JACKSON. TN. The Samaritans Heart Ministry held its annual Board of Directors meeting in Jackson, Tennessee on May 3, 2018. The Board announced its primary goal of raising awareness of its “Sponsor a Teacher” program. The program is designed to provide resources for schools in developing countries to pay school teachers a livable wage.
Board Chairman Patrick Collins said that Samaritans Heart’s focus for the program will be in the country of Haiti. “We are excited about the Sponsor a Teacher program because we think it will have an immediate impact on improving education in neglected areas of Haiti,” Collins said. “We are working with our partners and have identified several Christian schools in Haiti where there is simply little or no money to pay elementary school teachers. The first five villages we will focus on are in the communities of Dinise, Janbwa, Robio, Cerca and Lillivois, which are all located in extremely isolated or neglected areas in Haiti.”
“We are fortunate to have Pastor Josue Octeus as our Executive Director. Josue knows these communities and has a long history of successfully building schools and churches in neglected areas in Haiti,” Collins said. “Josue worked with Compassion International for eleven years and understands the positive impact education will have to help lift this next generation of children out of poverty. With a quality education – being able to read and write, know math, etc. – these children will have a chance to make an impact in their communities. Without skilled teachers, nothing will change.”
For his part, Pastor Octeus says one of the most pressing needs is getting teachers paid. “We have success with our American partners building some schools in communities like Dinise and Janbwa,” Octues said. “These schools are well-attended and the local community supports the schools. We have been able to pay out teachers only about 2 to 3 months over the past two years. They are getting frustrated. Yet they are still committed to teaching the children. These dedicated teachers need Sponsor a Teacher to be a success. These children need Sponsor a Teacher to be a success. We are praying for God’s providence in this.”
The other Board members include Craig Buscher of Bondurant, Iowa and Mark Buhlig of Liberty, Missouri. Both Buscher and Buhlig have extensive experience in leading mission trips to Haiti and building in Haiti. Both Buscher and Buhlig are also involved in bringing talking Bible devices to Haiti, which allows those who cannot read to hear God’s word in Haitian Creole, the common dialect. According to the Central Intelligence Agency, the literacy rate in Haiti is 48.7% of those 15 years of age or older. The literacy rate in the United States for those 15 years of age or older is 99%.
For more information about Samaritans Heart Ministries, Inc., visit www.sponsorteacher.org or send us a Facebook message. Samaritans Heart Ministries, Inc. is a charitable nonprofit 501(c)(3) entity and all donations are fully tax deductible.