Meet Erisnor, the FWAL School Principal
We strive to serve the children who are from the poorest areas and who have no other educational options.
August 20, 2018 - Haiti
I am Erisnor Jean. Because of the precarious economic situation of my parents, at 17 years-old, I abandoned my classical studies to enter teaching. Gradually, within me grew the desire to make a career in education, so I left temporarily in June 1988 to enter first at the Brevet and then at the Ecole Normale d'Instrituteurs at the Little Sisters of Saint- Thérèse in Hinche. I worked at NPH Haiti from July 1992 to June 2000 as Director of St. Helene’ School, then transferred to St. Damien Pediatric Hospital in July 2000 as Chief of Staff. In August 2003, I had to resign from St. Damien to continue my university studies in the sciences of education and legal sciences.
I had been called In July 2011 by Kenson Kaas, the National Director of Childcare at NPFS and Jean-François Seide, his Assistant, two of my former students from St. Helen school, to return to NPH as the Director of the EMAL, “Ecole Mixte Ange de Lumiere,” Fr. Wasson Angels of Light School.
Running a school was not a voluntary choice, but imposed by my own personality, my sense of duty, and the sense of belonging. I am a father of 53 years old, with four children:L two boys and two girls respectively 28, 22, 19, and 16 years old.
The children who attend the Fr. Wasson Angels of Light School arrive from some of the most dangerous and poor neighborhoods. There are many who are orphans, some come from a single-parent home, and all are from very poor families. It is difficult for some of them to come regularly to school due to their economic circumstances. They are very smart students.
At the school, we provide one hot meal a day for them, but I am aware that most of them eat only once, but sometimes will take food back with them to their houses for their siblings. These are the difficult situations facing many living in these communities.
For the students who attending FWAL, we ask an annual contribution of $60.00 US in tuition. We note that 15% of students at the school are under the responsibility of NPH, 10% pay 25% of the annual fee, 9% pay 50% and 14% cannot pay the contribution solicited. More than 50% of students cannot get textbooks, and we have to provide whatever materials for them that we can come up with.
Scholarships are important to our program, as they allow children to learn, but also stay off the streets had they not been in school. Also such a support relieves the parents of some of the financial stress that they face each day. Thanks to the scholarships, the parents do not worry much about the high cost of living and have the opportunity to see their kids benefit from a good quality education. This allows children from disadvantaged neighborhoods to come to school without any worries.
We currently are starting a program called Miss FWAL, where we had 45 young girls registered to become ‘Miss’ of the school and be presented with a laptop, a wreath of flowers and a full scholarship for next year. Two runners up will be rewarded with a boombox radio and a half scholarship. The national directors have also provided to fund a trip to a nearby beach for a chance for 10 finalists to relax. These scholarships will be important to allowing these girls to afford their education.
At FWAL, we experience many tragic stories as we take in more children. A little boy who lives with his grandmother and big brother. His mother had passed away and his father disappeared without a trace. This little boy was living in extreme poverty and did not have enough food. Sometimes he would arrive to school clean, other days a mess. Some days he would be able to pay a small taxi-cab to bring him to school, some days we would not see him because the walk would just be to far. But these are the children we strive to help. Those that surely would not be able to access an education if not for the financial support we are able to provide them.