Haiti (MNN) — Flooding in Pakistan. A tsunami in Japan. Tornadoes in the United States. There has been an abundance of natural disasters over the last year–so much so, in fact, that it's easy to forget about one that was burned into our minds just 16 months ago.
Haiti is slowly picking up the pieces from the January 2010 earthquake that took thousands of lives and homes.
Megan Nykyforchyn-Clark says World Hope International has been actively involved in education and healthcare in Haiti for years and has taken on various parts of the rebuild process. The ministry provides sponsorship for several children in Cite Soleil. World Hope is beginning the rebuild process in June for the kids' primary school, which was demolished in the quake.
The need for school rebuild is particularly great. "Nearly 80 percent of the schools in areas impacted by the earthquake were destroyed." Nykyforchyn-Clark notes, "Even prior to the earthquake, only 50% of children had the opportunity to go to school."
The school in Cite Soleil currently is still meeting under a tarp.
What most would consider basic shelter remains a luxury in the area. Because so many homes were destroyed in an already impoverished community, hundreds of families are still living in tents.
"Some have been able to move back inside, but many have not," explains Nykyforchyn-Clark. "So this will literally be the only permanent structure that many of the kids are in each day."
The building will provide hope to children as well as to the community, which will be able to use the earthquake-secure structure to meet safely. The area has a history of crime, but has calmed down over the last few years. World Hope wants that peace to continue.
Even more significant hope will come in the continued godly teaching of the Christian teachers at the school. "We make sure that children not only get a good formal education but also hear about who Jesus is and how He cares about them in their circumstance," says Nykyforchyn-Clark.
The new, eight-classroom school building–which will be located next to a church–will be built in three phases. World Hope has all they need for phases one and two, but phase three–which will ensure the project wraps up by the end of the summer–still needs funding. $60,000 more is needed to ensure the completion of the building in time for school to begin.
You can donate to this project here, or call World Hope for donor information at 888-466-4673. At worldhope.org, you can explore the ways World Hope has gotten involved in Haiti and donate to this project, which will provide hope and healing for kids and their families, but will also reassure them that they aren't forgotten.
"This construction will show the communities that Christians in North America are wanting to come alongside them, wanting to assist them and provide tangible support for some of their basic needs, including education and a place to worship," says Nykyforchyn-Clark.
"This project will be a real symbol for the community that they have not been forgotten and that we want to see them prosper again."