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About the Hinche Scholars Project

The Hinche Scholars Project is a post-quake Haiti support effort which is a partnership between J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College, the I Have a Dream Foundation of Richmond and the town of Hinche, Haiti. The mission of our program is to help Haiti rebuild through higher education. By helping Haitian college students from Hinche to continue their studies in the U.S., we hope to make a small difference in the re-creation of Haiti’s “Intellectual Infrastructure.”

 

The Hinche Scholars, pictured below with two Barber-Scotia visiting professors, are currently participating in an ESL course in preparation for their studies in the US

 

The project was  founded by Danny Yates, of Richmond, VA. Danny is a William and Mary student who has travelled to Haiti several times as a guide and translator for Catholic churches in the Diocese of Richmond. On January 12, 2010, Danny was in Haiti when the tragic “seisme” ravaged this Caribbean nation. In Port-au-Prince, he witnessed firsthand the death, destruction, and unparalleled scope of this tragedy.

Danny was particularly shocked by the indescribable level of catastrophic loss human and material in the government, university and medical sectors. As Haiti begins to “pick up the pieces,” Danny firmly believes that higher education is the only sustainable and successful path to recovery.

Father Jean Navarre Bourdeau, our Haitian partner (Left) and Danny Yates (right) in February, 2009. Below, another picture from August 2010.

Now, more than ten months since the earthquake, international and domestic Haiti experts agree that one of the country’s greatest crises is the leadership void. Thousands of Haitian political leaders, doctors, nurses, NGO workers, engineers, attorneys, and college students perished on January 12. Nearly all of Haiti’s universities were utterly demolished. Haitian leaders estimate it will take decades for the higher education system to return to pre-quake capacity. Ten years from now, Haiti will lack the next generation of leaders so desperately needed to rebuild.

Ever since his return from Haiti in February, Danny has remained in daily phone and e-mail contact with numerous Haitian friends. Several community leaders alerted him about a group of six displaced Haitian university students who were in Port-au-Prince when the quake hit, but are now back with their families in Hinche (roughly 50 miles north and east of PAP in the Plateau Central).  Danny worked for months to find an American higher education institution interested in accepting these students, so they can have a chance to continue their studies before returning to Haiti as leaders in the recovery process. The Richmond Times Dispatch recently featured this project in its Sunday, March 19 edition. (Link on sidebar) Richmond Magazine also featured the Hinche Scholars Project in it’s September 2010 issue. These students are attending J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College in Richmond Virginia where they are taking a range of courses including ESL and Teacher Training.

In order for the Hinche Scholars to begin their studies during the Spring 2011 semester, we need your help to raise $30,000 to cover the room and board expenses. Click here for PayPal or use the mailing address at right to send in a contribution. THANK YOU!

We hope that you will join the host of bipartisan, ecumenical community leaders who have already endorsed our project. They include William and Mary President Taylor Reveley, Congressman Rob Wittman, Former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine, and Bishop Emeritus Walter Sullivan of the Catholic Diocese of Richmond. If you have any other questions, please contact Danny directly at 804-543-7297 or at dannycy@aol.com. Once again, thanks your time and consideration.

Hinche - once a relatively small, quiet town is now a refugee-filled tent city

Immediately after the earthquake, many refugees (such as those pictured in the tent city above) who were injured in the Port au Prince rubble were brought the St. Therese Hospital in Hinche. The hospital was overflowing and did not have adequate resources to deal with the numerous cases. Much of the money we immediately wired was used to feed and help care for these sick and dying. Now that medical and food needs are more stable, we are focusing on this higher  education initiative.

Please Pray for the students of Hinche, and if you can, Please Donate as Well! Donation Info on Sidebar at Right.  Click HERE to make a PayPal donation.
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