Lekòl Sen Trinite (LST) is a school program dedicated to serving the most impoverished families and children in the community surrounding Trinity House in Jacmel, Haiti. These are children who would not otherwise have the opportunity to attend school due to their financial and family situations. Many of these students come from large families and also have relatives in the program.
During the 2011-2012 school year, Lekòl Sen Trinite is educating 122 students, in kindergarten through fifth grade. There are 87 students, both boys and girls, in the morning session, in kindergarten through fifth grade; and 35 students in the afternoon girls-only session, in kindergarten through third grade. LST students range in age from three to 16 years old. Through the LST, the SJF is creating an education program that takes the best of the Haitian educational system and adds aspects from other systems, including the Montessori preschool and kindergarten system, providing students with a varied and enriched education. The students are educated in the typical academic areas — reading, writing, math, history, religion, French — and are all provided with a uniform, tennis shoes, backpack and school supplies, including school books. LST students all have access to on-site and municipal libraries and to the state-of-the-art Trinity House computer lab.
Importantly, the St. Joseph Family strives to nourish LST students’ minds, bodies, and spirits. Since many LST students and their families do not have the means to be able to eat every day, the SJF also provides breakfast and lunch Monday-Friday. Additionally, LST students enjoy weekly Bible studies and prayer services; and, receive after-school instruction in art, dance, cooking, and life-skills in after-school programs.
Lekòl Sen Trinite is in the process of building up its library, all the students also have cards to the municipal library, and students have access to a state-of-the-art media center with computers and internet access on-site at Trinity House. There is truly a sense of community among our students and staff.
In an effort to respond to additional needs in the local community, the LST also provides targeted financial and other support to families of LST students; partners with Fonkoze, a micro-lending institution in Haiti, to help the families of LST students realize their dreams of becoming self-sufficient; and, each Saturday provides education and two meals for 25 restavek children (child slaves), who are otherwise unable to attend school.
This wonderful outreach program, Pwogram Rejwi (Program Rejoice), provides much needed educational, social, spiritual, and physical nourishment for children that are often physically abused by their host ‘families’ and forced to work in the home from before sunrise until late at the night, doing any number of tasks, from cleaning, carrying water, cooking.