Making Strides in Haiti

In early March, I traveled to Jeremie, Haiti with volunteer Helen Heddens (her first trip to Haiti!) to see the construction progress on the new building for the St. Francis School of Technology (SFST). We also had the pleasure of sitting in on presentations by SFST third year students. I last visited Jeremie two years ago and it was great to see progress in so many areas.

The building project is impressive! It’s amazing to see the size and scope of the project in person and to feel the anticipation of the staff and students who are awaiting its opening in the fall of 2018. Here are a few facts about the building and the programs that will operate at the site:

• 22,000 square feet of space for six classrooms, two labs, a business center, a network operations center and a large auditorium for
training and conferences. At times, up to 80 workers per day provided support for construction of the building.
• Cyber cafe for staff and students.
• Kitchen & food service for staff, students and teachers.
• Tracks of study in programming & Microsoft network server, instruction in basic business principles and French & English language
• Post-graduate support to alumni by providing guidance as they seek employment.

SFST Student Presentations
The students were charged with creating a website that could function as a marketing tool for SFST and the community at-large. There were four teams of students who presented four different sections of the website. Each team had 15 minutes to complete their presentation and then be available for comments and feedback. Two SFST students volunteered as interpreters for the teams. The team presentations were in the following areas:

• St. Francis School of Technology – website design and database
• St. Francis School of Technology – business area of the website
• Logistics – inventory, supplies and usage database website
• Jeremie/Grand Anse tourism website

The students were excited and well-prepared to present their material to the class, staff and visitors who were present. The audience applauded each team for their efforts and creativity on the project. Tek4Kids founders Gary and Cathy Boice and other T4K staff and volunteers were present to offer their encouragement and feedback to each of the teams for their work. Second year students from SFST were also invited to observe the presentations so they would have an idea of what will be expected of them next year with their required presentations.

It feels good to be a member of the T4K team and I am grateful for the opportunity to see firsthand the development and growth we have experienced. I appreciate the work of our dedicated Tek4Kids staff and teachers in providing electricity, purified water and technology education to the students at our partner schools and SFST.

I look forward to my next trip this fall for the ribbon-cutting ceremony at SFST!

— Toni Mudd, Tek4Kids Outreach Director

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