over and over again their gratitude to JiHM’s supporters for making this possible. It meant survival for their families. Thank you!
“I’m so thankful for the support Grace Emmanuel School has brought to all the teachers. Not every school in the community could respond to the needs of the teachers, but every month Grace Emmanuel continues to provide salaries for each teacher without distinction…May God pour out His grace and blessings on you in abundance.”— Jean Paul, Geology Teacher