As 2016 comes to a close, we give thanks to God and to all of you that support Beyond Relief financially and through prayer.
The trade school has continued to grow in many ways in 2016. It is impacting hundreds of individuals as well as the community of Saint Louis du Nord and surrounding towns. We have seen the number of students attending grow to around 200. Over 60 students graduated in August, many going on to be teachers or to start their own businesses. The young adults in northwest Haiti now have hope for a prosperous future. We continue to progress on the construction of the building as well which will allow for additional classes in the future.
As you know, Beyond Relief is greatly dependent on donations from the U.S. to cover both the construction and operating costs of running the school so that we can keep the tuition low for the Haitians. One hundred percent of all donations go directly back to running the school.
To help raise a consistent monthly financial base, earlier this year we started a monthly scholarship program. With a commitment from just 100 people to give $35 a month for 1 year, we can cover the monthly expenses of operating the school. This will not go toward building or program expansion, just operating expenses. There are currently people who have committed to 35 scholarships. We need 65 more! Maybe you know a Sunday school class, a scout troop, women’s organization or some other group that would commit to just one year of helping give vocational skills to 200 young Haitians. Or will YOU commit to $1.15 a day?
In the last few weeks the walls for the last section of the school have been built and the cement roof will be completed by the end of the year. This adds 2 more classrooms and an area we plan to make into a store to sell paintings to Americans that come to visit. Funding the construction comes from donations that are specifically given for the construction.
One of our trials for 2016 was the scare we had from Hurricane Matthew. We are very thankful that the Saint Louis du Nord area saw very little damage and the trade school had no damage at all. Praise God! However, after that scare, it has now become more of a critical need to replace the metal roof on the existing side of the school. That will cost $8,000. We are looking for a specific donation to make that happen.
In this electronic world, it has become so much easier to spread the word about something and to connect to people that we never would have been able to before. It is so exciting to see what God is doing with the trade school and we would love to tell others about it. If you have connections with your church mission team, a service club, i.e. Rotary, or anyone else that has a desire to help people around the world, we would love for you to introduce us to them. Please feel free to share this newsletter with friends.
The Beyond Relief board, teachers, staff and students all thank you for your support! Have a merry Christmas and may God bless you in 2017.
Beyond Relief International Ministries, Inc.