Lake-Worth based philanthropic Haitian American group, Color of Hope, reports a rousing success with their annual Education Jumpstart back-to-school drive. This year, with the support of Waste Management, One Love-One Community, the LESS Institute and generous donations from throughout the Haitian Diaspora in the U.S., the group was able to help more children to start the school year properly equipped.
Elementary school students received backpacks, note books, clothing, stationary and other supplies to several communities in Port-au-Prince and rural areas. The association provided much needed materials in Jacquet (where Color of Hope also founded a tech center), the Village Musseau community in Delmas, as well as a girl education empowerment group in Croix-Des-Bouquets.
“Providing those materials to students in Haiti is priceless” said Hope Ambassador Marli Lalanne.
Back-to-school season is also a key concern for the association, says Hope President Ed Shakespierre, as many parents struggled with tuition fees and uniforms, leaving no funds for supplies.
And a lack of school supplies often means students miss class, as “some schools will not allow students to attend without the supplies,” said Shakespierre.
And though the supplies give a much needed sense of security, the drive, says Shakespierre “provides so much more than just materials. You should see the excitement on their faces. They walk around with the biggest smiles, just brimming confidence.”
Color of Hope (C.O.H) is charity organization based in South Florida that works to improve the quality of life of Haitians in the U.S and Haiti. With education as their major focus, Color of Holes works on providing educational access, resources and technological support for youth in Haiti to develop 21st century skills. The association next plans to hold a toy drive just in time for Christmas, as well as their annual Save Haiti Bike Ride, from Miami to West Palm Beach, on January 16.