Every year during the holiday season, my team and I bring toys, food, and supplies for children and parents in one of our school communities. One year, we visited Morne Michel, a small village on top of a mountain only accessible by a hike so long, you become convinced that it will never end. Yet at the end of this dry, rocky trail, after mountains beyond mountains, a school called Ecole Communautaire Saint Jean emerges.
On this visit, I was greeted by many excited children, but one young girl named Jaqueline captured my attention. She was bright, playful, and innocent. More than anything, she was gracious and grateful. She thanked our team profusely for making the trek with a grace that defied her years. Jaqueline and her schoolmates strengthened my resolve that day; our team made the long hike home feeling energized, confident in our work and hopeful for the future.
A few years later, while visiting a mobile clinic in the same village, I recognized a young girl staring at me, giggling nervously, unsure of whether or not to approach me. Jaqueline. She had two young children, one in her arms and another at her feet. My heart sank.
Dropping out of school and starting a family at an early age has forever limited Jaqueline’s capacity to earn, thrive, even survive. As someone who has dedicated their life to serving the poorest of the poor across Haiti, I know, to the soles of my feet, that access to an education delivered by determined, compassionate, skillful teachers is one of the most fundamental ways to change the landscape of poverty. For Jaqueline. For Haiti.
This year I co-founded Summits Education to ensure that students like Jaqueline get the education they deserve. At Summits, we are investing in teachers and building a strong education system in the Central Plateau because we know education transforms communities.
Please stand with us by making a gift to Summits during this season of giving. We cannot do this without you.
Marie Flore Chipps
Co-Founder, Summits Education