of $5,000 Raised
classrooms fully funded to protect and educate children
Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields

Thank you for visiting the Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields' Schools Not Slavery page!

We're Schools Not Slavery Partners because we believe every girl and boy deserves to grow up in freedom and in school -- not trapped in slavery.

Your support for Schools Not Slavery helps families who've sent their children away to bring them home and enroll them in a quality school, and your gift helps prevent so many more children from ever being sent away in the first place. Please join us today in supporting this worthy effort.

Below you can read our own partnership reports and see all the good things we were able to help make possible in the school and community we're partnered with.

Then we hope you'll join us in becoming a Schools Not Slavery Partner, and together we can protect and educate even more children in Haiti. Thank you!

September 2016 Partnership Report

Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, your Schools Not Slavery Partnership helped free five children ...

During the last school year, five children trapped in slavery - four girls and one boy - from the community of Chenkontan were found, freed, brought home and are now in school. Your generous Schools Not Slavery Partnership played a critical role in making this possible. Thank you!

Your partnership is also preventing so many more children from ever being sent away in the first place, by increasing access to quality education for rural, impoverished children in Chenkontan, many of whom are among the most at risk of being trafficked to cities as household slaves.

What's school like for the students that you are partnered with at St. Philip and St. Jacques?

Being a student in rural Haiti comes with many challenges, but thanks to your generous Schools Not Slavery partnership, girls and boys at St. Philip and St. Jacques School are getting a quality education. Here's some background on what it's like to be a student at St. Philip and St. Jacques School.

The school is located in Chenkontan, an isolated community on the island of Lagonav (see the Aug. 2016 update below for more about what life is like in Chenkontan).

St. Philip and St. Jacques School is a private, church-run school. It has concrete floors, and there are nine grade levels at the school: preschool through the eighth grade. Students at St. Philip and St. Jacques School have access to clean drinking water at the school and a latrine too.

The school has a permit to operate from the Haitian government and a pedagogical director trained in an understanding of how learning takes place and the philosophy and practice that supports that understanding of learning. St. Philip and St. Jacques also has a school administrator and an active parents' committee.

A new school year begins at St. Philip and St. Jacques.

We're starting a new school year here in Haiti, and we want to share with you the kind of transformation under way in the classrooms at St. Philip and St. Jacques thanks to your generous partnership.

Six steps to creating a stronger, safer St. Philip and St. Jacques School.

Because of your partnership, St. Philip and St. Jacques School is implementing a six-point strategy to boost the capacity of teachers and enhance the learning environment for every student.

Pioneered by our long-time partners at the Matènwa Community Learning Center, the approach is proven to produce reading scores that are nearly three times better than the national average, according to a 2014 MIT study. And thanks to you and generous partners like you, we’re rolling out this approach to all of the 35 schools in our Schools Not Slavery network on the island of Lagonav.

1. Native Language Instruction – An approach to learning in which students are taught in Haitian Creole, the language they speak at home, instead of French – a language they rarely encounter in their daily lives. French is introduced later in the classroom, as a second language.

2. Participatory Approach to Classroom Management – This participatory-based approach is meant to foster intellectual curiosity and critical thinking skills among students. Rather than simply copying, memorizing and parroting back lessons in French, students write their own stories in Haitian Creole about their own lives and share them with each other.

3. Non-Violent Classroom Management – St. Philip and St. Jacques School has been going through a remarkable transformation. Teachers who once understood that the only way their students could learn was through the use of corporal punishment and strict authoritarian rule are now using a non-violent approach to classroom management that teaches students leadership and democracy. The approach gives students the opportunity to practice democracy rather than simply be responsive to authoritarian rule.

4. Textbook Banks– Textbook banks ensure every student has the textbooks they need to be a successful learner. Previously, more than 2,300 students in 11 schools borrowed textbooks through Schools Not Slavery, with the effort now being expanded.

