CHILDREN OF HAITI ENHANCEMENT FOUNDATION, INC.
COHEF’s mission is to PROMOTE EDUCATION IN RURAL HAITI, ESPECIALLY IN KENSCOFF AND TO IMPROVE THE BASIC NEEDS OF A TARGETED POPULATION.
Established since 1994, COHEF is a non-profit 501©3 organization independent and apolitical in partnership with Wynne Farm Ecological Reserve located in Kenscoff, Haiti. At the early stage, we were supporting an orphanage; however, there was a need to re-direct our support towards 3 small needy schools.
At the present time, we service 5 small schools in the beautiful mountainside of Kenscoff and its surroundings. We help about 650 school children, between the age of 5 and 16. For the past 18 years, we have provided them with school supplies, clothing (new and used), toys and gifts for the Holidays, and our greatest accomplishment, the one-mea-per- day program. Occasionally, we help pay the teachers (monthly salaries which vary between $80.00 and $200.00). One hundred-twenty five elementary school children and 1 college student are recipients of our scholarships. (Two of our college scholarship recipients already graduated and 6 more adult students have been awarded a scholarship to study in a technical school. They should graduate within 6 months).
For the past 6 summers, we have organized a FREE summer camp, which has been a great success. In 2006, we entertained 216 children for one week and we had the participation of 40 volunteers who live in Haiti. The 2007’s summer camp lasted 2 weeks, with 620 children, 62 volunteers, 12 from the States. In 2008 and 2009 the number of campers went up to 1200. Last year we reduced it to 550. In this year’s summer camp we will try to keep it at 550 campers. It is such a rewarding experience! Words can not explain what happened at the camp! You have to live it to understand.
To date, we have not resumed our meal program because of lack of funds. We are beginning a campaign to raise money so we may begin again in September. When we were feeding 400 children one meal per day, it was not so hard, but now with 650 needy children it is a challenge. For some of them, it may be the only meal they will have for the day!
1) We have dedicated volunteers here and in Haiti committed to help these needy children.
2) Educating those children, who, without our help could not receive an education. Children and young adults in Haiti are eager to learn and being involved in helping them accomplish their dream is priceless.
3) When our meal program is in place, the schools have 100% attendance! Why? For some of them, it is the only meal they will receive for the day!
To fulfill our mission and ultimately make life better for Haitian children, our immediate needs are:
1) Because of lack of funds, our meal program has not resumed yet. We are conducting a campaign in order for individuals and organizations to “adopt” some of our children.
2) We would like to have a paid staff in Haiti so the program could be overseen and supervised in an effective manner.
3) We have a great challenge when we send things to Haiti, having to go through customs and paying an exorbitant fee. It has been a challenge trying to become an ONG in Haiti. We do need help in obtaining this status.
4) Our greatest need is to have an “Agriculture/Technical Academy” in Kenscoff. We want to recognize Victor Wynne who was a pioneer in environmental consciousness in the Kenscoff area. The name of the school will be: “Victor Wynne/COHEF Agriculture/Technical Academy” “Victor Wynne/COHEF Academie Agricole and Technique de Kenscoff”. We are in the process of organizing numerous fundraising activities to accomplish this goal.