Not far from U.S. shores, the Caribbean Sea flows into the Gulf of Gonâve, then inland as the Grand Anse River, one of the largest and most dangerous rivers in Haiti. It’s on the banks of this river, deep into the mountainous southwestern region of the island, where you find struggling communities in the Grand Anse River valley, isolated from the many organizations offering support.
Called to pick one place and make it better, New Life for Haiti listened to what community leaders said the area needed and extensively collaborated on how we could help. As the leaders joined together in a shared love for our brothers and sisters, they expressed the importance of faith in their community, the need for access to clean water, the lack of educational opportunity, and the dangers of the river.
There are no bus services for schoolchildren here. Even if families are able to fund the cost of an education, the children must travel by foot to the nearest school if they wish to get an education. Trapped by the unpredictable nature of the river, families on the south side told us that the only schools were far and the distance to the nearest bridge meant that their children could not go to school.
With lack of infrastructure and support in rural areas, building a school that could support families from the south side of river just wasn’t something the government could do for these communities. We have been blessed with the opportunity to hear the needs of the Grand Anse River valley communities and build a bridge to a quality education, metaphorically and literally.
In November of 2013, an organization built a physical bridge so the community could safely travel across the river.
This bridge is, for many, including our teaching staff, the safest and surest way to cross the Grand Anse River.
Subject to weather and overuse, over the past decade, the bridge accumulated enough damage to make it a hazard. Unfortunately, New Life for Haiti was again the only organization in the region willing to help. With the impending school year, our local leaders proactively expressed the need for repairs before the 2023-24 school year began. We were fortunate enough to be able to take immediate action, thanks to our architect/construction lead, Pachou, his amazing team, and our adored Haitian field director, Vilex.
Now, we need your help sustaining the bridge.
Find the bridge on Google Maps:
Discover the Direct Impact of Your Support
Before the School of Hope, Ganaelle Darius didn’t know how she would attend school. Her and her siblings’ only option was to wade through the river on days that it was low enough. With a rainy season from April to October, children living on the “wrong” side of the river didn’t make it to school very often. Now, as a first-generation student, she is transforming her whole family.
Before New Life for Haiti came to the Grand Anse River valley, those living in Marfranc heard of organizations helping Haitians in more populated areas but thought no one would ever care enough to help them. They face countless challenges, but we can send a valuable message with your partnership—they are seen, known, and deeply loved.
After losing their parents, two young girls were faced with the looming threat of having to turn to domestic servitude to survive if they lost their grandmother, the only source of support they had left. Now at the Village of Hope, Fania and her sister no longer live with the worry of becoming another child labor statistic.