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Project James’ roots begin with the Biblical calling in the book of James. The organization’s goal is to transform Haiti’s youngest generation into the country’s future Christian leaders. Through mission trips, sponsorships and donations, we support the Christian Light School in Port Au Prince, Haiti where more than 200 preschool, elementary and middle school aged children are educated and fed. 36 of these children are orphans who live at the school. The school’s children are thankful to have two meals a day and a chance to blow bubbles with mission trip volunteers, because they know that they are among the lucky few in a country that is starving.
With support from donors, the students start their school day with a pledge of allegiance to their country and eat breakfast. Throughout the day, they are taught math, languages, Bible study, reading, grammar, history, sign language, spelling and social studies. 26 teachers rotate to teach these subjects. The students get their second meal around 11:30 AM, which is the last meal of the day for most of the children who live outside the school until breakfast the next day. 7 th and 8 th graders have study sessions after lunch is over and all of the orphanage children are fed dinner.
The idea to help Haiti started in 2008 when Jeff and Rhonda Cole heard about the 2008 hurricane relief. They heard about these children and how they were stranded on a roof with little to no food for days, with no way to get help. The call felt personal and intense. One year and three mission trips later, the Coles love for the Haitian people and their resilient spirit blossomed. They knew in their hearts they had to do more and in July 2010, they officially launched Project James, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit.
Today, the goal of Project James is to continue funding the school, expanding the child sponsorship program and providing feeding programs to children in the tent cities of the nation’s capital. Volunteers have helped with construction projects such as rebuilding shacks, cleaning, painting, plumbing, building showers and bathrooms and helping to construct the school orphanage. They have made house-to-house medical visits, distributed supplies at orphanages, prayed with the sick, taught Bible study classes and devotions and taken toiletries and food to a Haitian prison.
We have 208 students from very poor homes that cannot afford to go to school. We provide the textbooks, uniforms, school supplies, 2 meals per day, medical and dental care, and only charge $10 HD ($1.25 USD) per year for tuition.
Our children learn English in Pre-kindergarten, start French in first grade, and sign language in second grade. By third grade they can read in French, English, and Creole and communicate with sign language. In seventh grade, the children learn Spanish.
We teach in both French and English. We use American Christian textbooks in English because they are better textbooks and teach Biblical principles. We use the Haitian textbooks in French because the children are Haitian. Our children score very high on the Haitian state exams. They are among the best educated students in Haiti and will grow up to assume leadership positions.
- Amy Hess
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