Hope House, Haiti

On 22nd June 2023, Bolney CEP School was proud and excited to receive a visit from Yvrose who was visiting the UK. Our Year 5 and 6 class, Silver Birch organised and ran a Haiti fund raising afternoon. We started by welcoming Yvrose in assembly and the children sang two songs for her and if I tell you that their singing brought the adults near to tears, you can imagine how powerful and heartfelt their rendition of ‘Sing’ was. They sang to and for Yvrose and it was a really special moment.

Afterwards, we all enjoyed a fun time paying to play the games and competitions that Silver Birch had set up as stalls around the playground. They had even made Haitian Beignets for the school community to try. Yvrose looked like she thoroughly enjoyed her time at our school!

In total the school raised £283.20 for the Hope House Haiti charity.

On January 12, 2010, Haiti suffered a devastating earthquake magnitude 7.0 with a death toll estimated at 220,000. Aftershocks followed, including one of magnitude 5.9. The capital city, Port-au-Prince, was effectively levelled. A million Haitians were left homeless, and hundreds of thousands are hungry. The earthquake caused massive devastation, with most buildings crumbling, including Haiti’s government buildings.

Years on and there has been little visible progress. 90% of the rubble remains in Port-au-Prince, and a lot of the money initially given in aid to Haiti never reached the people who needed it the most. Hundreds of thousands still live in make-shift camps, unemployment is at 60%, and most children are denied their most basic childhood needs.

Hope House
In the aftermath of the earthquake, with so many displaced people, Yvrose, a Haitian born teacher, and her husband, set about trying to reunite displaced and orphaned children with members of their families. When all avenues were exhausted, they looked after the children themselves and set up an orphanage currently offering a safe and loving family environment for 26 children.

Hope Academy
Yvrose and Pierre Richard then went on to establish a school in their remote region at the foot of the mountains, aimed at the poorest children in the community, offering a free education and a meal for each child – often the only meal the children get that day.

Linking two Schools
It is so important to teach children about different cultures within the global community, encouraging them to be caring citizens of the future. Bolney School wanted to make this real and personal for the children and through a contact with a grandparent of children at the school who had worked voluntarily in Haiti, Bolney CEP School has twinned with Hope Academy 2 parents from the school went to personally deliver £700 raised in the community to provide school meals, and to establish a personal relationship with Yvrose, the school and the orphanage. They reported back that the poverty was overwhelming but the sense of love, hope, faith and compassion was immense.

How Funds Have Been Spent
Through fundraising within Bolney CEP School, the church and events supported by the local community, we have been able to:
  • Provide School Meals for 300 children for 6 weeks
  • Buy wood to build benches for school children to sit on rather than breeze blocks
  • Buy materials to build and repair desks
  • Provide materials to build foundations for a corrugated metal building to be used as class rooms and a place of worship

Can You Help?
With the support of the Friends of Bolney CEP School, PTA, registered charity number 1120446, we are able to fund raise and be accountable for monies donated. Currently over 300 children attend Hope Academy, but there are more who would like, and the school’s policy is that no child will be left behind.

Children are desperately short of shoes, clothes, bags, exercise books, pencils and other stationary for school work. Hope Academy also want to continue providing school meals but they are totally reliant upon goodwill and donations to continue to do this.

If you would like to make a donation please send a cheque made payable to “Friends of Bolney School” and clearly write on the back “Haiti Fund” to:
Treasurer, Bolney CEP School FOB, Bolney CEP School, Church Lane, Bolney, West Sussex, RH17 5QP