Yahve Shamma Village is a community development initiative of Help
One Now. It serves as home for 30 orphaned children in Pétionville,
Haiti, and Yahve Shamma Village is also a community hub for the area, investing in future
generations through education and development.
January of 2010, a devastating earthquake shattered the nation of
Haiti, destroying buildings, homes, families and lives. An estimated
250,000+ lives were lost during this tragedy and over 2.3 million people
were left displaced. The capital city of Port au Prince, perhaps the
most fragile city in the world, lay in ruins.
This hit home for
Pastor Gaétan Alcégaire, a minister, community leader and the director
of Yahve Shamma Children's Home in Pétionville. Gaétan lost his brother
and many members of his church when the earth shook. However, this
tragedy did not halt his desire and passion for his people and
community. In fact, after the earthquake, Gaétan and his wife, who were
already caring for 14 children, took in 16 more children, orphaned as a
result the earthquake. With their home badly damaged, Gaétan and his
wife housed the children under two tarps. The boys slept under one, the girls slept under the other, and he and his wife slept between them to
keep watch. During this time, Pastor Gaétan and Help One Now connected
and a new friendship and partnership began.
One Now initially partnered with Yahve Shamma Children's Home in 2010
through a Child Sponsorship Program geared toward meeting the needs of
each and every child at the home. Through this sponsorship, the basic
needs of food, clean water, and clothing were met for the children. Over
the course of 3 years, funds were raised through Garage Sales for
Orphans to build safe and secure bunk homes for the children, a clean
water well, a playground, new bathroom facilities and more. With the
burden of caring for basic needs and shelter met, Pastor Gaétan was able
to dedicate his time and resources toward educating the children, as he
viewed education as a powerful living entity that would transform the
future generation. Gaétan immediately gathered all the supplies he could
and constructed a five-room tent school in 2011. The school served not
only the 30 orphans at Yahve Shamma, but also paved a way for over 150
vulnerable children within the surrounding community to have access to
education. Such drive motivated Help One Now to initiate and launch its
first Legacy Project Campaign in 2012 to build a larger permanent school
at Yahve Shamma.
"It makes us very sad to know that some kids
have the desire to learn and better themselves, but they are forced to
stay at home because of financial problems. I feel like their
creativity, passions and ambitions are being robbed from them. We want
to be able to offer an adequate and well-balanced education to these
children. This is our hope!"
-- Gaétan Alcégaire
fall of 2012, fundraising for our first Legacy Project began. With funds
procured, building began early 2013, and by October, Williamson Adrien
Academy (a two story, 14 classroom school house) officially opened.
Where a tent-like structure of tarp and poles once stood, an impressive
building now stands. Where volunteer teachers and 150 kids once met
subject to the elements, over 300 students and 17 certified teachers now
meet in a safe learning environment. The building is complete, but the
story--the LEGACY--is just beginning. Over time, thousands of Haiti's
children will receive a good education at this school. Education today.
Rooted in deep friendship
and partnership with local leader Gaétan Alcégaire, evident growth and
development continues at Yahve Shamma Village and in the surrounding
community. Every opportunity to advance in developing the local
community is taken, as each project enables community member engagement
through job creation and employment. Furthermore, over 300 kids from the
community are currently enrolled at the school and the 30 orphans at
Yahve Shamma are thriving in their everyday lives.
are underway for developing new dormitories to fit the growing needs of
the children. Investment in the success of the school will continue to
ensure that the educational needs of the children and the community are
being fulfilled. And Gaétan is even working to begin his own chicken/egg
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