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Hike for Haiti — WE DID IT

Thank you to our guest author, Guy Dauncey, IPSOS

On a summer’s Friday in London, a group of ‘Healthcare Hikers’ from Ipsos Healthcare used one of their ‘Responding Responsibly’ days to walk the Jubilee Greenway in aid of The Joseph School, in Haiti.

Following the devastation of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, The Joseph School was formed to help teach, inspire and empower a new generation of Haitian leaders on the premise that the best people to change Haiti will come from Haiti.

I have been lucky enough to be selected, along with three others from Healthcare in North America, to volunteer at The Joseph School, in January.

The entire trip will be funded by The Ipsos Foundation and Ipsos Healthcare, which means that any funds we raise will be donated directly to the school and its healthcare needs.

Hike for Haiti was conceived after a brainstorm session discussing ideas for Responding Responsibly.  The aim was to create a group participation event, inclusive to all, in a format where everyone could challenge themselves and push themselves as far as they were willing to commit to.

The Jubilee Greenway is a 60km circular footpath which runs through a number of London’s parks and past some of London’s most famous sights.  It was founded to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee – one km for each year of the Queen’s reign.  A team of 14 from across Healthcare volunteered to walk various stretches of the route, an opportunity to use a Responding Responsibly day, support a very worthwhile cause, get some exercise and see some of London’s sights all at the same time.  Here is an account of how we got on:

09:00  And we’re off… setting off from the office across Tower Bridge, we bumped into a number of bemused work colleagues making their way to the office in the opposite direction

10:00  A decent pace along the South Bank, a spring in our steps as we pass by so many of London’s attractions:  Shakespear’s Globe, Millennium Bridge, the London Eye, with views across the Thames to St. Paul’s Cathedral, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament before crossing Lambeth Bridge to the North side of the river

11:00  As we marched down The Mall, we encountered a large crowd outside Buckingham Palace – somehow we’d found ourselves caught up in the middle of the ‘Changing of The Guard’ ceremony which was unfortunately blocking our route.  A pause to see what was going on, followed by a slight detour and we were back on track

12:00  Through Hyde Park, past Princess Diana’s Memorial and Kensington Palace onto Little Venice, with its quirky canal boat cafés and restaurants, and a lovely stroll along the Grand Union Canal,

13:00  Continuing along Regents Canal, having passed through eclectic and edgy Camden, the team were starting to feel a little weary, andextremely hungry – almost time for our scheduled lunch stop

13:30  Angel, the HALF MARATHON point, and time for lunch… a bite to eat at The York pub, and time to say thank you and farewell to some, and hello to the rest of the Hikers joining us at this point

14:30  After reaching Victoria Park and saying goodbye to those routing back to the office on the 35km route (no mean feat), we ploughed on past the Olympic Park and along what turned out to be a rather long, dull and drizzly section along a disused railway line, but with some great company the time passed quickly

18:00  Some excitement as we reached the MARATHON marker at London City Airport as the sun came out and we watched the planes taking off and landing right overhead

19:00  Woolwich Foot Tunnel… a foot tunnel under the Thames?  Quite an experience walking underneath the river, and on reaching the South side, with the sun starting to set, those Golden Arches proved just too tempting… a quick McDonald’s stop was the fuel we needed to plod on for a few more kilometres

20:00  It was now dark as the five remaining Hikers passed the Thames Flood Barrier and rounded the O2 Centre – time to turn on the head torch!

21:00  We’d by now reached some major development works along the river around Greenwich.  Hitting a dead-end, we had no choice but to double-back on ourselves adding significantly to the overall distance.  Having passed the 50 KM point, and with legs starting to tire, this proved too much for some and a re-route to the nearest Tube station was the way forward – what a great effort!

22:00  Two Hikers hobbled on, blisters starting to form… past the Cutty Sark and with the London skyline all lit-up, spirits were still high… but enough was enough, man down – Uber ride for one!

