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Rebuilding Saint Louis de Gonzague School
Rebuilding of One of the Finest School in Haiti
It lasted just 35 seconds!
Never had a natural disaster caused so much human devastation!
January 12, 2010. Hundreds of thousands killed. Millions made homeless.
The entire world, the whole human race watched in disbelief.
We were left speechless.
Infrastructure in Haiti could not withstand the blow. Government buildings, private residences, businesses, orphanages, churches: many were destroyed, and those left standing were severely damaged. The schools were not spared either: universities, high schools, elementary schools, kindergartens.
Like everyone else, the Brothers of Christian Education were dealt a severe blow. In 146 years in Haiti, they had seen their share of devastation, but never witnessed anything like this.
The Brothers of Christian Education (in French, Freres de l’Instruction Chretienne – F.I.C.) is a teaching order formed in 1819 to teach the poor children of Brittany in Western France. The religious order arrived and started working in Haiti in 1864. Despite the adversities, the Brothers built schools in various cities in Haiti. Before the earthquake, they operated schools in nine cities in Haiti. Over the years, they educated tens of thousands of our children.
On January 12, 2010, so much was lost. The earthquake took the lives of
Brother Joseph Bergot and Brother Dominique Baron. Both had come to Haiti, from
France, to educate children and lost their life after 35 years and 25 years of
dedication to Haiti, respectively.
The earthquake destroyed the Provincial House, the F.I.C. headquarters, and severely damaged the Novitiate, where Brothers were being trained for their lifelong commitment to the children.
- The earthquake destroyed the Saint-Louis de Gonzague School at Center Street in Port-au-Prince, and took with it many vocational students, studying in space provided by the Brothers. Although severely shaken, the chapel at Center Street is still standing.
- The earthquake destroyed the Saint-Louis de Gonzague campus in Delmas, including the classrooms, the residences of the Brothers, the administrative building. The chapel was severely damaged, and will need repair.
- The earthquake destroyed the Jean-Marie Guilloux School.
- The earthquake caused severe damage to the Frere Clement School in Jacmel, as well as the residence of the Brothers. They will have to be demolished.
The earthquake has taken so much!
So much that had taken so long to build!
So much of what has helped educate so many generations of Haitians!
So much of our memories!
But the earthquake could not take the Brothers WILL to continue. To the Brothers, educating is a lifelong mission. Their motto has become:
"In the face of destruction, Stand up to rebuild!"
But despite their strong WILL, and despite the many times they have done it in the past, they cannot do it alone. Facing such devastation, they are asking all alumni, parents, friends of education in Haiti and overseas, to help in the rebuilding of what was taken by the January 12 earthquake.
Today, they will restart the school year under donated tents because they know the children must continue their education. However, the schools must be rebuilt.
Rebuilding costs have been preliminarily estimated between $10 Million and $20 Million. Given the need to rebuild better and the anticipated rise in building costs in Haiti, expectations are closer to $20 Million.
SLGAFI is responding to the call for help with an initial fundraising goal of $1 Million and urging you to join the effort. There are classes to put back together, students to instruct, young minds to form. They are counting on your generosity.
It is time for action: Please contribute to the SLGAFI Reconstruction Fund.
The Saint-Louis de Gonzague Alumni Foundation Inc. is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt non-profit corporation registered in Massachusetts, USA (Identification Number: 000819849) and with the IRS (Internal Revenue Service - United States Dept of Treasury).