EDUCATION – KONBIT PROGRAM:
Konbit is a Haitian word that translates “to come together for the community.” The Konbit (education) program was started in 1996 to give the children of Petit Trou de Nippes the opportunity of primary and secondary education at an affordable cost. The first classes were held in a lean-to with chalkboards separating classes and children sitting on benches. Daily hot lunches are a part of the school offering, and are often the only meal these children received. In 2006, a new, two-story school building was built.
Lack of access to clean water was a constant burden in the life of every family in the Petit Trou area. People needed to hand carry water from a water source sometimes up to two hours away to their home. Children and women often carried out this time consuming and difficult labor. For some students at St. Paul’s this meant they spent up to two hours carrying jugs of water before ever arriving at school in the morning. Knowing the impact of access to clean drinking water and improved sanitation and hygiene practices, CHP worked closely with the community to construct 12 safe water wells within a ten minute walk of all households and provide hygiene and sanitation education. The impact of the construction of the wells on the lives of the local population was immediate. Women and children were no longer burdened by long trips to carry water, and the incidence of water-borne diseases dropped, including reducing the impact of Cholera that devastated much of the rest of Haiti.
Access to quality healthcare is precarious even under the best of circumstances in Haiti. The Colorado Haiti Project (CHP) is partnering with the community of Petit Trou, Haiti and the Haitian Ministry of Health and Population (MSPP) to strengthen access to quality healthcare for all in the community of Petit Trou. In 2013, the Colorado Haiti Project signed an unprecedented memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the MSPP and the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti to build a comprehensive, responsive, and equitable health system for the region.
With each job created, there is a ripple effect in the community.
A scholarship student graduates and begins working as a plumber. Now his wife can afford to have her baby at the clinic.
A sewing student sells products through the atelier program. Now she can support her family and has more money to spend in the local market.
A scholarship graduate begins teaching in the local school enhancing the educational foundation of the community, becoming a community leader, and spreading his/her salary throughout the community.