23:00    Last man standing and 60km down, but owing to the diversions, still a way to go – where’s Tower Bridge gone?

23:30  There it is… the finish line – 14.5 hours / 66 KM, and a quick photo to prove that ‘WE DID IT’!

Collectively, we had walked almost 500 KM and over half a million steps, in just one day.  A big shout-out to the Healthcare Hikers:  Alistair Bates; Aniko Cseledi; Barenese Du-Pont; Charlie Adams; Dipesh Mangabhai; Gabriela Lopez; Myles Taylor; Nattali Samuel; Nicholas Dale; Paulina Dabrowska; Sabina Heinz; Salim Ben-issa; Sophie Oldfield.

Wow, what a great day – it ended up being a bit of a war of attrition, but it was certainly a team effort… and ooh, that last minute dash for the train home hurt!

The fundraising has gone unbelievably well – a huge thanks to everyone that has donated.

We’ve had an overwhelming response and this will go towards helping fund the School’s Healthcare needs including:

  • A medical team to administer vaccinations for the children
  • Nurse practitioners to conduct periodic health assessments of the children and to help with specific health issues
  • Medical treatments or surgeries that the children need
  • The setting up of a medical clinic recently acquired by The Joseph School Foundation

I’m looking forward to travelling to Haiti in January to help get the medical clinic up and running.

If you would like to see a short (2min) video of our journey, along with some photos, please go to: https://www.relive.cc/view/g24759701788


From Classroom Checkups to a Community Clinic

The Joseph School is excited to announce that we have entered a pilot partnership with the Haitian Ministry of Health to reopen an abandoned medical clinic in Cameau, Haiti.

A school and a clinic . . . how did this happen? 

Cameau Clinic

The mission of The Joseph School is to educate and prepare tomorrow’s servant leaders in body, mind, and spirit. Throughout our four years of operations, we’ve learned that educating our students also means addressing the living conditions of Haiti —like access to sufficient food, clean water and medical care.  

To promote healthy minds in the classrooms, our students need healthy bodies.

Our current Food of Education program provides daily meals for every child, teacher and staff.

Our Summer Nutrition programs ensures at-risk students, and their families, receive nutritional supplements to combat summer malnutrition.

Each semester, our students receive well-child check ups from a registered nurse, or team, as part of our Medical Missions. 

Health and wellness has become a necessary focus for our school, and has already impacted the lives of our students, their families and their communities. So much so, that the Haitian Ministry of Health has asked TJS to take over an abandoned clinic in Cameau (a few miles from our campus). And after months of prayer and deliberation, we have said yes!

The clinic is not operational right now. However, in due time, we plan to utilize the existing clinic as a base from which to improve the overall health of Cameau, Cabaret, other surrounding communities and to provide healthcare to The Joseph School students, families and staff. 

As part of our new project, our US headquarters has added a Medical Advisory Board. If interested in learning more about the clinic, and our preliminary plans, please email info@thejosephschool.org. Subject: TJS Clinic.


Celebrating Our Fourth Year

To God be the Glory!

Teachers. Students. Parents. Staff. Friends.

Everyone arrived to The Joseph School campus* bright and early to welcome 120 students for their first day of class.

Dressed in their best attire, students arrived on the new TJS school bus* and were greeted by Haitian Director of Operations, Bildad Michel, and TJS Founder, Jim Bryson.

Madam Dallen Jean Baptiste, TJS Principal, welcomed the students and their families.

Surrounding the students, everyone prayed. We prayed for the school, the students, their families, the year to come, and the future of Haiti. We thanked the Lord for the supporters of The Joseph School, the progress we’ve made, the relationships built and for His continued guidance and direction for this work.

Madam Dallen introduced the TJS teaching staff.

After meeting the new teachers, the students headed to their classrooms.

Excited parents surrounded the first grade classrooms to see their child(ren) in a classroom for the first time.

Class orientations began and breakfast was served!

