Fifteen years ago in her hometown of St. Louis du Nord, Haiti, Françoise Mestidor, known to most as Tatie Soise (Auntie Soise), founded a school because she wanted the children in her community to have access to a good education and all the amazing experiences that come with it. Over the years, Tatie Soise's school has operated out of an old home on the town's main street, which Françoise rents. However, Francoise's dream has always been to build a school, one that is big enough for all of her 425 students and 49 employees, one where the students will have all the learning tools they need and where they feel at home. So quite a few years ago, she bought a large plot of land in a very beautiful location within the town, with mango trees and little hills. Then two years ago, after we visited her in the summer of 2015, the ground was broken and Tatie Soise's dream began to come to life. Her plan was to build slowly, as all of the funds necessary to build this dream school were coming out of her own pockets. But the plan has met some obstacles; just recently, Françoise was notified that the lease on her current school location is not going to be renewed and she is faced with nowhere to operate her school. Her biggest concern is that "her children" (her students) will be without a school, without an education. She is devastated, not for herself, but for the children who so desperately need this path to an education. Children who appreciate every moment they get to go to school every day and share in the joys of learning and friendship!
Her school is not yet finished and she is not able to speed up the process, for lack of funds. The foundation, walls/divisions are all complete, and with some help, she may be able to open with a very slight delay.
So we are reaching out to you, to everyone, with hopes that you can help us help our sister finish building this school that will change the lives of so many children and their families.
A little more about Françoise: Françoise started teaching at the age of 19 so she could help her mother afford to send her brothers and sisters to school. She taught for 40 years and then started her own school so she could continue to help children. She is an amazing, kind, giving person, my sister-in-law, who spoils us whenever we see her. She loves her students and their families, and is always willing to overlook the fact that most of them cannot pay their school fees. She talks a lot but it's because she loves to get to know people and exchange ideas. She loves to sing and dance, and the students feel happy around her. People feed off of her positive energy. When we were in Haiti, everywhere we went (even in other towns), people knew Françoise...she has friends everywhere!
I'm also a teacher (5 grades of high school await me in a couple of weeks), so I can certainly appreciate her love for teaching and how strongly she feels about doing what she can for her students. Please help me help her! Words could never express how thankful we would be!
All money raised would be used to complete the building process, buy material/furniture and pay the builders. I will keep this page updated with photos so you can see how you have helped!
If you have any questions whatsoever before donating, please don't hesitate to reach out; I'd be happy to answer anything I can!
- Unnur Svavarsdottir
- G C
- Sjöfn Hauksdóttir
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