For many years, playful sounds of hundreds of children have filtered into the campus of our ministry in Haiti. Every weekday at 8:00AM, in a blur of pink, roughly 300 students sing out the Haitian national anthem at the primary school located directly next to our campus. Moments after, the school bell rings and the students break into a youthful cheer as they head to their open air classrooms.
A few years back, COTP had the opportunity to expand our location by purchasing the campus next door, formerly Manna Global Ministries (MGM). The campus included three buildings (now used for international housing) and the primary school.
The Lagossette Christian School started in 1999 and met on the MGM property. The school began with a small infrastructure of some teachers and a director, but no substantial buildings. In 2003, missionaries moved to Lagossette with the hope of improving the school and working with the community in Lagossette. They immediately began to provide more infrastructure through supporting individuals and groups in the States. This resulted in building several open air classrooms, an office area, a small food storage depot, a local church, an open air cooking area, and outhouses for the school. Through connecting sponsors in the states to the school in Haiti, the school has provided primary education for over 320 students since 1999.
As a part of our agreement with MGM, the torch of leading this school will be passed to COTP in 2017. We are excited to be able to support and partner with this school, as we know that the future of Haiti depends on educational investment in its’ youth. Additionally, many of our employees send their children to this school so it is yet another way we can invest in our employee’s families and our community.
Admittedly, we have a fair amount to learn about Haiti’s Educational System. In order to do this, we have assembled an international committee of educators and school administrators to learn more about education in Haiti and Lagossette Christian School (LCS), as well as assisting us in making wise decisions about this school and its future.
February 12-18, 7 members of this committee were able spend a week on the ground at LCS, as well as visiting several other schools in Haiti. The LCS committee includes: administrators Steve Groen (Edina), Pete VanderPuy (Prinsburg), and Kevin Dick (Sioux Falls), and COTP staff: Jamie Groen (Executive Director), Conner Hildahl (Programs Director), Melissa Johnson (Joy House Parent), and Renel Joseph (Haitian Programs Director/Employee Manager).