In September 2015, The Joseph School opened its doors to 30 students in a rental house in Cabaret, Haiti. Today, The Joseph School teaches 120 students lead by 17 incredible teachers who are supported by 22 Haitian staff members on its own campus land. Again, to God be The Glory and thank you to all involved in this journey.

*Amazing “firsts” for The Joseph School. This was our first year beginning class on the campus and our first year having a school bus!


Building Connections Builds Confidence

Thank you to our guest author, Ted Waz, CEO of The Opinion Economy Inc.

Building connections between people is what being “Human” is all about – I am wrapping up a micro-mission to The Joseph School in Cabaret, Haiti. I have met more than 120 students, families, staff. As I travelled across the villages and hamlets that make up Cabaret, Haiti, I found a devastated geography and economic landscape, and a sense of hopelessness.

Sunset on The Joseph School Campus

At the same-time, just as the sun breaks through the darkness of night, I find leaders of all ages, who want the skills that lead to growth & development, which builds confidence, and the ability to see possibilities, to build alliances of mutual benefit, to raise up a school, a village, a city, and ultimately a nation. The Joseph School is an adventure not for the faint of heart, but rather for those who dare to dream beyond their immediate sense of self, who can embrace that the grace we need is as simple a neighbor, next door, across town and yes even from another country sharing a little time, talent, and treasure.

#travel #school #poverty #mission #nationalism #cabaret #donations #security


Back to School Bags Packed

Every year, 20|20 Research company participates in a service week, where they focus their efforts on “Doing Good” and serving local non-profits throughout the Nashville community. As Jim Bryson, founder and CEO of 20|20, is also the founder of The Joseph School, they spent this past Monday volunteering at TJS– and we are so grateful that they did.

Alone, they were able to organize, group and bag shoes and curriculum for all 119 students the year. They also made Welcome to the 2018 School Year cards for the new first graders.

Growing Each Year

Last year, 20|20’s team also helped bag uniforms and shoes, but we’re very excited to have the uniforms made in Haiti this year — creating less US expenses and jobs in Haiti, instead.

We’re five days away from our fourth school year at The Joseph School. Please pray for our second team heading to Haiti this weekend, with multiple bags in tow. Pray for our teachers, staff, students and their families. We thank 20|20 for their incredible help this week, and we thank YOU for being a part of this journey.

Service Week in Action:


Demonstrating Discipleship: HBU’s Mission Trip

Houston Baptist University Students

While a sharp spike in fuel prices sparked turmoil, devastation, and a political crisis in Haiti, Houston Baptist University was serving our students with hope, joy, and discipleship. Despite the unrest that was enveloping Haiti, they humbly painted our clinic, provided toiletries and vitamins to students, and treated all members of The Joseph School with respect.

While these deliberations were incredibly helpful, perhaps the largest contribution this group made to our school was the Vacation Bible School that they ran. In their multi-day VBS, they taught, loved, and demonstrated servant leadership in its most raw form. As these college students changed our students’ minds and hearts, The Joseph School also left an indelible mark on these volunteers. 

As Darby Isereau, one of the participants, penned: “Haiti is beautiful. Haiti is resilient.”

As the volunteers themselves can best speak on their personal experiences, we have featured a testimony below from Lauren Butler, one of the travelers on the trip, who is pictured below.

Lauren Butler

“This was my third time coming back to Haiti and working with The Joseph School, and it seems like each trip is better than the last! This was my first time taking a group through my school, Houston Baptist University, and it was so cool to come with them this year! We expected to love and serve those around us, but everyone that we encountered loved and served us. Everyone we met was so kind towards us and full of joy that you can’t help but keep a smile on your face!

