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10, 2012 Why Faith-based Education Will Raise a Generation of Haitian Leaders By Allison Fionda Haiti is ranked 149th out of 177 countries on the 2007 United Nations Human Development Index. The Human Development Index takes factors like access to education, jobs and nutrition into account. Haiti also has a very low literacy rate for the general population, which was reported at 45 percent in 2010. Comparatively, the United States has a 99 percent literacy rate, according the CIA World Factbook. Giving children in Haiti an education has the power to change these things. An education can provide a whole generation of Haitian children with the skills and knowledge necessary to get respectable jobs. Around the Mission of Hope (MOH) area alone there are 17,000 children that will never have the opportunity to attend school. This is due to two main causes: lack of public education and lack of money. Haiti currently does not have a free public school system. Because of this, several parents are unable to send their children to school due to the high costs. At MOH, we look to provide an education that is free to parents through sponsorships from the United States. Sponsorships are given to children in the community that are in the most need. In 2008, Haiti was hit by a magnitude 7.0 earthquake that killed over 200,000 people. This earthquake was devastating to everyone in Haiti, and it increased the number of children living without parents. Today over 400,000 children are orphans in Haiti. Orphans typically lack access to education because they have no means to pay for it. Haiti has had a long history of struggling economically, and at MOH we want to educate a new generation of leaders who can go into the Haitian community to change the future of the country. At MOH, we believe that the power of Jesus Christ is necessary to change the future of this nation. That is why our school is using a faith-based curriculum. The name of the curriculum is “Mwen Kapab,” which means “I Can” in Haitian Creole. MOH empowers kids with the power of Jesus Christ through an accessible education. Joan Martineau, the creator of the Mwen Kapab curriculum says the desired effect of this education system is to “change this mindset to the truth that in Jesus Christ I can do all things…I can (Mwen kapab) learn to read, write, do math, etc. I can become a child of God who can change my community because I have truth and light!” This curriculum is both academically excellent and Biblically integrated. Mwen Kapab is being put into place practically through two main facets: the MOH primary school and the MOH technical school. The primary school gives students a fundamental education base, while the technical school prepares students to enter the workforce after graduation. A Christ-centered curriculum is something very different to the Haitian community, where Voodoo is widely practiced. Even though several parents may not agree with the religious affiliation, the curriculum being taught in Mission of Hope schools meets all government requirements. Students that

graduate from the School of Hope will be completely prepared to get a job in Haiti. Although the religious affiliation may not be ideal for some parents, a free education is not available through any other organization in Haiti. By sending their children to School of Hope, entire families can be exposed to the life-changing power of Jesus Christ. The ultimate goal of the Mwen Kapab curriculum is to produce prepared, skilled, motivated, and responsible Haitian Christian young men and women. Haiti requires all students to take government standardized tests, and MOH schools prepare students for these exams by meeting all government standards for education. Mwen Kapab makes this possible through fully integrating the power of Jesus Christ into the kindergarten through high school curriculum. ###