Orphanage & School

First Building Completed!!!
The Center of Hope (Haiti), Inc. marked the completion of the first of four classroom buildings that will constitute the new COHH elementary school with a dedication to the Greenberg Traurig LLP law firm on October 22, 2016 at an outdoor ceremony in Hinche, Haiti. The event was attended by over 200 invited guests, included the children and staff at COHH. Among those present were  Jonel Jean-Baptiste, the Mayor of Hinche, Pastor Emmanuel St. Juste, the Chairman of COHH, Kelly Eplee, the Executive Director of the Building Goodness Foundation, James L. Lipscomb, the Chair of the COHH Advisory Board and Steve Davis of Thrive Architects, the designer of the classroom building. The ceremony was quite moving for all involved and it showed through their expressions of hope for the future of the children at COHH. The parents spoke about COHH being answered prayer for their children and their families.
 
COHH Announces Partnership To Build New School
The Center of Hope (Haiti), Inc. announced a new partnership with the Building Goodness Foundation to design and develop an elementary school at its site in Hinche, Haiti. The concept of the school was unveiled at CHH's 10th Annual Gala in New York City on Novemver 5, 2015. The new campus will consist of several buildings housing grades 1-9. It is expected to take one year to complete the campus subject to available funding. COHH and BGF will undertake a combined effort to raise funds to complete the school. COHH has announced matching funds for the first $250,000 raised. As part of the fundraising effort, COHH has launched the video, "Education of the Forgotten Future Leaders of Haiti". The video can be seen at right or on You Tube.
    
 
HISTORY - 
The School

In October 2011, COHH opened its school with its first class – 15 first grade level children who were the poorest of the poor and would not otherwise be able to go to school. The curriculum is based upon the curriculum required by the Haiti Department of Education and supplemented to include enhanced learning development program based on US education requirements. The classroom has been enhanced to provide a "hands on" learning environment with inter-active learning techniques. A video of the school opening and the children can be seen at right.

Our children go to school virtually year round. Our school day extends beyond the normal school day in Haiti and includes tutorial help for the children to attain an advanced education. We provide a broader curriculum and a western-style teaching format for the classes. According to our plan, we have added a new first grade class each year and the prior classes continue to progress. When the children complete 8th grade, they will be transitioned to privately run high schools.

The Teachers

There is no shortage of teachers that would like to teach at our school. In the interviews we find that apart from the enhanced compensation, the teachers like the curriculum and the classroom environment. Our vetting of teacher prospects is rigorous and forthright – we want the best teachers in Haiti. The teachers undergo special training during the summer and careful review before they are accepted for the school year. Thus far, our teachers have been nothing short of enthusiastic about the training and eager to teach the new curriculum. We are very proud of them.

Our School Children

Our non-orphan children reside with various family members ranging from grandparents to distant relatives. In all cases they come from the poorest of the poor families in Hinche that often have many children and few if any attend school. School is too expensive for these families. We do indeed provide hope not only for the child that is selected, but also for the family. We provide the children breakfast and lunch at school. For most of our children these are the only meals they receive each day. We provide each child with two school uniforms and a pair of shoes to start each school year. We provide their school supplies including their backpacks, books, paper and writing instruments. 

Our Orphans

Our orphanage facilities have been completed for some time. However, we did not receive our first orphans until September 2013. We wanted to be well-prepared to receive orphans with reliable and trained caregivers. We want to provide a caring and loving home environment that will allow the children to develop to their fullest potential.

Because of the various living arrangements that exist in Haiti, it difficult to know who qualifies as an orphan. It is not easy to draw a bright line and for the most part you must use your best judgment in light of the circumstances at the time. The orphans will also meet our criteria for our school. 

Grand Opening

On October 20, 2010, we celebrated the Grand Opening of our orphanage. It was indeed a dream come true. Over 300 people came out to help celebrate. In addition to the people of Hinche, led by the Andre Renard, the mayor of Hinche, we had members of our Board and Advisory Board and other guests from the United States. Our program opened with a march down the main roadway with the people (led by the choirs of the Morique Baptist Church) singing the official song of COHH – Marcher Dans La Lumière (Walk In The Light). The people were welcomed by James L. Lipscomb, Executive Director and Pastor Wisny Geffrard opened with a prayer of thanksgiving.