The Change You Wish to See

Newsletter issue: 
April 2014
News item date: 
Thursday, April 10, 2014

By Tara Kingsley (THP Volunteer)

Myriam Jean Baptiste (LCS' 10) teaches French to the children in the Koukouy program.

      Like all Louverturians, 2010 Louverture Cleary School (LCS) alumna, Myriam Jean Baptiste believes in the transformative power of education. Jean Baptiste’s convictions run so deep that they led her to pursue a degree in Education Sciences and Language at Haiti’s Université Quisqueya in order to become a teacher and, one day, direct a school like LCS.

      Jean Baptiste worked her way through university by serving as a member of the Junior Staff in the San Devlopman Koukouy Sen Kler (Fireflies of Saint Clare Development Center) at LCS. In return, The Haitian Project (THP) provided Jean Baptiste with a university scholarship and a place to live and study on campus.

      The Koukouy program, a.k.a. Timoun (little one), welcomes young children from the neighborhood who cannot attend primary school. The Koukouy receive a basic education in Kreyòl, French, mathematics and religion, as well as a warm meal and, most importantly, love.

      Jean Baptiste enjoys teaching the youngest children because of the opportunity for social formation. Jean Baptiste explains in her characteristically patient, yet firm tone, “Most schools give education strictly from books. Academic instruction is part of education, but it is not all of it.” Odson François, who also works in the Koukouy program, noted, “Myriam patiently teaches the children math, but also good discipline and social skills. She is a role model.”

      Jean Baptiste recognizes that education can empower Haitians to enact change. Exemplifying the Louverturian spirit, Jean Baptiste seeks to give freely to her country what she received for free from THP.