Project Haiti SJU Receives $25,000 Award from Raskob Foundation
Wednesday, June 27, 2018
PHILADELPHIA (June 27, 2018) — Project Haiti SJU, a University-led effort to assist Jesuit-run elementary schools throughout Haiti, received a $25,000 donation from the Raskob Foundation for Catholic Activities Inc. to support their ongoing service.
The grant will allow Saint Joseph’s Project Haiti to print and ship copies of a two-volume civics textbook in French and Haitian Creole for distribution to 17 Foi et Joie Jesuit grammar schools, as well as other Catholic schools on the island. This book, authored by Patrick Samway, S.J., professor emeritus of English, is the only bilingual educational book that exists in Haiti and will be shared with students free of charge.
“Most education in Haiti is repetitive, focused on regurgitating information,” says Fr. Samway, who has made numerous missionary and service trips to Haiti over the past 30 years, helping to nurture and perfect the Foi et Joie schools. “I wrote this textbook to assist students in learning about their history and geography, but it can also be used as a language-teaching resource.”
According to Fr. Samway, many students in Haiti have never seen Haitian Creole written before, nor learned about the articles in their constitution which pertain to them. This textbook will provide countless new avenues through which children will connect with their culture and their politics, becoming active agents in changing their own lives.
The Foi et Joie grammar schools began under the direction of Ambroise Dorino Gabriel, S.J. in Haiti after the country’s 2010 earthquake. It now boasts 17 schools spanning Haiti. The school is formally affiliated with the Latin American Fe y Alegría school system. Both names translate to “Faith and Joy,” in French and Spanish respectively.
In 2012, Project Haiti SJU received another $25,000 grant from the Raskob Foundation to purchase sustainable and reusable science kits for classrooms.