In Flammand Village

We made it to Flamand Village in time to catch the last hour of work on the new school.  The community members were plastering the walls and painting the beams, and though we are still a few weeks from completion, the school is up and the children are excited!

We spent the night in the modest home of the village leader, and in the morning we organized a meeting of the school leadership committee and many of the parents of Flamand.  We held the meeting in the dilapidated; make shift structure where 235 children had always gone to class.  With no walls and a dirt floor, the condition of this fairly typical “school” provided powerful motivation to expand our work in Haiti.

Students attending class in the old school in Flamand Village

The parents of Flamand had already contributed more than 1,500 volunteer workdays, and we had not even inaugurated the school. They even peppered us with questions about when we could break ground on more classrooms.  They passionately explained that there are at least 100 more children that would go to school if only we could build more classes.

Though I thought I already knew how they would answer, I asked the community why education is so important to them and how it would make a difference in their lives.  The response should not have surprised me, but it did.  It came from an elder named Bertin Pierre Louis, and it reflected the wisdom of generations.

“Without education, our eyes are open but we do not see.  We are blind. Only education will help the children of Flamand defend themselves against poverty and hunger. If everyone in Haiti had access to education, we would have another country.”

Bertin Pierre Louis in Flamand Village

More tomorrow when we sign a covenant!