Knoxville donations help to build secondary school in Haiti

Knoxville donations help to build secondary school in Haiti

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The school was built in part with donations from the Knoxville area. The school was built in part with donations from the Knoxville area.
The dedication of the school. The dedication of the school.
"For us, the school is very good because a long time ago our problem is some people are leaving here," said student Calidho Drisulme. "They had a big problem. They didn't find any school, any college school to learn, but thanks to God he sent you here." "For us, the school is very good because a long time ago our problem is some people are leaving here," said student Calidho Drisulme. "They had a big problem. They didn't find any school, any college school to learn, but thanks to God he sent you here."
The two-story concrete building can house the 200 students who go to school there. The two-story concrete building can house the 200 students who go to school there.
"It's very important for this country," said Father DuPortal. "This is a gift from God to send this school to us, because all the people will have access to education." "It's very important for this country," said Father DuPortal. "This is a gift from God to send this school to us, because all the people will have access to education."

By JOSH AULT
6 News Reporter

BOUCAN CARRE, Haiti (WATE) - Donations and an outpouring of support from the Knoxville community brought a new school building to an area that desperately needs the help.

Members of Knoxville church Scared Heart's Haiti Outreach Program traveled to Haiti in 2011 to break ground for a new school in the community of Boucan Carre.

The money to build the school came from donations from people in Knoxville. Construction was complete on June 20, 2013 and the school was dedicated.

Father Michenet DuPortal, the priest in Boucan Carre, spoke to the students before the new school was dedicated.

The new St. Michele secondary school is impressive. The two-story concrete building can house the 200 students who attend the school.
     
"It's very important for this country," said Fr. DuPortal. "This is a gift from God to send this school to us, because all the people will have access to education."

Ben Johnston, the general chairman of the Haiti Outreach Program, traveled to Boucan Carre and spoke at the dedication.

Donations from people in Knoxville, including a large donation from the Knoxville company Xinergy, helped pay the almost $400,000 cost of building the school.

Johnston presented a plaque to Fr. DuPortal with the names of the people who donated. It will be mounted on the outside of the school.

"I would like to give them a hug and tell them I'm sorry they weren't here because their faith and their generosity can only be fully realized in the hi's and smiles of these children," said Johnston.

Johnston says the Haiti Outreach Program works on bringing sustainable programs to Haiti.

"Education, I think, is a sustainable project," said Johnston. "Once you do enough of the education, I think it will be the second and third generations that will create a society here that will provide the tax base and the revenue base to support this school."

Even though building the school was a big accomplishment, there is more to be done. The school is only the first phase of three phases. They want to build two more buildings on the property.

Johnston says seeing the changes in the students here is proof education is key to helping the people here.

"God helped us by sending us a school, so we can learn something," said student Wilford Doizilme, "God will help us be something."

"For us, the school is very good because a long time ago our problem is some people are leaving here," said student Calidho Drisulme. "They had a big problem. They didn't find any school, any college school to learn, but thanks to God he sent you here. You build the school for us."

Johnston says it will be these students who will help Haiti be great one day.

Donations from the Haiti Outreach Program already built a primary school in Boucan Carre.

Another organization, called SELF, which was developed by Microsoft executives, have added solar panels and several computers for each school.

The Haiti Outreach Program also funds the day-to-day operation of the school, including paying teacher salaries.  

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