Difficult Decisions

Given the current situation in Haiti, we have decided to cancel our upcoming June Team Trip. It just seems too unpredictable at this time.

Once again, Haiti is in a state of political unrest.  As I mentioned in the newsletter last month, protests began in February and ended with no real changes or plans to explain the misuse or whereabouts of funds from the Petrocaribe deal regarding subsidized oil shipments from Venezuela.  Protestors are rallying in the streets calling for the resignation of the country's president, after allegations of corruption. These demonstrations have caused a strike that has shut down schools, businesses and government offices.  Public transportation has been limited, creating problems for our staff to get to and from school.

It was a difficult decision to cancel this trip, as we had a fantastic group of 9 young adults anxious to connect with students and staff for enrichment activities, the annual school beach trip, and the students’ year-end Spektak.

As we wrap up this 2018-19 school year, let me thank you for supporting us as we made the transition to our new space!  It has been a great year, as staff and students persevered through difficulties that those of us in the US cannot really even fathom.  Electricity is a rare gift...fuel, food, and water prices are at an all time high...and opportunities for education and paying jobs continue to be challenges that many, many Haitians face.  

Typically at this time of year, we have reached out to Sponsors for letters, photos and gifts to share with their students.  Given our limited team size, we had not made that offer this year, as we were not able to get 174 sponsor gifts to Haiti...and now that the trip has been cancelled, there is really no chance to get anything to the kids this summer.  My hope is to travel there once the new school year begins in the fall and would welcome anyone that wants to join me!

Please consider supporting our work with a financial gift, as we seek to pay off the remaining costs of the property purchased for our new school and continue dreaming about expansion.  With 174 students, if each sponsor gave $100, we would raise $17,400. There may be some of you that have the opportunity to share a little more - getting us closer to the $82,000 remaining on the property.   We could not do this work without you. Together we are stronger! You can give here.

Pray for Haiti and the situations they are facing. Pray for peace and wise leadership.

God Bless! 

Sara Lein
Kozefò Director


Posted on June 21, 2019 .

The Building Project: One Month In

About a month ago, we launched our campaign for the Building Project. We've outgrown our current school building and urgently need to buy land and start building a new school for our students. In October of 2017, the landowner we rent from asked us to move our temporary classrooms from the side of the building to the rooftop... so that leads us to where we are now with over 100 kids crammed together in 7 classrooms on a tiny roof. And not to mention, rainy season in Haiti starts in just a few short months. Rainy season + rooftop = EEK! 

First, let us just say, we are so beyond thankful for the $40,000 (AHH!!) that has already been donated via our GoFundMe page toward this project. The support of our friends and family is incredible. 

That being said, we still need more funding. We have a big huge giant number of $800,000 as our overall campaign goal. But for right now, we're focusing on raising an additional $125,000 to complete phase one: buy property.

As you can imagine, we're learning a ton about Haitian real estate in this process. There is so much to consider when considering where to buy...

  • How far from the main road is it?

  • Is it accessible via car or motorcycle?

  • Does it already have a perimeter wall (these are surprisingly extremely expensive to install)?

  • Can we work around the existing trees and vegetation, or do we need to do any removal?

  • How far is it from where the majority of our students currently live?

  • Is there or could there be access to water?

  • Is the land in a good spot to eventually set up internet?

  • How many people own the land?

  • Does the landowner(s) have their paperwork?

Our latest discovery of land (see the photos below), was recommended by one of our student's parents and has a lot of potential. It's near the current school. There is a small building and bathroom on the property we can renovate to give us a jump start on building. There is also a perimeter wall already installed that just needs some small repairs. 

If you've already given to the campaign, thank you. Please spread the word and share our story with your friends and family. We will continue to give updates and share the progress of the project with you! 

From $20 to $20,000, all gifts, large or small, will work together to make a huge difference in the education and futures of these precious kiddos. Go to gofundme.com/dreamdesignbuild to give, follow us on Facebook for more updates, or let us know if there's another way you want to volunteer or contribute

Posted on January 4, 2018 and filed under The Building Project, Fundraising, Donations.

Kozefò Team Trip Updates

Stay tuned for news and photos from the team heading to Port-Au-Prince October 16-23. We have travelers coming from Florida and Minnesota.  You'll be hearing from guest bloggers throughout the week!

Posted on October 15, 2017 .

kozefò 5K 2017 by the numbers.

And the results are in for the 2017 Kozefò 5K…

total Runners-Walkers registered: 124

total volunteers: 43

students sponsored: 3

money raised: $6,040

It was another beautiful sunny day for a successful 5K. There were loyal Kozefò supporters that once again showed up to run, walk and volunteer.  We had new participants that found us on the internet and joined us for the first time.  One first timer from Colorado was our winner!  A first timer family selected a child to sponsor...and a third first timer was a foreign exchange student from France, making him our first international runner! Such fantastic firsts!

The Kozefò Board extends a great big thank you to all that made this event a success.  We are anticipating over 130 eager students this fall, and every bit of support makes a difference.

 

Posted on August 12, 2017 .

kozefò 5K 2016 by the numbers

Date: August 13, 2016

What a fantastic day for the 5th Annual Kozefò 5K!  Personally, the greatest one yet – especially since I was able to stroll in around registration time and all of the details had been taken care of by Doreen and her AMAZING team of volunteers.  Yea Team! Mesi Anpil!

And the results are in for the 2016 Kozefò 5K…

total Runners-Walkers registered: 146

total volunteers: 46

students sponsored: 7

money raised: $6,121

SUCCESS!!!

**Highlights this year included t-shirts with a fresh new design, merchandise available [created with student art from ANA Primary School in Port au Prince], prizes for the 1st stroller and the 1st dog, snacks for participants, volunteers from the Branch Out Transition Program, handmade medals for finishers from the 94 students enrolled in our school! Wow.

Thank you all so much for your incredible support!

Kozefò: (v) to speak in a loud voice.

We believe education is the key to developing thinking, creative individuals. As Christians, we are called to care and to speak loud against the injustices in the world. This is the true meaning of Kozefò, people together, hand in hand, speaking in a loud voice to bring about positive change in education, one school at a time.

For more information, check us out at: kozefo.org

Posted on August 12, 2017 .