Women’s Trade School 2022 Celebration
Reunion of WTS Graduates
With no medical teams traveling to Haiti, there is time to evaluate if Haiti Foundation of Hope is making a difference in the lives of the people in rural northern Haiti where Terre Blanche is located.
The first HFH medical team in February 2006, coincided with the Women’s Trade School’s first graduation. The Women’s Trade School is a national three-year program where women learn skills in sewing, design, cooking, nutrition, early childhood development, decorating, hosting events and more. After three years of instruction and a week-long testing session, each graduate receives a certificate. Since 2006, there have been 99 graduates from the Terre Blanche School and, through the generosity of donors, HFH has gifted each graduate a treadle sewing machine – a tool for life.
First graduates of Women’s Trade School, February 2006.
To assess the value of this program, HFH collaborated with our Haitian partners to hold a reunion for all past graduates to celebrate and obtain information about where they are today. Over 50 women, ages 20 – 63, came to this reunion. These women were delighted to talk about the impact this program has had in their lives.
The surveys revealed some of the following:
- Clairmantia (age 55): “I help my family and others. With the skills from the WTS, I am able to continue to take care of myself, my husband who had a stroke, and my 27 grandchildren.”
- Samantha (age 36): “These skills help me to take care of my kids and others.” Samantha is now an assistant teacher in the school and she has clients as far away as Gonaives. She is a wonderful motivator and has a good reputation in the area.
- Preseline (age 48): “These skills help me to pay school fees for our kids.”
- Likenda (age 26): “I can help take care of my kids and others.”
- Gladise (age 62): “Now I can take care of myself and my family of eight with the skills I got from the trade school in Terre Blanche. Praise the Lord!!!” Gladise is a widow who was told she was too old to go to the trade school in her community. She is so grateful for the opportunity to be welcomed at the trade school in Terre Blanche.
- Claumerne (age 38): Graduated with the first class, has a 12-year old daughter, and is the widow of the former principal of the Terre Blanche school. She is now a principal at the highly respected women’s trade school in Pont Sonde.
- Juillet (age 22): “My education helped me start the education of my little sister and brother.”
- Mylouse (age 28): After completing this program, she went on to the university and is now helping her family and others.
We are thankful for the excellent leadership provided by Mme Elvire, head teacher Mme Alourde, and assistant teacher Mme Samantha. This program would not be possible without the continuity and mentorship these women bring to this program.
Thank you for helping these women by supporting the Women’s Trade School. Please remember to pray for these lovely women. Your donations to this program continue to improve self-sufficiency, bring dignity to women and their families, and give hope in these difficult times in Haiti.
by Linda Markee, HFH Founder Emerita
WTS Leadership Team: (left to right) Mme Alourde, Mme Elvire, Mme Samantha
Six of the original graduates attended the reunion: (left to right) Julie Casar, Elvenia Cius, Roserna Charleus, Claumerne Celestin, Samantha Orivil, Ivanne Phanord