Edner Paul

“This is My Haiti” – Teacher Gives Back to his Local School
School Director Edner Paul knows first-hand the value of education. He attended the local primary school as a child before advancing through junior high school via a two-hour walk each day. “I was a very driven student. I spent all my time learning my lessons because I knew today’s effort would help me tomorrow.” He returned to his community and began supporting the school, which was founded in 1976 in response to the long walk required for younger children. “Last week, a man headed down the mountain to buy supplies. The rains came and the trail flooded, and he hasn’t come back. We fear he was caught in the flash-floods and died.”

The school and chapel share one single room on top of a mountain and serve 73 students through sixth grade. “I feel honored to be at the front of this school,” says Edner, who is also the third grade teacher and chapel director. The entire Paul family is involved in the community. “My wife leads an organization advocating for change, and my children are teachers here at school.”

When reflecting on the four-year partnership with Hope for Haiti, Edner is immensely thankful. “Education is a way to avoid charity for the future. We love the help. In Haiti, the problem is that there is not enough work. This community is extremely lacking. The parents contribute a percentage of income for their children’s education, but they often choose between school, food, and their own health.” Of particular importance is Hope for Haiti’s Public Health Program, which trains and equips a local Community Health Worker to provide lessons on important topics like water purification and hand-washing. “In Hope for Haiti’s first aid kit, there is medication for the students. It helps when we have children with fevers who can’t receive care from a nurse or a doctor.”

For the future, Edner hopes to advance his community through business. “Life is so expensive here. There is no road. But if we had a small market, we could increase our own self-sufficiency.”