Gas Prices Rising, Time for Solar

HaitiLibre

 

On May 15th, the subsidies that keep gas prices lower will be stopped. This is in response to a request from the World Bank. The Haiti government will also raise prices on electricity. All of these changes are meant to decrease the deficit of Haitian national budget. There are so many issues in this development that we would have to refer to a scholar that studies the subject. On the ground, in the cities, neighborhoods and rural towns, this affects everyone’s life and ability to achieve success.

As we said in our previous post, consistency of electrical infrastructure is poor. We receive only 8 hours of energy every other day. That means we either have inverters and batteries, run a generator or go without electricity. Many businesses, personal homes and organizations rely on a generator for their daily lives. In the past when our invertor system has broken down, JE used our stinky and loud generator everyday. It costs us $15 dollars to run our generator for two days, at 6 hours per day. That means we have paid, $45 every week to power our organization and run classes. We pay our faculty $50 a month per class. So we could use that money to pay four faculty instead of buying gas. $45 may not sound like much but this is not America and the average daily wage is $2.50. Even the growing middle class will suffer.

Help us create sustainable infrastructure in Jacmel. We can’t take care of all of Haiti or even all of Jacmel but we can make a big difference for a lot of people in Jacmel. Cause when gas prices go up, most all prices go up!

A School That Tries So Hard With So Little

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Last September we visited a school in partnership with SevMoFlo, a non-profit in Miami. We provided logistics support to deliver school supplies to the students of Ecole St. Thomas Episcopale D’Haiti in a zone called Kafou Pengwen. When we arrived we found that we had many connections and friends in common. Our former screen printing student is giving art classes there, one professor was a part of a local partner organization and had already heard about our work in town regarding elevating technology. We found in ourselves an enduring resolve to continue to support this school.

Now we hope that we can help Ecole St. Thomas again! If we pass our fundraising goals to ship solar panels to Haiti we want to donate solar panels to this school. It’s not just about the solar panels. Let me explain how special this school is and what reality they have to deal with just to provide an education.

Ecole St. Thomas was built by the local community, because there was no place for the kids to go. They raised the money to build the school, they found teachers to teach the classes but that is all. They only have two rooms for near 300 students. Half those students come in the morning and half come in the afternoon. It is overwhelming. They have no electrical infrastructure at all. They teach by the daylight. This school is in a remote location in the mountains and is solely supported by a poor community that wants a better future for their kids.

The solar project only provides solar panels. We are importing $50,000 in panels! But each organization or business in the program has to find the funds to buy the batteries, inverter and electrical wires. Ecole St. Thomas does not have the support network to raise these funds. If we can pass our goal, Jakmel Ekspresyon wants to continue to support this remote school and buy the additional system they will need for the solar panels.

Help us by sharing our story. Let your friends know that together we can create a more sustainable future for some bright young Haitians that deserve the chance.

Click on the Donate link above to give a donation.

 

That Class was Electric!

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After five weeks of coding theory and practice the youth in Robo Klub got to have some real fun last Saturday! Lionel Pierre, the HTML teacher, brought in some electronic sound equipment. So the morning was filled with laughter and music. It was a magical space to be in. In the afternoon we learned about electricity and the fundamentals of a circuit. Then we soldered together a simple circuit with a watch battery, 330 Ohm resistor, led light and a vibration motor.

It took a minute for everyone to understand that the negative does not come out of the other side of your on/off toggle switch. And it was great to see everyone’s face as soon as they had a working circuit. I could hear the face before I saw it, because it was always proceeded by a very enthusiastic, “SUE SUE SUE!”

Saturday is one of my favorite days at JE! -Sue Frame, Director

Summer Programming

We are excited to announce some amazing partnerships that have allowed us to build a pretty amazing summer program. We have partnered with students from Bard College and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. These students are being funded by grants at the Universities to come and give high level digital classes at Jakmel Ekspresyon.

Oliver Bentley has built a Social Mapping class with the support of the Trustee Leader Program at Bard College. He has signed up three amazing Bard students to teach three sessions in the Social Mapping class. The sections will be “how to use data and history of mapping”, “defining and collecting data”, “mapping data and creating infographics”. One of the reasons we are really excited about this project is that, currently, this skill set is focused in the international humanitarian sector. Most of the data cannot be searched by local Haitian organizations that could benefit from it. By giving this skill to local University students they will have more opportunity to find a job and help local organizations.

Patrick Soper has received a Projects for Peace grant and will represent the School of the Art Institute as he delivers a class in professional digital music editing. Patrick has a wide variety of skills including music, code programming, digital fabrication and has received awards for his music. The class will teach students how to use Ableton, which is an industry standard digital editing program. The grant will help us build a recording studio and will allow Patrick to teach professionalism and industry networking through the internet.

 



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