Vision

...hope for their future through loving care, food, clean water, shelter, clothing, and physical / spiritual / vocational training.

Come and Visit!!

Interested in visiting the Children's Village?  A process is required and we'd love to help you!  Click here to email our Okipe liaison on the island and learn more.

Video News
Okipe Introduction Video CLICK ON WHITE TRIANGLE TO PLAY VIDEO

 



Okipe Greeting Cards - for sale!

Hot off the press! Hand made greeting cards crafted by the beautiful kids living at the Children's Village. Packages come in sets of 10. Order yours today! More information...


Monday
Jul212014

Time to Celebrate

We have had 32 new donors Join the Village since the start of this calendar year! With the new contributions and the continued giving from all of our donors, we have been able to increase the monthly amount given to Mme. Soliette from $9,600 to $10,200! This is great news!!


This brings us closer to the needed amount of $12,000 each month, but we are still not there yet. The next big goal for us to hit is to be able to increase to $10,800 by October 1, 2014. This means we need to raise an additional $600 in monthly support in the next 10 weeks in order to achieve this benchmark.

All we need is for 60 NEW people to commit to $10 per month. That's only $0.33 a day.

Are you already giving?? Can you help us find five people to sign up for $10 per month?

It's fast, it's easy, it's changing lives!!

Click HERE to sign up today!!

Wednesday
Jul162014

Professional Development Workshop

Last week, we had the opportunity to hold a professional development workshop for the professors at the Jesus Home for Children of La Gonave. In 2012, shortly after Okipe started, we asked the professors if they would be interested in any workshops or training. Almost all of them said no. Now that we have established a relationship and respect with the teachers, they are asking for more training! This just goes to show how important long lasting relationships within this co-op! Each day, we build more and more trust and respect with everyone involved in the Children's Village.

For this particular workshop, we focused on a couple things. We taught the professors about different learning styles and how some children learn best by listening, some by seeing and some by doing. All of us learn with a little of each style, but in Haiti, a majority of teaching comes through auditory and visual styles. Many people learn best when they are able to DO. Our brains remember information if we are able to practice concepts in all three learning styles.

The first day, we started with each teacher and presenter making a name map to introduce themselves and some things about them. This helped to break the ice, get to know each other, and also to give the professors an idea of something they could use in their own class.

Here, the professors are learning the importance of kinesthetic (active) learning. We were quick to show them that not only did they remember the concept better when taught this way, they also all had a lot of FUN! We made sure to remind them that it's okay (and good) to have fun in school!


The second day, we talked a lot about lesson planning. We were happy to see that the teachers were already doing lesson plans, but that they were copying a lot word for word from the book into their plans. We showed them ways to save time in writing their lesson plans while still keeping all the information that the government requires them to have. We showed them that while they are able to save time lesson planning this way, it will give them more time to creatively think of new ways to teach different topics. We encouraged them to try to add one new idea in each learning style to their plans every day.  

We were able to give the teachers new plan books which will help the teachers to save time when writing their lesson plans. We practiced together as a group, in pairs or small group and then each teacher did one lesson plan on their own - making sure to incorporate new ideas that they were learning. It was so great to see the positive responses from the teachers! We have agreed to try this new planning for the first two months of school. Then, we will re-evaluate and see if it is something to move forward with, or if we need to make some changes.

Day 3 - Ann and Chrissy brought a bunch of materials with them to show the teachers. On the third day, we put the materials on the table and gave the teachers some time to look at it and play with it. They were overwhelmed at first with all the possibilities, but after they had some time to think, they came up with some great ideas of how to incorporate some of the materials in their lessons!

We gave them LOTS of ideas. However, it will take time for them to get used to using these new manipulatives in their lessons as it is a completely different way of teaching than they are used to. We showed them how something as simple as a ball can be used in SO MANY different ways - counting, spelling, syllables, months of the year, answering questions, etc...

I just LOVED all the smiles we saw throughout the workshop!!!

And while the teachers worked on coming up with new ideas on how to use these new materials, Ann decided to give some Haitian living a try :)

And Morgan too!

We showed the teachers how to create game boards that could be used for any subject. These teachers are playing a game that they just created. Some spaces had questions related to the subject while others were just silly - like jump or dance...

...and when one person landed on DANCE, they thought it was hysterical!! I love that they were creative enough to add a JUMP and DANCE space to their game!

We had a great time and for our first teacher training held at the Children's Village, I believe we had success! All of the teachers left with new items that they had created for their classroom. At the end of the workshop, they were very thankful and asked for more training! What a complete turn around from two years ago! This is a great group of teachers who love what they do and are willing to do what it takes to give the kids at the children's village a great education!

Before Ann and Chrissy left, they made sure to organize the shelves with all of the new supplies that the teachers have available to use in their classrooms. Only time will tell, but we are hopeful that these materials will be used in great ways to help the children learn. With the interest in learning, I'm sure we'll have more teacher training in the future!! If you're interested in helping with a workshop for our teachers, feel free to email Ann, our Education Task Force leader!

Wednesday
May212014

Scouting Curriculum

We had heard about a new curriculum that was being developed for preschool through 4th grade. This curriculum followed the government curriculum, but also integrated faith based principles and hands on learning. Along with purchasing the curriculum, teachers would be given a three day teacher training to make sure they knew best how to teach the children using the new curriculum. 

So, last week, the Director of Education, Marcelin Richeleu, our sixth grade teacher, Freneau Louissaint and Mr. Bee and I took a trip to the mainland to check it out.  After crossing over on the ferry, very early in the morning, we arrived and found ourselves a "tap-tap." These are Haitian taxi's made out of little trucks.

They squeeze into this small space and when you think you're full, there's always room for one more! :)

We rode for about 30 minutes to a well known mission organization who have been in Haiti for decades. It was interesting to see another school and compound and how they had grown over the years. We were ushered into the Education offices and sat and waited for the Director of Education.

After we talked for just a bit about the curriculum, the guys asked a few good questions and we were given the price list. We also had a chance to look over the teacher book and kindergarten workbook. Overall, for the price and quality, we decided that it was not worth the money. We will just invest more into training our teachers with better teaching strategies.

After we left the school, we started walking back towards the boat dock until a taxi came to pick us up. We grabbed a little food and a drink and then got back on the ferry to cross back to the island.

 

If nothing else, this created some good bonding time for us :) We are excited about one other curriculum and school that we will be visiting here on the island. They teach through fourth grade in Haiti's "mother tongue" - Creole. Most children speak Creole and very few know any French when they come to school. However, a lot of Haitians believe that it is best to teach in French because it is a "superior" language. As you can imagine, this leads to learning difficulties because the children are being taught in a language that they do not comprehend. 

This school also has many different teaching strategies that we are excited for our teachers to explore! We will be making a trip in the next month to visit this other school.

If you are interested in being involved with the Education Taskforce, please click HERE for more information.