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Archive for August, 2018

Celebrating Our University Students

In a country where approximately 50% of children are unable to attend school, education is regarded as a key to a successful future for young adults in Haiti. Free the Kids proudly supports our intellectually gifted and talented students beyond their time at Pwoje Espwa Sud through our University Program.


The University Program provides financial support for young adults who have demonstrated excellence in the academic field. Those students who perform above and beyond expectations and would like to continue on a university path can apply through Free the Kids for financial support an opportunity that is only possible through the investment of our donors.


Meet our students!


This year, four students have graduated from their respective programs with the assistance of our university program.

Meet our newly-decorated graduates:

John Baker Laguerre

Business Administration

John Baker graduated in January 2018 from BTI University with a degree in Business Administration. Since graduating, he has returned to support Pwoje Espwa Sud by working part-time in the Secondary School Office.

Fenel Thercidor

Business Administration

Fenel graduated in January 2018 from BTI University with a degree in Business Administration. He currently serves as Staff Accountant full-time in the Finance Office at Pwoje Espwa Sud.


Mackenson Miliste


Miliste recently graduated in May 2018 from Universite de la Fondation Dr. Aristide with a degree in Law. For the next two years, he will be completing an internship before he can take the official exam to become a lawyer.

Beetcherly Senat


Senat recently graduated from the Universite Nortre Dame d’Haiti with a degree in Agronomy. While he completes his thesis, he has been assisting the Project Manager with various tasks and projects on campus


Current Students

Several universities across Haiti offer degree programs for students looking to advance their education and widen their job opportunities. Free the Kids currently supports the ongoing studies of two students who have found programs in their areas of interest.

Meet our dedicated students striving for their degrees:

Claude Charles

Business Administration

Claude is currently a student at the American University of the Caribbean where he is working towards his degree in Business Administration. While attending classes in the afternoons and evenings, he is also working full-time in the Finance Office at PES where he is in charge of inventory. 

Joseph Roosmand

Civil Engineering

Roosmand is currently a student at the American University of the Caribbean where he is working towards his degree in Civil Engineering. During the day he works with our Project Manager on various assignments around campus while attending school in the afternoons and evenings.

Additionally, there are several students that have taken their academic studies new distances as they study abroad. We currently have five students studying at various universities in the Dominican Republic and the United States.

Placide Woodlin will be entering his final year in the United States studying Business at Northwest University and competing on the university’s soccer team.

Patrick Carrier will be in his final year at Clark College in Vancouver, WA where he is completing his undergraduate degree.

Kens Buteau will be in his third year of university at Bellmont Abbey College in the United States where he will be completing his degree and playing for the soccer team.

Julnor Elius is in the Dominican Republic studying Medicine at the Universidad Tecnologica de Santiago.

Dieufaite Hiliare is in the Dominican Republic studying Business Administration at the Universidad Tecnologica de Santiago.

Spotlight: Entering Students

As we continue to support those students who have been working diligently towards their hopeful futures, we’d like to take this time to welcome three new students into the university program this year!

Laurent Ronique


Laurent is an incredibly intelligent and gifted young man who will be entering the university program to study Engineering at Valporaiso University in the United States. He can be found around campus leading creative arts and crafts activities with small groups of kids, strumming his guitar, or in a quiet space studying.

With a degree in engineering, Laurent hopes to return to Haiti to help those who do not have houses. “I dream of the opportunity to help others the way Espwa has helped me,” Laurent says humbly. His vision while he in in the U.S. includes creating a 3D printer that utilizes trash and plastic to construct homes for those who do not have a place to sleep. Laurent will be the first member of his family to finish school. “I am proud of the work, activities, and effort I have given.”

Jn Erice Desir


A warm and calming presence with the biggest smile to share, Jn Erice will be entering the university program to study theology to fulfill his dream of becoming a priest. Jn Erice has worked closely with the young children at PES as a 

part of the liturgy team, helping to guide them in their faith journeys and guiding their voices in the chorale every Sunday.

Jn Erice wants to become a priest in large part because of the support he has felt from Father Marc and the liturgy team at PES. He feels God has called on him to undertake this new mission, and hopes to return to Espwa upon completing his studies to serve as a priest at Sunday mass and a spiritual leader for the children.

Jn Erice is currently a staff member for the summer camp program, where he is leading kids ages 3 through 14 in spiritual formation discussions and chorale practice. In between the sometimes-off-key sing-screams of the younger ones while practicing for the upcoming service, Jn Erice encourages the kids to reflect on the camp’s theme of the week. His passion is engaging, his patience unfailing, and the kids’ respect for him as an older brother figure and leader unquestionable. 

Roselinda Placide

Business Administration

As the first young woman to enter the university program, it is fitting that Roselinda is fiercely courageous and driven. Roselinda will begin university this fall, studyingBusiness Administration at UPSAC.

She will also begin to work in the Human Resources Office at Pwoje Espwa Sud, where she has been offered an opportunity to intern. As an intern, she will gain valuable experience observing and learning the multitude of skills needed to operate an organization.


Join us in congratulating our students who have graduated, supporting those who are continuing their academic journeys, and welcoming those who will commence their university studies this year.

Thank you for making it all possible.


The impact of an education doesn’t stop at one individual. It ripples, extends, and reaches, touching the lives of individuals, families, and communities. It is our deepest hope that our university program endures so that we may continue to support our students’ passions and see their lights stretch boundlessly.

Free the Kids would not be able to provide these educational opportunities to our young scholar leaders without the generosity of our donors. Because of you, Laurent can continue to drive towards excellence. Because of you, Jn Erice can embark on his spiritual journey in order to serve and support others. Because of you, our students can grasp the key to a successful future and experience the overwhelming pride of being presented a university degree. 

Thank you for your unremitting investment in the future of the children and young adults who find home at Pwoje Espwa Sud. Together, we are supporting the generations of future leaders of Haiti.



I fell in love with Espwa during my first visit last year. Hard to put into words, but there was a real "heart" connection with the kids and staff. It is a special place. My visit was focused primarily on the girls and the teachers. Relationships were initiated during that first visit that I treasure very much!

- Maria Simeone

There is hardly a more heartbreaking sight than seeing an orphan in Haiti--many of them who have families who simply cannot feed and clothe them. Of course there is the emotional response to their plight, but there is a more pragmatic hope--that given a chance in a loving, caring environment, these children can grow up to be leaders, people who can move their communities and the country itself in a positive, healthy direction.

- Jackie Wilson

This place is amazing! The kids and their caregivers will restore your faith in the human spirit. The magic of Espwa is that there is a childhood provided for the kids there that would not exist otherwise.Haiti has a very very long way to go, but this is a hopeful place with clean, well fed, happy children, teachers, house moms, and support staff. Fr Marc and all of the others should be very proud of their accomplishments. Help them in any way that you can!

- Kerri McDonough Croland
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