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Archive for October, 2018

World Teachers’ Day: Introducing Our Staff

October 5th is observed by the United Nations as World Teachers’ Day. Join us in celebrating the teachers and school administrators at Pwoje Espwa!

What is World Teachers’ Day? The first World Teacher’s Day event was held in 1994 by the United Nations to commemorate the signing of the 1966 UNESCO/ILO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers, which is a standard-setting instrument addressing the status and situations of teachers around the world.

The World Teachers’ Day conference continues to be held every October 5th by UNESCO to celebrate educators around the world and provide an opportunity to discuss issues related to teachers and teaching.

This year’s theme isThe right to education means the right to a qualified teacher.”

While we appreciate all of the qualified teachers that serve at Pwoje Espwa, we would like to introduce our three new school administrators joining us this year!

Left to right: M. Mikene, Secondary Principal; Sixtina, School Admin; M. Brevil, Primary/K Principal

Lisols Brevil – Primary School Principal

Mr. Brevil is a dynamic, proactive and creative educator and has extensive experience working in education and for other international non-profits with programs in Haiti, including Concern Worldwide and Project Concern International. With a university degree in Educational Sciences and certifications in Humanitarian Intervention and the Protection of the Rights of Children, Mr. Brevil has a sound knowledge of child development and education, backed by his experiences in education, social work, community mobilization and development.

As the Primary School Director, Mr. Brevil oversees pre-kindergarten through 6th grades, supervising its 20 teachers and directing the successful implementation of school programs and policies.


Simillien Mikene – Secondary School Principal

Mr. Mikene holds university degrees in teaching and education, and has extensive experience teaching biology and chemistry at the university level. His professional experiences include serving as director of Notre Dame de Lourdes College in Cavaillon, serving as professor of Educational Reform, Approach and Assessment at the Public University of Southern Haiti, heading the MEXPROTEC Program at the Universidad Tecnologica de Altamira, as well as speaking at various seminars on educational reform, research methodology, academic planning, and other teaching and administrative skills.

As the Secondary School Principal, Mr. Mikene oversees grades 7th through Secondary III, supervising its 38 teachers and directing secondary school programs and policies.


Gauthier Sixtina – School Administrator

Ms. Sixtina is a bubbly and upbeat woman assisting Mr. Brevil with his responsibilities overseeing the primary school. She has a university degree in Administration, Planning and Financing Development and has broad administrative experience.


Having an Education Team that is qualified, motivated and passionate about our mission means we can fulfill the right to an education for our 1,200 students.

Teachers, and the educations and minds they shape, enable children and adults of all ages to learn to take part in and contribute to their local community and global society. THANK YOU to all of the educators that serve at Pwoje Espwa and help us fulfill our mission everyday!


Primary School

 Secondary School



Did you know?

About 59% of the population of Haiti lives below the national poverty line of US$2.41 per day. About 24% fall below the national extreme poverty line of US$1.23 per day.

When daily needs are unaffordable, we have an opportunity to provide a stable space of comfort and encouragement in our classrooms when the rest of life feels unpredictable.


After-School Program Begins on Campus

Creating Productive Spaces

Activities and productive spaces outside of the classroom are essential for development in children and young adults. Research shows that participation in after-school programs can boost academic performance, reduce risky behaviors, promote physical health, and provide a structured environment for children during their free hours. This is especially critical for children from vulnerable and unstable backgrounds.

This year, our staff at Pwoje Espwa has been working diligently to update our After-School Program for the children who find home at PES.

As we have expanded our staff of qualified social workers and school administrators, our team is working diligently to build an enrichment program that ensures all children have access to growing and learning spaces that are positive, safe and accessible.

The After-School Program will have 4 areas of concentration:

Life skills Kids will learn skills that are necessary for independent living, including cooking, how to manage a budget, how to live a healthy lifestyle, among many others. Vocational / job training – Kids will have the opportunity to focus on a vocational skill in addition to cultivating skills necessary to find a job, like writing a resume. Also offered will be on-campus internships in several departments for 14-18 year olds. Those interested would have the opportunity to apply for a limited number of positions across campus and would receive a small gratification.
Psychosocial This area will include a range of enrichment activities, including art, dance, sports, and the like. These activities will be a fun outlet for the kids while still providing a structure within which they will learn lessons on respect, communication, and teamwork. Community service Kids will learn the importance of giving back to others through various community service projects within the Espwa and surrounding community.

While many aspects of the After-School Program are still “under construction” as our social workers continue to create the most fruitful and successful enrichment models and activities, the program kicked off two weeks ago with after-school study hall hours.






For primary grades, study hall has commenced and gives the opportunity to extend our students’ learning. The students meet Monday through Thursday from 3-5pm.

House monitors provide supervision and assistance in the classroom as the students spend time completing homework and learning with one another. Instead of free time in the villages where it may be more difficult for house monitors to bring kids together to do their work, the classroom environment provides a structured time period for the children to focus on their assignments without the distraction of the villages.


Clifford Charles, a social worker at PES, works with our students as a child development professional. “Study hall brings better results for kids,” says Mr. Charles. “In the past, kids didn’t always have a good space or structure to study. Now they have house moms, social workers, and other adults to help guide their learning.


We can’t wait to see their growth throughout the school year!


Over the fall and winter terms, new components of the program will be introduced. Stay tuned for updates on the After-School Program!


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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