Education has been and continues to be a major mission and ministry of the Eglise Methodiste of Haiti. (EMH) Over the past 15 years mission teams from around the world have provided the funds for Methodist schools in Haiti. The area of the Grande A'nse where Jeremie is located has the most schools. There are 40 schools serving approximately 5000 students and 250 classroom teachers.
The Eglise Methodist church has never been able to fully support their schools. In several areas of the country, schools are partially supported by organizations and missions from outside of the country. In addition, a small amount of tuition is charged per student and families must purchase uniforms and books.
In the recent past UMCOR has had an Advance Special, that fund has paid over 1 million dollars on two occasions to bring the teacher’s salaries up to date. That fund no longer raises enough money to support the teachers' salaries.
The Grand Anse area was devastated by Hurricane Matthew in October of 2016. Many families are still without safe water, or protected housing. Parents are not able to pay the fees for school, therefore many schools have very limited resources and the teachers are not paid. Some schools have teachers who have not been paid in over 14 months.
Paying the teachers was difficult before the Hurricane, and Partners from around the world have been asking EMH to purpose some sustainable solutions for this critical issue. Last year a proposal was developed by Edzaire Paul, Director of the Bureau of Education for EMH, to build bakeries in 6 Circuits in Haiti. The first bakery was proposed for the Jeremie Circuit to be located in Gebeau. The only purpose for the bakeries is to support teacher salaries and pensions.
It is believed that the bakery will be self supporting after one year, and within two years the bakery will contribute up to 50% of the teachers salaries.
How refreshing it has been to receive a request for funds for something that is an investment in the community and will produce revenue. It goes without saying that EMH does not have adequate funds to build, equip and staff the bakeries. especially in the Grand Anse.
Start up costs for the bakery in Gebeau are $30,500.
The most pressing needs are:
Hook up electricity $750.
Furniture for administrator's office $750.
Equipment and training $14,500.
EMH has generously paid for the renovations and repairs for the building. ($10,000.)
Don't you think flour, gooey dough and teenagers would make for a fun time!
BREAD FOR BREAD
Grosse Pointe United Methodist Church will be having a one-time, youth-led fundraising event to help fund the costs for the bakery. The GPUMC youth group has agreed to bake bread during an all night lock-in the night of Saturday, April 21 and to sell the fresh loaves of bread after the Sunday service.. Their goal is to sell 25 loaves of bread at $10 each for a total of $250.
They cordially invite all congregations to participate in this fun fundraising event and would like to share their experience with your youth groups. They think it would be terrific if several other youth groups did it the same night and then, possibly, create a Google Hangout or Facebook Livestream to interact with each other.
Robert Rossbach and associate pastor, Keith Lenard are leading up the event. If this idea interests you, please contact them, and forward the message to whoever in your congregation might be involved. It is suggested you have your youth leadership team contact Pastor Keith directly, Keith's email is email@example.com and his phone: 313-886-2363
Contributions towards the bakery project can be made by clicking on the DONATE button above. Thank you for your generosity