5. Accelerated Education – Students who miss out on starting school at age six either because their parents were too poor to pay tuition fees OR because they were sent away to live with others and work as household servants can catch up on the learning they missed through an Accelerated Education program. The Accelerated Education approach provides over-aged children two years of the national curriculum in a single year.

6. Education Rooted in Rural Life – At St. Philip and St. Jacques School, agriculture is being integrated into almost every aspect of the school curriculum. The video below shows the kind of experimental garden at St. Philip and St. Jacques School that is teaching students agricultural science, mathematics, and improved farming techniques that they can share with their families, like how to produce higher crop yields and minimize the impact of drought and deforestation.

Vegetables grown in the garden are used in daily school meal programs, with excess food sold in the market, helping students learn to manage money. School gardens show students that rural life can be fruitful and productive and that searching for a better life in the big city isn’t their only option.

In this way, your Schools Not Slavery partnership isn't just building a stronger, safer St. Philip and St. Jacques School, it's building a stronger community for every girl and boy in Chenkontan. Thank you for your generosity, care and concern for students in Haiti!

August 2016 Partnership Report

Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, your partnership is helping to build a safer, stronger community for every girl and boy in Chenkontan ...

St. Philip and St. Jacques School, which you are partnered with, is situated in the community of Chenkontan. Because so much of a child's life is shaped by what happens outside the classroom, your support is helping transform the entire community of Chenkontan, making it a healthier, safer, and more hopeful place for children. This report focuses on the impact your support is having for children and their families outside the classroom in the community of Chenkontan. Our next report will focus on progress in the school itself.

... and helps communities like Chenkontan create lasting change.

Instead of simply sponsoring a school, your Schools Not Slavery Partnership is transforming the entire community that the school is a part of, training women and men in Chenkontan to create lasting change for children today and for future generations of girls and boys. 

Here's a look at some of what the people of Chenkontan have been able to do because of your generous partnership:

- Free five additional children from slavery. Your partnership supports ongoing training and formation for the Chenkontan Child Protection Brigade (photo), whose members helped to free five local children - four girls and one boy - from slavery in the school year that just ended and reunite them with their families. These children were integrated into school upon their return home and they and their families are receiving psychosocial support from the Child Protection Brigade to support healing from the trauma the children experienced. Since 2014, the brigade has helped to free 16 local children from household slavery. Equally important, the brigade worked to prevent any other children in Chenkontan from becoming enslaved by continuing to raise awareness among parents of the risks children face when sent away and helping to ensure that at-risk children have access to school and their families have access to community support. Thanks to the support of your partnership, the brigade works to promote the welfare of all children in the community, beyond just child slavery.

For example, brigades regularly intervene in cases of child abuse and neglect, to ensure that children are rescued from abusive households and that those who abuse them are brought to justice. This is only possible because of your help. Through training and technical support offered by Beyond Borders, the Chenkontan Child Protection Brigade has developed considerable expertise in skills and understanding needed for improving the welfare of children in the community and reducing the risks they face of sexual and physical violence. Aside from training, the brigade also receives regular support visits (at least once or twice per month) from Beyond Borders staff.

As of July 2016, 285 women and men from Chenkontan have graduated from the six-month Beyond Borders' Child Rights Training that your partnership makes possible. The Child Protection Brigade is committed to engaging the entire community in the struggle to protect and better care for children. As part of this effort they hosted representatives from the Beyond Borders Adult Survivors of Child Slavery Network at a large community gathering in April. The aim of the gathering was to highlight the vital role adult survivors in the community can play in combating child slavery, to help remove the stigma survivors often feel, which prevents them from going public with what they endured, and to help launch a local branch of the Survivors Network in the community.

Lift up the poorest of the poor. Your partnership is helping to bring a new initiative to aid the poorest families in Chenkontan learn new agricultural and small business skills so that they can earn a living and provide for themselves. Using an approach scientifically proven to be effective in Haiti and other developing countries, 20 of the poorest families in Chenkontan will be selected to receive livestock (goats, pigs, chickens) or goods to be used in the launch of a small business.  All the animals will be seen by a vet and given vaccinations too.

