Living Hope Mission is committed to helping Haitian young people receive an education. Over the past several years, we have been able to help hundreds of needy children and young adults by covering the cost of their tuition and fees, either partially or completely.
What is Living Hope Mission Scholarship Fund?
Every year, generous donors give funds to our “Scholarship and Youth Opportunity Fund.” The money is kept by LHM in a separate fund and reserved for the purpose of educating needy young people. Here in Haiti, we receive requests for help with schooling. These requests come in two forms. The first is from leaders of a community, church, or school who are unable, with tuition revenues from children, to meet the budgets for the running of their schools. Most often, these requests come from a local pastor who we know and trust. We ask that the school present a budget for the year, and estimate how much they expect to bring in themselves to meet their needs. LHM often is able, out of the Scholarship and Youth Opportunity Fund, to provide the funds they are lacking. Children who are unable to pay tuition at all are allowed to attend for free, and children who are able to pay something do. Why don’t we just completely underwrite the cost of the school? Because we want the community to participate at the level they can, thereby empowering them and not creating or reinforcing a mentality of dependency. Why don’t we set the budget for the school, so that all the schools in the communities where we work pay their teachers the same amount? Because each community has its own economy. This is why we ask the local leaders to set the budget. Each school that receives funds from LHM is asked to open a separate bank account locally in order to isolate school funds. Money received from LHM goes into that account, as well as funds collected from the children who can pay tuition. This helps the school keep better track of its funds. Sometimes, the school is able to request less help after a couple of years of receiving scholarship money from LHM. The school starts to be able to stand on its own more and more. This is one of LHM’s goals.
Another form of request for help with school that LHM receives in Haiti is from individuals or families who have already chosen a school for their child, but are not able to pay for all the fees, tuition, books and uniform. In this case, we ask the parent to estimate what they can pay, and then we provide the difference. Many parents are unable to pay anything at all, but some are able to pay up to half or even three quarters. Again, we try to do for the family only what they are not able to do for themselves.Finally, since 2000, LHM has been able to help a few highly promising young adults attend college in Haiti, the Dominican Republic and in rare cases, the USA.
What Living Hope Mission’s Scholarship Fund Is NOT
LHM Scholarship Fund is not a “sponsorship” program. Children who receive scholarships through LHM receive the money from the organization, not from the individual. We do not provide photos of children, nor facilitate correspondence between donors and children. Why? First, LHM does not have the staff to oversee this kind of program. Secondly, we feel that with our goal of discouraging a mentality of dependency here among the people of Haiti, we do better to provide help through the vehicle of an organization rather than from an individual. We want to encourage the children to flourish and grow in Haiti, and develop a hope for a better future for themselves and their country.Finally, from time to time, a church or group of people will visit a particular community and will want to help that community with its need for schooling. If donations are made with that particular community designated, and this community has already been approved by LHM’s board to receive help, we will see that the budget of the school is supported with their donations for the year. However, any gifts received over the budget will be used by LHM to do similar work in a similar needy community.If you are interested in providing support to LHM’s scholarship fund, please contact us.