How many students and schools does the Mission-Haiti sponsorship program affect?
Mission-Haiti supports about 20 schools in Haiti through child sponsorship. 6 of these schools are fully funded and operated by Mission-Haiti, including:
- Jean Alexis Kuislin Christian Academy.
These are all elementary schools, and every child is part of the sponsorship program. They make up about half the students in the program.
In addition to these 6 schools, Mission-Haiti sponsors about 330 elementary students in 4 local elementary schools in the area.
Mission-Haiti also provides sponsorship opportunities to approximately 530 high schoolers in 9 schools, along with around 50 students in vocational school and 20 students in university-level schools.
Outside of these schools, we sponsor about 70 other students in assorted schools due to outstanding need. Altogether, the Mission-Haiti school sponsorship program funds around 2,000 students.
What does my sponsorship money go toward?
What school the student goes to will determine how the money is used within the program. If the child you sponsor goes to one of the 6 Mission-Haiti schools, the entire amount is used at that school to pay teachers and provide necessary school materials. We also give these students a daily meal provided by a humanitarian-aid organization, such as Kids Against Hunger or Orphan Grain Train.
For students enrolled in one of the private schools, part of your sponsorship money pays tuition for that student.
Students who go to government-funded schools that don’t require as much tuition, Mission-Haiti works to provide these students with uniforms and a daily meal.
Mission-Haiti strives to supply every student in the program with a backpack, essential school materials, and pair of shoes every year. As you can imagine, with 2,000 students, this is a huge undertaking. But it’s a necessity for many of these students.
We also try to provide students with as many required textbooks as possible. In Haiti, you are required to purchase all of your own books. Many students may not be able to afford them, yet still attend classes. However, they will not be able to participate in lessons due to a lack of materials.
Mission-Haiti is always working on purchasing and lending out enough books. Our goal is to provide each student in the sponsorship program with at least 5 of the required books for the class. However, we are still obtaining the resources necessary to reach this goal.
In addition, your sponsorship may go toward shipping and processing, and sometimes obtaining additional backpacks and shoes for our annual distribution. A small portion also helps with administrative costs.
What do students have to do in order to keep their sponsorship?
All students in the program are expected to attend school regularly. In addition, all high schoolers and vocational-tech students are required to perform 6 hours of community service at their school, church, or the Mission. It is important that the students take an ownership in this manner. Plus, it’s great for the community to see students getting involved.
How do you find students who need sponsors?
We work with the directors of the schools to find students.
In the event that a student abandons school, we’ll talk with the school director to determine who is in the most need at that school. To be considered, students must also demonstrate a desire to grow in their education.
Why would a student abandon school?
Unfortunately, with a program as big as ours, students abandoning school is an unavoidable reality. A student may abandon school for many reasons. Some common reasons we hear are:
- to move to a school outside our program (oftentimes to Port-au-Prince)
- leaving school to tend the garden and sell at market
- disregard for education
The latter two are more common in the mountainous areas we work with, where the poverty is greater.
If a student abandons school, it’s Mission-Haiti policy that he or she will not be let back into the program. Exceptions are made in certain circumstances, such as loss of a parent or other hardship.
If the student you sponsor abandons school, the school’s director will inform us. Then, we will contact you directly and relay what we know about the situation. We have many students awaiting sponsorship, and will suggest that you take on another in place of your first student. We appreciate your gracious understanding in times like these.
What kind of communication can I expect to have with the student I sponsor?
What makes Mission-Haiti’s sponsorship program so special is the personal contact you can have with your student. In addition to receiving an updated photo of your sponsor student every year, you can also send gifts or letters to your student. We will do what we can to photograph the student receiving gifts so you can be a part of it. If you find yourself on one of Mission-Haiti’s short-term missions trips, we will make every attempt for you to meet your sponsor student.
What is new regarding the sponsorship program?
We are continually improving the sponsorship program, including academic growth and accountability for the students along with better sponsor-student correspondence. This includes providing accurate grade information.
More of these goals are becoming reality thanks to the full-time missionaries working in Haiti.
This year we hope to implement the start of student-to-sponsor correspondence. This will not be a requirement to remain in the program. However, we would like to open up opportunities for students and sponsors to form a relationship.
In addition, this year we are implementing a new policy that will not allow students to fail the same grade two years in a row. Doing so will now result in loss of sponsorship (with some exceptions). We hope to correspond with sponsors, letting them know the pass or fail status of their student for the year prior.
The sponsorship program is a huge part of what we do at Mission-Haiti, and is our largest ministry to this area of Haiti. We are trying to improve in every way we can to make this the most effective and God-glorifying program we can. We hope you know that your sponsorship does make a difference in these students’ lives. You’re offering them opportunities that may not otherwise exist without your support. On behalf of Mission-Haiti and the students in the program, we thank you for your participation. It really is life changing.