New Elementary School on the Many Hands Campus

Mar 28, 2019

By Darryl De Ruiter, Organization Development Manager

Current progress of construction of the new Sylvain Christian School of Light

Many Hands for Haiti (MH4H) is thrilled to announce that construction has begun on our campus for a new elementary school that will be called the Sylvain Christian School of Light Fundamental School.  This new school will complement the Yellow Iron School of Light (SOL) preschool that we also have on our campus and that is currently in its third year of operation providing a quality Christian education to 61 children in three sections (PS1, PS2, PS3). We will graduate 
our first class (PS3) from the SOL this June and our desire is to have these students start first grade in our new fundamental school in September.

For the past six years, we have been in relationship and partnership with these children and their parents. The first three years were through our Premye Mil Jou (PMJ), or First 1000 Days program, and these past three years have been through our preschool and Power to the Parents programs. Our desire is to continue to walk alongside these students and their families and to provide a quality Christian education. The community of Sylvain, in which the MH4H campus is located, does not currently have a fundamental school. Understanding the importance of education for their children, many in Sylvain have shared their desire for a locally based fundamental school. While such schools exist in surrounding communities, they simply do not offer the quality of education, nor the faith formation aspects, that caregivers and our staff want for these children. Our preschool students are academically tracking a year to a year-and-a-half ahead of other Haitian children their same age. We want to continue this excellent educational momentum and believe that the best way in which we can do that is to operate our own school. To accomplish this goal, and our long-term vision for grades 1-9 in fundamental school, we need to complete three construction phases over the next three to four years. The ultimate plan is to add one grade per year for the next nine years.

Phase I

Workers laying the foundations of the Phase 1 three-pod school building

Phase I (2019) has started and will include the construction of a three-pod school building structure (similar to our current SOL building for those who have been to our campus), building student latrines, painting the exterior of the building, finishing the classrooms (paint, tile floors, student desks/chairs, teacher desks, chalkboards, fans, etc.), identifying, hiring, and providing teacher training for new teachers and helpers, and expanding our current solar power system to provide reliable electricity.

Plans for the three-pod school building

Phase II

Phase II (2020-21) will include building a play area for the children and expanding the existing SOL play space, hiring a Director (equivalent to a Principal) to oversee all of the day-to-day school operations, and providing office space for this person to administrate.

Overview plans of all three phases for the construction of the school

Phase III

Phase III (2022) will require the construction of a second three-pod school building structure (for grades 4-9), painting the exterior, finishing grade 4-6/7-9 rooms, and hiring more staff. Additional funding will be needed to complete this phase.

Overview of our 3 Phase plan

“This multi-year, multi-phase project is significant but fits perfectly into our organization’s mission and vision of transformation and development,” stated Tim Brand, Executive Leader of Many Hands for Haiti. “We strongly believe the construction and implementation of this fundamental school will provide the children of the Sylvain community a great education and will provide numerous future opportunities in education, community leadership, and entrepreneurism. The Sylvain Christian Fundamental School will produce graduates who are educated, trained, and prepared to become successful leaders for themselves, their families, their community, and their country.”

We are so very grateful to those organizations and individuals who have stepped up to provide financial support, architectural expertise, encouragement, and prayers. We know we would not be where we are without these folks. We also believe that God has ordained this project and we want to make sure that He alone gets the glory.

For any questions and comments relating to this announcement, please send an email to [email protected], or contact our head office by phone on 641-629-6633.