The mission of the Haiti Foundation, Inc., is to provide an education to the children in St. Matthias and Ascension Parishes in the southern mountains of Haiti.
The Haiti Education Foundation (HEF), in our alliance with the Episcopal Church of Haiti, strives to provide educational opportunities to the people of the southern mountains of Haiti . We continue to build on the vision that Mrs. Frances Landers and Pere Jean Wilfrid Albert began in 1981, and we look to God to guide that vision.
In each village, HEF believes that an education, weekday lunch for students, clean water and healthcare for its residents provides the foundation in satisfying basic human needs. We hope that through providing basic human needs, we can assist Haitians to break out of their cycle of dependency.
The January, 2010 earthquake damaged or destroyed about two-thirds of our schools and we will fundraise for, and rebuild, those schools. The replacement schools and all future structures will be built to earthquake and hurricane-resistant standards.
We are working now to fully underwrite the day-to-day expenses of our mission, while investing in the future through our endowment. We see a day when our endowment’s income will support the basic educational expenses in Haiti.
We pray that in each decision we make, we are doing God’s will.
1. 100% of designated donations go directly to Haiti , with nothing deducted for administrative fees.
2. HEF emphasizes education of the children of Haiti before all other needs.
3. HEF works hard to minimize waste by spending carefully, since Haiti is notorious for making well-intentioned money disappear.
4. We realize that God has a plan for us in Haiti and we strive to understand and follow it.
5. We will build on the successful progress made over the years by our founders, Pere Jean Wilfrid Albert of Haiti and Mrs. Frances Landers of Arkansas.
In 1977, Dr. and Mrs. Gardner Landers of El Dorado, Arkansas heard about the desperate medical needs of the Haitian people. They volunteered to help and eventually developed a routine of making two trips a year to the impoverished island. Together with their surgical team, they provided sight-renewing surgery and eyeglasses to thousands of people.
Then one day in 1981, Frances Landers overheard Father Jean-Wilfrid Albert, Haitian chaplain at the Presbyterian-Episcopal Sainte Croix Hospital in Léogane, reluctantly tell a heartbroken child that there was no room for her in the mission school. That incident inspired Mrs. Landers to do something to ensure that the priest could say yes to children asking for a chance to learn.
Armed with photos of several hopeful children,
Mrs. Landers returned to El Dorado and raised enough money through her church, her family, and her friends
to build and operate an 8-room school at Mercery village and to set up 3 small schools in nearby mountain communities.
From one person's effort and one small school in 1981, the Haiti Education Foundation has grown to involve churches and individuals in states from Florida to Oregon. Over 12,040 children and young adults are enrolled in the 34 elementary schools, 7 high schools, and vocational school scattered among the mountains of Haiti's peninsula.
Pere Desire of St. Matthias Parish and Pere Vil of Ascension Parish provide guidance and leadership for the schools. They tirelessly serve and encourage the parishioners and students in their respective parishes.
The work of the Haiti Education Foundation is further enhanced by the OCDES Board, a group of men who volunteer their services in the areas of administration and construction. This board was mentored and activated by Pere Albert prior to his death in 2005.
At the beginning of each school year, eager children wait expectantly to be granted the opportunity to enroll in one of our schools. these children know that education is the avenue leading out of the darkness of illiteracy and poverty into the light of life in Jesus Christ. One child attending school can bring education to all the members of a family. In this way, one $55 scholarship is multiplied, enabling other family members the opportunity to learn to ready and write. From one small light, many rays shine forth.