Families in the program will also receive training on how to manage their new assets, initial cash support to reduce the need to sell their new animals or goods in an emergency, weekly coaching visits to reinforce skills, build confidence and help them handle any challenges, health education and access to healthcare to stay healthy and able to work, and help establishing a savings account for use in a future emergency. Each family will also have their home evaluated to ensure a decent standard of living or in the case of families with no real home to speak of, one will be constructed for them. All the homes will also have a latrine built and will receive water purification/filtration to improve sanitation and eliminate the most common causes of preventable disease in Haiti.

End violence and discrimination. Your partnership is helping to launch an effort to organize women and men in Chenkontan to prevent violence and discrimination against women and girls, making families in Chenkontan and the entire community safer, stronger and more just for all. Researchers writing in the British medical journal The Lancet found that the approach Beyond Borders is using reduced intimate partner violence community-wide by 52%.

Your Schools Not Slavery Partnership will ensure this approach is used throughout Chenkontan to help women and men end violence against women and girls and promote equality for all. 

The pie chart below shows the many different ways that  Schools Not Slavery Partnerships like yours help make life better for families on Lagonav. The future is brighter for the entire community of Chenkontan because of your Schools Not Slavery Partnership!

The people of Chenkontan discover their strength and develop new hope for lasting progress.

Life in Chenkontan comes with many challenges. But with the support of your generous Schools Not Slavery Partnership, the people of Chenkontan are overcoming these challenges and creating lasting change in their community. Here's some background on what life in Chenkontan is like:

Chenkontan is located on the highest mountain on Lagonav, and as such it is very isolated. No road passes through the community. There is no market in the community. The closest market is a three-hour walk away on steep, rocky, mountainous paths.

There is no source of potable water in Chenkontan. The soil is rocky and not very fertile. Congo beans and vegetables are ideal crops in the relatively cooler weather that comes at higher elevations. 

Children tend to the school garden at St. Philip and St. Jacques. Congo beans and vegetables are common crops in this area.

There is no high school in Chenkontan. Children here who complete primary school and pass the national exam must make arrangements to leave the community and live in the largest community on Lagonav Island - Ansagale - to attend high school. There's no health clinic in Chenkontan, but an organization we collaborate with provides a monthly mobile clinic.

Child Rights Training in Chenkontan.

The neighborhood Child Protection Brigade is the only formal organization in Chenkontan. People here are taking action to protect the rights of children through the Child Rights Training program and the neighborhood Child Protection Brigade - both supported by your Schools Not Slavery Partnership.

Today the people of Chenkontan are committed to protecting every child in their community from slavery, abuse, and neglect, thanks to the work of the Child Protection Brigade that your partnership makes possible.

Adult literacy classes are teaching women and men to read.

The adult literacy classes in Chenkontan  (photo) and agriculture training supported by your partnership are also making a big difference in the lives of people here. Women and men who never thought they would learn to read and write are now able to help their children with their homework, read in church and conduct business in local markets - all thanks to you and your partnership! On the island of Lagonav, Schools Not Slavery Partnerships like yours are supporting 12 Adult Literacy Centers that graduated 213 students - 190 women and 23 men - in the school year that just ended. The centers also have classes open to all adults in the communities where they are based that teach new techniques to improve the quality and quantity of crops and how to mitigate against the constant drought. The lack of rain means it is a constant challenge to keep crops healthy and growing.

A total of 1080 farmers participated in this training this year, and along with training participants received access to a community seed bank that provided access to seed for ten different crops including millet, corn, congo beans, watermelon, peanuts, and manioc. The watermelons were particularly successful this year, providing an important cash crop for many families. At the end of the season participating farmers return seed selected from crops they grew to the seed bank plus additional seed as interest so that the seed bank continues to grow and can serve more farmers.

On behalf of everyone in Chenkontan who benefits from your generous partnership, thank you so much for supporting Schools Not Slavery. We are grateful for your generosity and your care and concern for Haiti!

My Teams


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