Roughly half of the children in all of Haiti have no opportunity for education, and in the region around Tricotte it was much worse than that. There were literally thousands of children with no school to attend! In 2000, we sensed God’s call to expand our educational ministry beyond the walls of the orphanage. Currently, our staff members Sernio and Duvigno work as administrators for 5 elementary schools and 2 high schools in the villages of Tricotte, Ti David, Morne Chaise, Belair and Pommier. Starfish provides classrooms, teachers, textbooks and uniforms to each student through our school sponsorship program ($30-100/month depending on education level). This is a great opportunity to share Jesus Christ with these students and also opens the door to reach out to their parents!
With the help of Feed My Starving Children and Food for the Poor, we also supply a hot, nutritionally balanced meal to every child in our school program five days per week. As food supply allows, Starfish provides meals to additional schools in need as well. There’s an African proverb that says, “A hungry stomach has no ears,” and that became abundantly clear to us early in our experience at the school in Ravine. These children were perhaps even more underfed than those in other villages, and this had a significant impact on their ability to learn. So Starfish Ministries instituted a feeding program at the school in October, 2001. The results were dramatic. Under-nourished, despondent children became happy, energetic, eager-to-learn students. The program was so successful that in February, 2002, it became standard at every Starfish Ministries school.