Ecole Mixte Coeur de Jesus, Haiti

Date of Activity: 07 Feb 2011

Ecole Mixte Coeur de Jesus, Onel Francois' school in the desperate Port Au Prince Slum of Cite Soleil - Installation of clean water supply with Fountains of Hope - May 2011 mission to rebuild school



Ecole Mixte Petit Coeur de Jesus is a school on the edge of Cite Soleil and has 400 children - the head teacher, Onel Francois -is a wonderful human being and has run the school in extremis! all the children are from the slum and dragged up by their boot straps as my Granny would say! All the schools I have experienced in both Haiti and Sri Lanka are afraid of the head teacher as they usually beat them - these children are not afraid of him - they love and respect him.

He has NO money to do anything at all positive - the building is a mess and he has little money to buy the basic things he needs.
I have funded a water purifier of 1,000 gallons and given him 500 dollars to give the staff a little pay! They have had no salary all last year!
Onel himself lost 2 of his children in the quake and still he cares passionately about these kids - for most it will be the only stability in their day!

There has been help from a group in the US last year but I dont think they are in any position to do more and asked me to go have a look.

After the quake the building was so damaged he got himself 2 jobs to help pay for some rudimentary repairs so he could
at least start up again. The government give him nothing AND he has to pay THEM rent for the land! It is tiny.

I was so impressed with him that I started an urgent appeal called Builders2Haiti to get men to come out with me - we hire Haitian’s to start to rebuild it! There is a bit we can work with in terms of ok walls and the rest we will rebuild.

I wanted to put in place a sponsorship programme for stationary/shoes/uniform/bags/food/refilling of the water bowser etc.



That was then!


This is now!

We are back from the trip in May and there were 5 of us from Guernsey

A photograper – Gaz Papworth who documented what we did.

An accountant who set up the Sponsor programme for me.

2 builders and little old me!

We hit the ground running and immediately started to repair 2 classrooms – the World Food Programme would not deliver high Calorie biscuits as there was no one hygienic room!  We have now created 2! They are delivering the biscuits!

We also set to in the playground – it was situated on a dump and some of the playground was yucky reclaimed dump! It stank and was very dangerous.  We hired a digger for 2 days and 2 trucks for 2 days – first we dug out 25 loads of ‘shit’ actually there was excrement in it ! and replaced it with 10 lorry loads of smooth gravel!  It was amazing!

Here is the link for the You Tube film that Gaz made for me!


you can see the programme I have set up so far……….


Bridge2Haiti invites you to sponsor a child at Ecole Mixte Petit Coeur de Jesus for £55 per year or $84 usd - that is £5 a month - so to you that may be a meal or a night out in the pub but to THEM it is a whole years education/ a VITAL meal weekdays and uniform. This will mean that the teachers can actually be paid a little for their work!

It will mean these kids (Timoun) from the slum can have a proper education in better surroundings. These kids are Haiti's future.
Help us help them to help themselves.

If you want to do this please email me: with a choice if you would prefer a boy or girl and then I will send you a picture with the name and age of the child.

The money will not go to the parent but directly to the school on a budgeted monthly basis so we can keep a track on what is happening.

You can set this up with your bank free:
call them and tell them you want to set up a standing order for
£5 per month or a one off payment that gets paid on the same day each year.
The Haiti Appeal - Bridge2srilanka Appeal
IF POSSIBLE PLEASE START THESE PAYMENTS as soon as possible - MANY THANKS - and then LET me know you have done it!

If you want anther option - Paypal on my website - www.bridge2haiti.comfor secure payment or of course a cheque posted to me - email me for details.




Wed 19th October


We have now provided all the material and 2 sewing machines for the uniforms.  The plan is to go out again on the 2nd January to get another classroom or 2 renovated.  Then again in March when I take 4 men with me to work on further rooms – all this depends on what funds we raise between now and then as to how much we can achieve.



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 Feb 2011

After the terrible cholera outbreak starting in the final months of 2010, we began a very successful fundraising initiative called Hydration2Haiti. We raised over 5000 rations of rehydration salts but also crucially, enough money to install three very large self-purifying water storage systems. We partnered with an organisation called Fountains of Hope from Indiana, who had experience installing these ingenius devices in third world countries all around the world. We had raised the funds, and so our friend Bill Farrar was able to go and install these systems in our absence, just after we left Haiti in November. We had to choose the three sites for these systems. A double system was to go into a camp of 30,000 people we work with in Delmas 33, another was to go next to a Womens Clinic in Warf Jeremie, and the final one a school in Cite Soleil we were told about.

 So this was the first we had heard of this school, and we didn't get a chance to go there until February, when we went to check on our water system and how it was being replenished. We didn't know we were about to meet one of the most inspirational characters we had ever met in Haiti. Upon entering the school we were happily mobbed by its four hundred children, all immaculately presented in their uniforms and also about to eat lunch. These two factors should not be taken for granted as the school is in arguably Haiti's poorest and most desperate and dangerous urban area. The school is very basic, and all the more so since it had been damaged severely in parts by the earthquake. We noticed that the kids and teachers all appeared to be happy, which is something again which shouldn't be taken for granted. There had been about 20 cholera cases here 1 fatal.

We soon found out why when we met the headteacher, Mr. Onel Francois. He runs this school of 400 children in Haiti's poorest slum almost completely off his own back and determination. He lost 2/3 of his own children in the earthquake along with several teachers and now has to live in the damaged school as well as work there. He receives absolutely no help from the government, and very basic help from a couple of NGOs. Another school helps with training his teachers, but although he can feed the children with help from an NGO, he really struggles with buying learning materials and also paying the teachers, who often have to go without. He does his best to work two other jobs to keep it all together. We were just overwhelmed by this man's obvious compassion and humility, and his awareness of the crucial social role of his school in an area where children seen with guns in their hands are not a rare sight. Importantly, we also noticed that the children gravitated towards him and that he never shouted at them. This kind of relationship is something of a rarity in Haiti. Due to these factors, and the fact that the school is a completely Haitian initiative, we felt compelled to help more.

 We have made sure water will be delivered frequently to be purified and also have helped him with his purchases and teacher wages. This is a school we are working for very hard in terms of fundraising to help. In May we will also be taking out a team of Chippies and Blockies from Guernsey to work with local Haitian builders in rebuilding this damaged school.  

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