[Blackstudies-l] Please contribute to Friends of Borgne to support Haitian Schools even if you cannot go to the potluck

Maria Lima lima at geneseo.edu
Sun Oct 21 06:34:09 EDT 2018

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Honeoye Falls-Haiti partnership sees first graduate

There isn’t space for all the students who attend Lekol Communautaire
Jericho de Pechot, a school in rural Haiti. So half of the students attend
class in a nearby church. The principal, Ronel Jean, runs back and forth
between the two buildings.

Jean makes those runs after having risen early and walked 45 minutes from
his home to spend the morning teaching at a public school that hasn’t paid
him in 21 months. Sadly, it is not uncommon for Haiti’s public school
teachers to go long periods without pay.

On weekends Jean travels to Cap Haitian, to attend classes toward a
certification in pedagogy. He hopes to eventually receive back p! ay from
his work at the public school so that he can put the money toward a new
building for Lekol Communautaire Jericho de Pechot.

"His dedication to the education of children astounds me," said Sarah
Brownell, a Rochester Institute of Technology lecturer and founding member
of Friends of Borgne.

Friends of Borgne is a Honeoye Fallsbased nonprofit that is celebrating 10
years of support for schools and other projects in and around Borgne, which
is a sister city of Honeoye Falls. Borgne is a small town on the north
coast of Haiti. Its people are rich in culture and spirit, but very poor in
resources. As a result, many face difficult choices.

School tuition can cost between $20 and $100 per year for elementary school
and up to $250 for high school. It is common for families to have to choose
one! child to educate, often the oldest or most promising son. You! ng
women and those from extremely poor families find their educational
opportunities very limited.

For the past 10 years, Friends of Borgne has provided scholarships,
backpacks, band instruments, meals and other support so that children
without means can develop their potential. The support began when a food
crisis struck

See HONEOYE, Page *4A*

Erica Bryant

Columnist Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

Ronel Jean founded Lekol Communautaire Jericho de Pechot, a school in rural
Haiti. The school is supported by Friends of Borgne, a Honeoye Falls-based
non-profit organization. PROVIDED PHOTO



Continued from Page 2A

Haiti in 2008, and the price of rice doubled in less than two months.
People who had been able to afford their children’s’ tuition could no
longer even afford to feed them.

People in Honeoye Falls didn’t have much control over the global trade
policies that were crushing their sister city. They couldn’t change the
fact that the stock market crash led many pension programs to invest in
commodities, driving the cost of rice up. Or the fact that many farmers
lost their livelihoods when the United States forced Haiti to drop tariffs
on imported rice and they could not compete with the flood of cheap foreign
food. Former President Bill Clinton has since apologized for his role in
forcing Haiti to accept what he now calls a "devil’s bargain" that failed
to lift the country out of poverty as promised and l! eft Haiti’s people
dependent on foreign food with insecure prices.

But people in Honeoye Falls could raise money for scholarships, meals for
students and other support, and have done so for the past 10 years. Friends
of Borgne saw its first scholarship student graduate from high school this
year. Her name is Dieunise Louis.

Friends of Borgne is hosting a "Crockpot Craze" fundraiser on Sunday
afternoon, to raise money to pay for meals for this year’s scholarship
students. It would also like to buy more books for the traveling library it
supports. This librarian walks through hills near Borgne, bringing the
people books on the back of a donkey. He has been using the same books for
the past seven years and would like to expand offerings to include several
copies of books including Lekol Medam Yo, a book about ! a women’s school,
18th Me, a book about Haitian Flag Day and Atis Ayisyen , a book about
Haitian art.

Friends of Borgne also supports a marching band and is requesting donations
of clarinet reeds, which are hard to purchase in Haiti. Donations of sturdy
backpacks are also appreciated.

Friends of Borgne’s "Crockpot Craze Football and Food Fundraiser" will take
place from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 21, at the Mendon Community Center
at 167 N. Main St. in Honeoye Falls. There will be chili, soups, stews,
desserts and an a handmade afghan raffle.The Bills versus Colts football
game will be on. The cost is $10 for adults and $5 for kids. All funds go
directly to support schools like Lekol Communautaire Jericho de ! Pechot
and young people like Dieunise.

Erica Bryant is the Pay-It-Forward columnist. Contact her at
ebryant at gannett. com.

Ronel Jean and his family. Jean works without pay at one school in Haiti
and has founded another. "His dedication to the education of children
astounds me," said Sarah Brownell, a Rochester Institute of Technology
lecturer and founding member of Friends of Borgne. PROVIDED PHOTO

A photo of Dieunise Louise as a young girl. She is the first Friends of
Borgne scholarship recipient to graduate from high school. PROVIDED PHOTO

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