2018-19 World Understanding Project: TEACH TOO

As of January 1, 2020 $‭52,169.75‬ has been raised for Project TEACH TOO!

TEACH TOO World Understanding Project Update March 2021

By Rachel Shankles, International World Understanding Committee Chairman 2019-2021

The project selected by the membership was also set at Imagine Missions in Despinos, Haiti. This project was meant to provide eight transition homes for older teens who needed to finish their education and learn a trade while being mentored by the staff. They would not stay longer than two years in the housing, which was needed because students must exit public education at 16 and many don’t go to upper grades because they must work.

The project has faced many challenges. Due to the closure of the port because of rioting and political unrest in the area of Port Au Prince, the eight safety homes could not be shipped there, so Melissa Young, who is still the director, asked to change the project to build the homes locally using local labor. Two homes were built before political unrest came directly into the community of the mission with "stop work” orders for teachers and construction workers.  The project was changed again when school and work resumed so that the two buildings finished would become classrooms for a professional school complex. This coincided with the mission no longer being a residential school. But the unrest caused more closings for different lengths of time.

Then COVID-19 hit Haiti very hard. Eventually inflation and food shortages were going to force the closure of the mission school. Melissa asked the International Executive Board if she could use the rest of the grant to pay her teachers. This was granted. The professional school remains unfinished at the moment. But AΔK’s grant is keeping the school we built open and thriving with more than 400 students in attendance. This may seem disappointing, but think of all the students getting to complete their 13-year education and pass their exams for chances to go to the university. Alpha Delta Kappa has touched many lives through education in Haiti.

Changing Lives - Creating Hope video from 2020 Regional Conference

Changes to the TEACH TOO World Understanding Project

By Sandy Wolfe, Chairman of the International Executive Board
Information Shared by Melissa Young, Director of Imagine Missions

Due to several months of political unrest and rioting in Haiti, the TEACH TOO Project came to a halt shortly after the first two homes were built.  The school was closed for safety reasons and in December Melissa made a trip to Haiti. All of the parents were able to attend a meeting at the orphanage and the children were reunited with family members. Many of the “orphans” were children who had been given up by their families to the orphanage so they could receive an education. There are only three “true” orphans who received placement.

Before school reopened, Imagine Missions conducted research on the best orphan care around the world. Their research showed the best possible environment for children to grow up to be successful individuals was in a family, their own family if possible. Imagine Missions was able to partner with Haiti Mama, an organization that specializes in reunification. 

Imagine Missions wants to make the shift to offering the families social services to help them keep their children at home. Imagine Missions will continue to provide free schooling, transportation to and from school, a free meal at school, free trade school, medical and parenting support classes. 

So how does that impact TEACH TOO? Melissa said, ”We would like to turn the TEACH TOO building project into a professional school. The two homes that have already been built would be the administration offices and then with the money we have left we would construct 10 to 12 additional classrooms and put up the security wall around the building. We would run classes 6 days a week, 3 days for our young adults and 3 days for job training for our parents. The trades being offered would include sewing, electrical training, plumbing, tiling, mechanics, barbering, beautician, metal art, jewelry making, computers and carpentry. It would become life-giving education for hundreds of people.”

Melissa shared an update on the political situation in Haiti with the International Executive Board (IEB) via GoToMeeting in January and presented the revised proposal and extensive documentation to the IEB in February at a second GoToMeeting. The International Executive Board approved the revised proposal on February 18, 2020.


Staff and Students

One of the new buildings

TEACH TOO requests grant funds to construct transitional housing for 48 older teens to enable them to finish their education and learn an occupation. According to Haitian law, children residing in licensed orphanages cannot remain after the age of 18. As a result, older students have had to leave the Imagine Missions orphanage without the skills or abilities required to be independent and successful. Transitional housing with occupancy limited to two years or less enables these students to finish their most important goal—completing their education. Imagine Missions will mentor these students and assist them throughout this process.  Imagine Missions

Mock up of the Sukup Safe T Dormitory Homes to be built in Haiti

Dedication in Haiti - March 2018