I have so many amazing memories from this trip, but one of my favorites is when we went on house visits to kids that attend The Joseph School. Last year when I was in Haiti, I met a 2nd grader named Taina and we became fast friends. This year, we were able to go to her house and give her flip flops, soap, a toothbrush and toothpaste, and vitamins for the duration of the summer. I brought her a little gift to give her, and I was so glad I was able to deliver it to her in person! She remembered me and my name, and my face and heart lit up! I thought about her a lot over this past year and I loved hearing from her that our friendship did not just last for one week last year. I am so excited to see her and all the other students excel in school and see how God will use each of them! Haiti and The Joseph School holds a special place in my heart and it gets harder to leave each year. I can’t wait to go back!”

Thanks, Lauren, for your inspiring words. We are so grateful for all that the HBU team has done for The Joseph School, and pray that our mission will continue to guide your servant hearts.


Training Talented Teachers: Update On P4H Teacher Conference

As teachers are the cornerstone of academic quality, we are committed to hiring the most dedicated and effective educators of Haiti to guide, instruct, and empower the next generation of Haitian servant leaders. Due to our adherence to a curriculum that is strong and up-to-date, we require our teachers to attend regular conferences, so they can continue to adjust the practices they implement in the classroom, as well as remain updated on the most relevant topics of the time. Today we’re going to sneak a behind-the-scenes look at the most recent conference our teachers attended: the P4H Conference.

P4H Global’s Educator Professional Development Conference is focused on training Haitian Educators to use effective, student-centered methods of teaching in their classrooms.

P4H invests in educators because they have the responsibility to shape the minds of the future generation. Future professionals such as doctors, lawyers, educators, pastors, and other vital members of society all begin as curious students in the classroom. Unfortunately, due to the fact that most Haitian teachers do not have any pre-service training, the majority of Haitian classrooms are marked by rote memorization and an authoritarian, teacher-centered approach.

As P4H specializes in a collaborative and compassionate approach to education, The Joseph School teachers attend this conference to acquire the skills to develop thoughtful, lifelong learners and leaders.
At the annual P4H Conference, US educators gather for three days to share their expertise and research-based educational strategies with Haitian teachers. Topics such as foundational education theories, classroom management, leadership development, and mathematics strategies are explored during the conference, providing Haitian educators with the opportunity to learn new methods and network with other educators from their country.

Overall, the professional development opportunities that P4H offers equip our teachers with invaluable skills that allow them to meet the distinct needs of their students, while enriching their minds and hearts.

We are so grateful to have wrapped up another year at the P4H conference!

 

 

 

 


Time4Updates: A Spotlight on Time4Haiti’s Mission Trip

A Play Day to Remember

In the words of Time4Haiti, one of our incredible partner organizations that recently took a mission trip to TJS, “teachable moments happen frequently outside of the classroom.” This very philosophy serves as the basis for much of their impactful work, and led them to sponsor a Play Day for The Joseph School– complete with sack races, 3-legged races, tug-o-war, body through the hoop races, and the boys’ and girls’ soccer tournament finals.

Designated playtime is an integral part of any child’s education and development. Aside from the creative benefits, sports encourage leadership while teaching students the importance of teamwork. That is why we are so grateful for Time4Haiti’s efforts to coordinate this Play Day: our students loved it, and we are so glad they had  fun and learned valuable life lessons! Time4Haiti’s focus on encouraging and empowering our students offered them the space to let loose and just be kids. At the end of Play Day, the team took our students to cool off and play in a beautiful river. What an incredible ending to a memorable day!

 Community Involvement

Collectively, Time4Haiti truly has a heart for service. Not only did they coordinate Play Day, but they also got involved in the local community.

They helped the homeless in Cabaret paint their shelter and gave them a Bible, Children’s Bible story book, an English dictionary, and some hygiene products to share. They also performed a village cleanup, and did village ministry in Minoterie. We are incredibly grateful to have been involved with a group that champions Christian service ideals so well.

 

The Visual Story of Time4Haiti’s Trip:

 

Time4Haiti: thank you again!

 

 


United by Uniforms

Welcome back, TJS supporters! As the school year comes to a close, we are celebrating some exciting news on the horizon: student uniforms are now being made IN Haiti!

