SJU Project Haiti

At the Foi et Joie headquarters in Port au Prince, Haiti. Backrow left to right: Dr. Terry Furin, Tamara Auguste, Haitian Staff Member, Middle Row left to right: Haitian Staff Member, Dr. Aimee LaPointe Terosky, Dr. Joseph Cifelli. Front Row: Ocenia Benjamin-Pompy, Clauder Estimphil , and Ambroise Gabriel (director of Foi et Joie Haiti)

Spearheaded by members of the Education Unit and the English Department, a group of cross-campus and interdisciplinary faculty and staff members joined together in 2010 to form SJU Project Haiti. Through Rev. Patrick Samway’s previous work in Haiti, SJU Project Haiti connected with Foi et Joie, a Jesuit organization dedicated to building schools “where the road ends.”

Upper School at Balan (flagship school of the Foi et Joie schools)

After conducting a needs assessment with Foi et Joie’s staff, SJU Project Haiti decided to commit intellectual and fundraising resources to improve pedagogical practice in Foi et Joie’s schools in Haiti. SJU faculty and staff  (Dr. Terry Furin, Dr. Aimee LaPointe Terosky, Dr. Joseph Cifelli, Fr. Samway, S.J., Ms. Evelyn Minick, and Ms. Carold Boyer-Yancey) have visited Haitian schools on four trips, paying for the first trip themselves. In March 2012 they hosted six Foi et Joie educators on SJU’s campus to continue their collaboration.

Project Haiti has raised more than $14,000 to support their activities in Haiti. The Project has also applied for a Raskob Foundation Grant in the amount of $30,000. Embodying the principle of being men and women with and for others, the SJU participants donate their time and talent, receiving no compensation for their efforts to improve education in Haiti.

Dr. Terry Furin interacts with Haitian student

The 2012-2013 goals of SJU Project Haiti include providing FOSS science kits for one to two schools. FOSS science kits provide hands-on applications of science concepts. During their next visit to Haiti, the SJU faculty will work with Foi et Joie teachers and staff to integrate hands-on science learning into their traditional science classes. They will also conduct quantitative and qualitative analyses of the influence of their efforts on the ways in which Foi et Joie educators deliver instruction to their students. The analyses will help the team evaluate and refine their efforts in the Foi Et Joie schools, as well as provide research for publication and presentation at professional conferences.

SAVE THE DATE: The annual fund raiser “Hot Dogs for Haiti” will be held on Thursday, January 31st at Noon. Location to be announced.