My name is Rev. Franck Aguilh, an Elder of the United Methodist Church, born in Haiti. Following the Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake, that devastated Haiti, I prematurely retired from the pulpit in June 2010, and since then, have devoted my life to make a difference in the life of the people of Mizak, Haiti, one child at a time, one young man, one young woman, one family at a time through education and vocational training. I created Haiti Hope House (HHH) a grassroots nonprofit 501-c3 organization incorporated in the state of New Jersey in September 2010 with the mission to help educate the children of Mizak whose parents have no money to send them to school, and train Haitian young adults with no skills, in marketable skills and thus give hope for a better future to the entire community.
This is a neighborhood in Port-au-Prince after the earthquake.
The picture says it all.
Instead of going to school, these kids are helping their grandmother prepare the land for seeding.For many of the children in this picture going to school was an impossible dream. Thanks to HHH more of them are now in school, including the young boy in the front row with the red shirt. His name is Roodley. At 11 he had not gone to school. He didn't even have a birth certificate. HHH took care of that. He is now in the 4th grade and doing well.
In his first trip after the earthquake, Rev. Aguilh met with these young adults. These are young men just hanging around and young ladies who should be in school who are either pregnant or already have one or two kids; children having children. They needed Hope.
Young men and young ladies from Mizak in one of the two Electricity/Electrical House Wiring training classes offered thus far by Haiti Hope House, and conducted by Rev. Aguilh, an Electrical Engineer. Seeding Hope.
Young men and young ladies participating in one of the two Basics Computer Skills training classes presented by Rev. Aguilh thus far. Seeding Hope.Rev. Aguilh visiting the school "Cherubins du Creac," and posing with the principal and 16 of the 19 children from this school whose education is fully paid for by Haiti Hope House (HHH).Since it began its work in Mizak in October 2010, HHH has provided scholarships and other education support to a total of 156 children, and is committed to continue this support at least until they complete elementary school (6th grade). Many are already on the waiting list for the 2016-2017 school year.Since we began our work in Mizak, eight traning classes have been offered to the young adults, two each in Electricity/Electrical House Wiring, Project Management, Basic Computer Skills, and English translation. One hundred and eleven (111) young men and women have completed these classes.However, one thing lacked.From the beginning, even as we named the organization Haiti Hope House, the premise was that eventually we will have a real house instead of this virtual house. We do not have a place to stay when in Mizak, and the training classes for the young adults take place at a collaborating organization's space, when available, or even in open air. Our hope has always been that we will eventually build a "real" house.In 2011 Rev. Aguilh and his wife bought the property shown below and dedicated part of it to be the site for the Haiti Hope House Learning Center.
This barbed wire fenced piece of land is where HHH's "house" will be.The Learning House is intended to be a safe place in the Mizak community where education can continue when the doors of the schools are closed, an extension of the classroom, especially during the long Summer vacations.It is designed to have the first, and only, public library in the community. It is designed to include a media room/computer lab and make access to the internet possible without a half hour motorcycle ride to Jacmel, the nearest town, hoping that there will be service at a cyber cafe. It will include two classrooms, office space, meeting space, an a power room/electricity lab. It will include a total of eight (8) rooms and designed to be powered by solar energy.It is intended to be a place where vocational training can take place not just once or twice a year, but on an ongoing basis. Future plans include the construction of a living quarter where Rev. Aguilh can stay when in Mizak, and serve as a guest house for visiting missionary teams and professionals.We broke ground in September 2013 and our first effort was to build a storage facility allowing us to buy materials in bulk and thus save on the cost of transportation. Under it, we built a water cistern where rain water is collected and thus again help us save on the cost of buying truckloads of water.This is the storage building. On the far left is the main storage room with the cistern underground. We have a utility room in the middle with a small storage room on the far right.Work has been going on a little at a time, as funds become available. In fact we try to do something every time Rev. Aguilh goes to Haiti, at least twice a year, in Feb./Mar. and in Sep./Oct. when school opens. This picture below shows that the foundation has been completed, the rough
concrete floor is in place and the walls beginning to go up. At this
time an armored concrete belt is being installed. As required by post
earthquake standards, this concrete belt must be installed after a
height of five cinder blocks is reached.
This picture taken during Rev. Aguilh's trip in February 2015 shows
that all the walls have gone up, and all the beams are in place. It gives a view of the Education Building from the rear right
corner. A lady coming from the market is seen walking on the main road
in the front.Unfortunately, at this point, construction had to stop. we had run out of money.
As 2015 ended, we needed $122,000 in order to complete the project and give the children a safe place to study, do their homework, read, and learn the basics of communication that we take for granted
We needed $122,000 in order to complete the project and make year around training for the young adults a reality.
We needed $122,000 in order to complete the project and bring safe and reliable solar energy and Internet access to the people of Mizak.
We needed $122,000 in order to complete the project and change the life of the people of Mizak, and give them a future with hope.
Thanks be to GOD, with the help of the Digicel Foundation of Haiti, we were able to raise the money to put on the roof in February of this year, and the outside wrought iron doors and windows last month.
Here is the latest picture of the Haiti Hope House Learning Center Education Building.
However, there is a lot more to do before this building can be functional.
WE STILL NEED:
1) THE SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEM
2) THE INTERNET ACCESS SYSTEM
3) THE SEPTIC WASTE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
4) TO FINISH THE BUILDING (interior doors and windows, floors, walls, paint, etc...)
5) TO PURCHASE FURNITURE (desks, chairs, cabinets, bookcases, bookshelves, etc...)
6) TO PURCHASE BOOKS AND OTHER SUPPLIES
7) TO PURCHASE EQUIPMENT (computers, printers, copiers, projector, screens, black and white boards, etc...)