The Importance of our Monthly Donors

One of the biggest challenges for any non profit is fundraising.  I’m sure this comes as no surprise to many of you.  The greater challenge for an organization that was born out of a natural disaster, is how to keep potential donors interested years after this disaster has taken place.  Although Haiti Scholarships is the direct result of many of the founding members going to Haiti to help in the disaster response after the earthquake of 2010, the purpose and mission of Haiti Scholarships extends beyond this one disaster, and focuses instead on another disaster that has existed in Haiti long before the earthquake: the lack of access to education for millions of Haitians.  This is a disaster that has not gone away.

Our impact may still be small, as our recipients are still between 15-30 students a semester, but we know that for those 15-30 students, the financial help we are able to give them through your donations is life changing.  And that’s why we are still here.

Many times on Facebook or other social media we run fundraising campaigns asking for a minimal donation, but I wanted to take a couple minutes and tell you about the impact you can have if you sign up for a monthly donation.  Through our website you can sign up for a monthly donation of $25, $30, or $40.  That comes out to $300, $360, and $480 a year, respectively.  So far, we have five monthly donors signed up, and their monthly donations add up to $1620 a year.  This means that we are able to provide over 6 partial scholarships to students in Haiti.  They quite literally keep us in the business of helping our students in Haiti.

Think of the impact that you can have by signing up to be a monthly donor.  Although $300 or $360 is a big commitment when taken in the large sum, when you break it down per month, just think of the impact that your $25 can have on a student’s life versus eating out one night less a month, or skipping that movie (we all know you can’t go see a movie without dropping at least $20!).

If you still feel that a one-time donation is your best bet, by all means!  Your help, in any amount, at any time, is always appreciated, and always put to good use!  You might also consider donating to our president, Jim Mahar’s, special fundraising campaign for both Haiti Scholarships and for solar panels to be used at a local school.

Thank you again to all of our donors, both monthly and non-monthly: your generosity helps students like Lamarre and Jean Kendy to achieve their educational goals.

THANK YOU.

Transportation!

Although some of our students attend local schools in Leogane, many of our older students have to travel to Port au Prince for classes if they are enrolled at the university level.  This present many challenges to our students, above and beyond just the cost of transportation: traffic, availability of transportation depending on political or economic issues, the time it takes to get there and back, etc.  In order to give us a better idea of what some of our students face, I asked Lamarre to write up something I could share with all of you:

Education which is the base of development seems difficult for most of Haitian students to acquire. Many reasons explain that, but by emphasizing on Léogâne students’ traffic (transportation) will show us how hard and how costly it is.

Firstly, Léogâne is a town located 36 km (20 miles) West of Port-au-Prince. There you find many young people who are interested to pursue their education, but can’t because of the cost and how difficult the traffic is. The tuition for education is high on the one side and the cost of transportation is high on the other side.  The cost from Léogâne to Port-au-Prince (the station) back and forth is 60 haitian gourde for one day. If the school is far from the Port-au-Prince station, the student will need another 60 haitian gourde to take taxi that gives a total of 120 Haitian gourde for one day. Now  if you take 120 by 5 days of school it’s equal =  600g ht for one week, for 4 weeks of school in the month it should be 600 by 4 equal =2400g ht .It’s  equal about  55.18 us dollars. Now if the school is too far from the Port-au-Prince station, the student can go on foot and will not spend the 60g ht for taxi, the day will cost him/her 60g ht, the week  300g ht and the month 1200g ht which is a total about 27,59 us dollars for one month. Sometimes, if there’s shortage of buses, the price may be increased.

Finally, the traffic from Léogâne to Port-au-Prince is a big hindrance for the students. The cost  of transportation including food for the days, traffic jam make it hard that’s why sometimes Léogâne students miss some days of school because of money. In this case, if the student does not have good support he/she will not be able to pursue his/her education.

Lamarre has been receiving a scholarship from Haiti Scholarships for the last two years, and although we are unable to help cover transportation costs, he always goes above and beyond to make sure he gets to class, pays attention, and excels in his studies.  We are so happy that through your donations, we are able to help students like Lamarre attend school.  And we are so proud of all of our students that rise above and beyond the challenges that are presented to them when obtaining an education.

Photo courtesy of Avery Doninger