Orphanage & School
On October 20, 2010, we celebrated the Grand Opening of our orphanage. It was indeed a dream come true. Over 300 people came out to help celebrate. In addition to the people of Hinche, led by the Andre Renard, the mayor of Hinche, we had members of our Board and Advisory Board and other guests from the United States. Our program opened with a march down the main roadway with the people (led by the choirs of the Morique Baptist Church) singing the official song of COHH – Marcher Dans La Lumière (Walk In The Light). The people were welcomed by James L. Lipscomb, Executive Director and Pastor Wisny Geffrard opened with a prayer of thanksgiving.
Construction is complete on the dormitories, administration, volunteer and cafeteria facilities. We can now house up to 50 children in our dormitories and up to 10 volunteers in our volunteer quarters. Our volunteer quarters are equipped with internet service and Direct TV. Our cafeteria and kitchen can accommodate up to 200 people. We expanded the kitchen in anticpation of the 200 children we plan to accommodate in our school. Yet, we are not free of challenges. We are in need of an electrician to review issues that we have with our inverters and batteries and assure that we will have electrical service on a 24x7 basis. After over two years and the digging of 4 dry holes, we have finally been able to find drinkable water on our fifth try at digging a well. We are very grateful to our partners, Haiti Outreach, Inc. for their assistance in digging the well. Prior to that time, we relied upon our ability to capture rain water from our roofs and storage of the water in cisterns. We are grateful to our Director of Field Operations, Dustin Wadley for his leadership in setting up the water capture system.
COHH Elementary School
January 2011, after more than six years of relentless effort, COHH was finally approved as an NGO in Haiti. The approval positioned COHH to begin planning to open its school. In the summer 2011, COHH conducts its first summer school program summer. COHH had 12 children and three teachers going through the paces. It was a learning experience for everyone and very rewarding in the end. A slide show of the Summer School program can be seen at left. It is the intention of COHH to add one or more first grade classes each year. The children will be transitioned to privately run high schools after the 6th grade level.
In October 2011, COHH opened its school with its first class – 15 first grade level children. The curriculum is based upon the curriculum required by the Haiti Department of Education and supplemented to include enhanced learning development program based on US education requirements. Since our school is currently under construction, the first class is being conducted in our multi-purpose building. The classroom has been enhanced to provide a "hands on" learning environment with inter-active learning techniques. A video of the school opening and the children can be seen at left.