As you may know, in the last three years, we have purchased uniforms here in the United States. While we appreciated the American services, we wanted to do something more to help our friends in Haiti. NOW, thanks to the pilot sewing program (sponsored by Nashville’s own Immanuel Baptist Church!), we are having the uniforms sewn in Haiti! Not only will this switch provide much-needed jobs to families in Haiti, but it will also decrease production and distribution difficulties as we grow from 90 to 120 students, and plan to continue to expand every year. Uniforms are $100 pers students and include: two shirts, two pants/shorts/skirts, shoes (still purchased in US) and Socks.

This change is more than a mere location switch: it is a Transition that is going to serve as the grounds for the Transformation of lives.

The photo to your left features John Kerry, rising 4th grader, modeling the first draft of the Haitian-made uniforms!

And check out the behind-the-scenes look of our hardworking Haitian friends to the right, as they carefully take measurements and calculate the correct dimensions for the uniforms. We are blessed with an incredible team and are so excited to watch this program kick off!

We also want to extend a special thanks to TJS Board member, Natalie Inman, for providing the sewing machines!

Thank You.

To all of our followers: thank you, kindly, for reading and for believing in our mission. The Joseph School would not be the same without YOU! With your generous contribution, you can quite literally provide the clothes on the back of a student. We are deeply grateful for your support during this exciting Transition!


Healing Brings Hope: Medical Trip Update

It’s no secret that healthcare in Haiti is scarce. The average life expectancy is 63 years, 30% of the population is considered food insecure, and the infant mortality rate is 55 per every 1000 live births (as compared to 5.8 per 1000 in the United States). While unfortunately, some of Haiti’s debilitating conditions are untreatable on a large scale, many diseases are avoidable with regular check-ups and nutrition monitoring. We are blessed to have the incredible Lisa Hellmann, MSN/APRN/FNP-C travel frequently to The Joseph School to keep our kids healthy. She recently performed end-of-the-year check-ups on our students and we are glad to report some updates from the trip!

Thanks to Lisa and her dedication, the health of the students at The Joseph School continues to be superior to that of the other Haitian children in the Cabaret community. 28 students who are deemed at risk for summer malnutrition will be placed in our summer nutrition program, which Linda helped pioneer. This program ensures that students and their family units who may lose weight over the summer have sufficient access to healthy food.

Kennylove Georges received her scoliosis brace in May 2018. She is being treated through Healing Hands for Haiti under the care of Dr. Pascal. Lisa continues to coordinate her plan of care alongside Dr. Pascal and orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Nau. Per Dr. Pascal, 6-9 months of bracing and biweekly physical therapy will determine whether surgical correction of the sternocleidomastoid muscle is needed.

As much as we could list off all of Lisa’s great work, we know you’d love to hear from her personally. Below we’ve included an excerpt from her that tells her perspective and of a story of a little girl and a baby doll:

“There are many special needs adults and children throughout the Cabaret community. One of these special needs children, Fedli was gifted a wheelchair earlier in the year by Terrell Smith, one of The Joseph School’s board members. On this trip, I was able to check-in with Fedli and see how her new wheelchair was impacting her life. I also delivered a baby doll that Terrell had sent to Fedli.”

“Needless to say, Fedli and her family have been greatly blessed by not only the gift of the wheelchair, but also by the outpouring of love offered by The Joseph School and its supporters. The gift of a baby doll seems small, but for a child who has nothing…the doll was an expression of the love we have for her and also the love God has for her as well. Watching her react to the baby doll, immediately cradling it and loving on it reminded me that every little girl deserves a baby doll…even special needs children in Haiti. It was a precious moment that I will never forget.”

We cannot thank Lisa enough for all of the time and generosity she has poured into our school. Largely thanks to her, The Joseph School students receive the proper medical care to stay healthy. Thanks for providing hope through health, Lisa!