School of Hope

In May of 2016, First UMC in Chambersburg discerned God was calling them to open a school, called the School of Hope, in Haiti just outside the city of Petit Goave. In October of 2016, Hurricane Matthew struck Haiti leaving six of the students orphaned. Again, seeking God in prayer, they created Kaendra’s Place Orphanage which houses twelve orphans and two house parents.

Schools in Haiti are not government run or supported, so many never get an education. As many as 50% of children in Haiti do not attend elementary school and 80% do not reach middle or high school level. Children who do not attend school are the targets of abuse, crime, human trafficking, and child slavery. Haiti has over 400,000 child slaves. However, Haitian law requires if a child receives tuition, they must attend school and cannot be put to labor. To send a child to school in Haiti provides much more than literacy; it often saves a child from cruel and inhumane slavery.

Today, School of Hope teaches just over 200 students and recently rented a larger building to do so. Each day, the children get a meal, which for many is their only meal, and receive an education that is designed to teach sustainable living as the children grow into adulthood. Most importantly, the gospel of Jesus Christ is shared.

A larger building was recently built for the orphanage to give the children more space. A few years ago, farm land was purchased to sustain the orphanage. They are able to harvest three different seasons in abundance. The farm provides much needed food for the orphans as well as jobs for those who work on the farm. With the help of Haitian partners, the children at Kaendra’s Place have shelter, food, and hope for a better future.

Recently, gangs have taken over the country of Haiti and have caused travel into Haiti to stop. Items cannot be sent to the school or orphanage as everything gets ceased. Therefore, everything has to be bought directly in Haiti where costs are extremely high. Many schools have closed due to the violence, but the School of Hope has been able to remain open due to the locals standing up to the gangs and protecting their villages. The new orphanage has high walls built around it for protection.

Generous donations are what keep this mission going, and right now funds are greatly needed. In honor of our retiring Superintendent, Cathy Boileau, each church in the district is asked to contribute to this mission that is very close to her heart as she has spent time at the school and orphanage and was the pastor at First UMC Chambersburg when this mission was born. Please consider giving through our Monthly Missions in May to support the children of Haiti.