SUPPORTING LITERACY IN HAITI: WFWP NORFOLK AND WFWP GEORGIA

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Imagine what life would be like if you were illiterate in this day and age. You certainly wouldn’t be able to read this article on your own. It’s something we often don’t even think about, and yet in many parts of the world, people are not afforded the same opportunities to learn as we are. Haiti is a Caribbean nation with a population of more than 10 million people and a literacy rate of just 61% — literacy here is defined as the ability to read and write at age 15 and older (CIA Factbook). Imagine then what a blessing a library or school would be to children that have never owned a single book.

It was with a sincere desire to help such children that WFWP Norfolk Chairwoman Claire Daugherty recently organized a drive to collect school supplies and send them to two schools in Haiti.

Since 2005, Claire and her husband Pastor Levy Daugherty, who is serving as interim pastor at the Georgia Family Community Center, have run a non-profit foundation called the Kingmaker Family Foundation. Kingmaker works in developing nations with a special focus on Haiti, and their primary mission is to provide support for the education of young people.

They have partnered with Haitian nongovernmental organizations to provide a youth center with a library, clean water and solar powered lighting, among other projects. Every year since 2013, Kingmaker and the WFWP Norfolk chapter have provided school supplies to the Nouvelle Creation Primary and Secondary School, which is run by Rev. Aniot Regulus.

The Rose McCormick Memorial Library

The Rose McCormick Memorial Library

While the supplies are usually shipped to Haiti and distributed on the ground by local WFWP representative Fujiko Paul, this time the opportunity arose to give them directly to Rev. Jules Bernard Regulus, Rev. Aniot’s brother, who also managed a school of his own. Thus, WFWP Norfolk and the Kingmaker Family Foundation collaborated together with community members in Atlanta, Georgia to gather about 70 pounds of school supplies in a week, so that they could be packed up in time for Rev. Regulus to take them back to Haiti for both his and his brother’s schools.

To adhere with airline regulations, the two bags were packed and repacked several times to keep each bag under 50 pounds; volunteers mixed clothes and school supplies and repeatedly weighed them on a bathroom scale until everything fit.

None of this would have been possible without the generosity of the members of the Georgia WFWP chapter and Georgia Family Community Center who donated supplies and helped pack them, and big thanks in particular to Esther Ntumba, who matched the Kingmaker Foundation’s grant and volunteered to be Rev. Regulus’ personal chauffeur. She even drove him to the airport at 3 o’clock in the morning!

WFWP Women's Literacy Center in Haiti

WFWP Women's Literacy Center in Haiti

But this was not the end. The drive continued in Norfolk for two facilities in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and an even bigger amount was collected. In mid-August, the donated reading glasses and writing supplies will be sent to the WFWP Adult Women’s Literacy Center, and school supplies as well as art and craft supplies are going to the WFWP youth center that houses the Rose McCormick Memorial Library. If you would like to make a donation to help with shipping and customs duty, please visit thekingmakerfoundation.org.

It is not only school supplies but also books that are needed. One book with shipping might cost as little as $25 but will be enjoyed for years by countless kids. Make a lasting impact on an impoverished child's life with access to books.

Packing school supplies

Packing school supplies