Baptist school and orphanage open in Haiti

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A building housing a school for 200 preschool, kindergarten and primary students and an orphanage for 50 children was officially opened and dedicated in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on January 7.

Facilities are being put in place for conductive education and development for 10-20 disabled children. In addition, there will be vocational training for 100 young people in information technology, culinary arts and coking, sewing and tailoring, and in English language. There is also a chapel and conference center.

The complex, named “Source of Light,” cost approximately US$1.5 million to construct. The majority of the funds were provided by the Baptist World Alliance through its relief and development arm, Baptist World Aid (BWAid). Other contributions came from the Virginia Baptist Mission Board (VBMB). Hungarian Baptist Aid (HBAid) supervised the construction in association with the Haiti Baptist Convention (HBC), which owns the complex.

“This was the fulfillment of a dream that brought about many years of prayer and planning,” said BWAid Director, Paul Montacute, who officially handed the keys of the complex to Eugene Gideon, president of the HBC. “It took the earthquake to bring all the ideas together,” he said.

Source of Light meet an urgent need for schools in Haiti’s capital as approximately 90 percent of the schools in and around Port-au-Prince were either severely damaged or destroyed by the January 12, 2010, earthquake. The building was constructed on lands that were already owned by the HBC before the quake and is located in Delmas 19, one of the more depressed areas of Port-au-Prince.

Representatives from the VBMB, HBC and HBAid, as well as Jean Gael, deputy mayor of the Delmas City Council, also participated in the dedication service.