Mt. Pisgah Lutheran Church announces a major building program to add eight new classrooms for a school to educate over 500 children. But you will not see a building permit for 2606 Chimney Rock Road in Hendersonville where the church is located.
This building project is for their sisterschool in Laotchikit, Haiti, a small village near Hinche, Haiti. Mt. Pisgah Lutheran Church is in fellowship with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Haiti to operate a school for 520 children. Mt. Pisgah Lutheran Church is the sole sponsor for the staff of the school in Laotchikit.
While Mt. Pisgah Lutheran Church may be a small congregation of 200 members, their mission outreach expands far beyond the church property. In Haiti, there are very few public schools. Most schools are private or run by non-government organizations known as NGO’s. Since Haiti is the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, few Haitians are wealthy enough to pay for their children to receive an education. According to UNICEF, less than half the population of Haiti can read. Making education a priority is definitely part of breaking the cycle of poverty.
The Evangelical Lutheran School of Laotchikit offers classes for Pre-Kindergarten age 3 through the sixth grade. Students are placed in a class based on their ability, not their age. There may be teenagers in third grade, if the student started attending school later in life. The school follows the national curriculum assigned by the Haitian government, so graduates are prepared if they have the opportunity to continue their education after sixth grade.
As part of attending school, each school day all students and teachers receive a nutritious hot lunch provide by Trinity Hope based in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee.
Receiving a daily meal is a huge benefit to promote learning. According to USAID roughly 2.5 million Haitians live in extreme poverty (below $1.25 per day). People are so poor in Haiti, food insecurity is a daily threat to most of the population. By receiving a meal at school, these students are given an opportunity to improve their health and it is a relief to their families struggling to provide a daily meal for each child.
This major building program will add eight new classrooms, and educate over 500 children.
The school in Laotchikit started in 2010 when Lutherans in North Carolina donated money to build a church in the village. From the church came a school providing free education to 200 children living in the neighborhood. However, there were an additional 300 children that could not be educated because there were not enough teachers.
In 2016 Mt. Pisgah expanded their financial support allowing the school to hire more teachers and assistant teachers. Now the school has grown beyond the classroom structures and more classrooms are needed. “The problem we face is there are three classes of about 100 children located under one shelter” says Wendy White, a member of Mt. Pisgah Lutheran Church who recently returned from a visit to the school in Laotchikit.
Classes are held under a roof with open sides. Noise from other classes is a big distraction to children trying to learn. The classrooms have gravel floors and no walls making class during rain storms impossible. The building program to provide new classrooms that would have divided rooms for each class with walls, floors, and windows costing about $30,000.
If you would like additional information on the Haiti Mission look at the church’s website at www.mtpisgahlutheran.com or gofundme.com/mt-pisgah-lutheran-mission or call the church office at 828-692-7027. 100% of all donations to the Haiti Mission go directly to benefit the children attending school in Laotchikit.
Mt. Pisgah Lutheran Church simply acts as a transfer party for all donations. Because Haiti is consistently ranked as a nation of financial corruption, there are very stringent policies established in this partnership to assure financial transparency. These transparency policies give members of Mt. Pisgah great confidence and credibility in our Haitian partners. Mt. Pisgah is a 501(c)(3) charity. All donations are tax deductible.