In 1965, Salem School opened its doors from within the Bethanie Baptist Church in Desdunes, Haiti, a town that is located one hour from the capital and is home to 27,000 people. Fifty years later in 2006, ownership and management of the school were legally transferred to Eglise Baptiste de la Nouvelle Jerusalem (EBNJ), a church located in Irvington, New Jersey. Over the years, EBNJ continued to support the efforts of the school in the pursuit to offer quality education to the citizens of Desdunes. We were able to expand to a larger location outside the walls of the church building, but still remained within the city of Desdunes. Our goals were to accommodate more children from the region and provide an improved space to educate the youths without regard to gender, ability to pay or religious affiliations. Since 2006, the Salem School has continued to provide high caliber education to the children of Desdunes. The student body has successfully grown from forty-seven students in 2006, to one hundred and seventy-six students today. Education is an invaluable opportunity which allows the students to take responsibility for their future, contribute to their community and create a productive life. At EBNJ, we are proud to report that our students have a 99% passing rate on the Certificat, a national exam taken before students are able to progress to the upper level schools.
EBNJ is committed to educating every child who is enrolled in the Salem School from preschool to 6th grade. It costs $150 a year to educate a child. In addition to the educational funds, teachers must be paid and the building must be maintained. Haitian parents understand the importance of an education and appreciate the impact that it can have on their children’s lives. Nevertheless, most of our parents can barely feed their families and education costs are a hardship that most feel cannot be surmounted. We, at EBNJ, however, are committed to overcoming this barrier one child at a time by providing tuition scholarship and free uniforms for all of our students. As a 501(c)(3) organization, our resources are severely limited. Our pictures depict how EBNJ is honoring its commitment to each child. Ensuring that the funds from our donors are correctly appropriated is of utmost importance. We are incredibly thankful for the financial gifts and the efforts of our volunteers.
Since 2006, we have built six (6) classrooms.
We purchased ten (10) computers and now have a computer lab for the use of our students.
We purchased a generator for electricity.
Three (3) of our board members conducted a site visit from the U.S. to Desdunes, Haiti, for one week from February 27th to March 5th, 2015 (Click here to see visit photos). What they have found necessitate this appeal to you for assistance and partnership.
Safety: we must construct a safety rail on the second floor of the building.
Construction: we require two (2) additional classrooms to provide optimal space for the students in each grade.
Sanitation: all of the toilets have to be replaced.
School Supplies: Currently there is a lack of supplies for both teachers and students. We are in dire need of basic school supplies. EBNJ wants each child to start the school year with a backpack, pen, pencil, pencil case, notebook, eraser and pencil sharpener. In additional, we need to provide each of the 7 teachers with basic tools like chalk, rulers, construction paper, crayons, glue sticks, blunt tip scissors, tape, staplers, staples, protractors, dry-erase boards.
Library – We are seeking donations of elementary to middle school books in French because we want each child to read at least one (1) book a year.
Sponsors – $125 a year per child will provide the costs for education, uniforms and a portion of a teacher’s salary. Additionally, we need to provide shoes to some of our students.
We will apply 100% of your donations directly on our mission to sustain and support education in Ecole Salem, Desdunes, Haiti.
As you can see, we have achieved success and have an ambitious set of projects lined up for 2015-2016. Our ability to act on these projects depends on financial support from you. To quote President Nelson Mandela: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”. EBNJ aims through Ecole Salem to educate a child one at a time.