One of our ministry’s primary functions is to oversee and fund our school. Ebenezer School is a co-ed (“mixte”) school founded in 2005 by a group of local residents who wanted a school in the village so that their children wouldn’t have to walk so far to get an education.
In 2007, Wilto Fils-Aime, who was born in Belle Vie, became involved in the school. Wilto and his wife, Ginette, had always had a dream for the village to have a school. Then, in 2010, Wilto and Laura Dalla cofounded God’s Ministry in LaGonave, and by the grace and miraculous provision of God, the ministry and the school have grown to what they are today.
At Ebenezer School, we educate 150-200 students each year. Our curriculum includes three preschool levels and grades 1-6. We employ 14 Haitian staff: the director (who serves as a principal), one administrative staff member, nine teachers and three cooks/custodians. We are honored to provide our staff employment with a steady income.
School in Haiti is not funded by the government. Students must pay to attend school. At our school, tuition, uniform and books cost approximately $60 per student per year. However, in our village, the average family earns less than $1 per day, and many earn less than that. This makes school very costly, especially for families with multiple children.
Thanks to your donations to God’s Ministry in LaGonave, we are able to subsidize the cost of school for our students. We do not make it free because we believe that when families invest even a small amount in an education for their children, they are more involved, which leads to better attendance rates and higher student achievement. But we do ensure that students who desire to attend school are able to do so even if they normally would not be able to afford it.
All students who attend Ebenezer School receive a meal each school day. Our meal program is made possible through a partnership with Feed My Starving Children. This incredible organization provides food free of charge to our school, and donations to our ministry cover the cost of transportation and administering the program onsite. (Learn more about our feeding program.)
We thank you for your support of our school. We believe education is the key to breaking the cycle of poverty in Haiti. We also know that we are creating job opportunities for educated Haitians who want to earn a fair wage while staying in their home village. In order to continue this important project, we need your financial support.
It costs approximately $1500 per month to operate our school. We also have future projects that will be completed once our operating budget for the year has been met. These projects will include:
- New benches for our classrooms. These benches serve as chair and desk for our students, and our current benches are becoming very worn. New benches made of metal and wood will serve our students for many years to come.
- Graduation ceremony for our 6th grade students. Completing any level of education is an achievement in Haiti. When students complete grade six, we would love to congratulate them with a special event honoring their achievement.
- Flag Day celebration for all students. Flag Day (May 18) is an important day for all Haitians. It’s when they celebrate the culture and heritage of the Haitian flag. As funds allow, we would like to have a special celebration for our students on Flag Day each year.
- Scholarships/funding for higher education. Many Haitians do not attend school beyond 6th grade because it is so expensive and/or they have to travel too far to attend school. As funds allow, we would like to offer a scholarship to help one or more of our graduating students to attend junior high school on our island. One day, we would love to expand our school to include grades 7-8.