Please bare with me this month. At the beginning of July I had foot surgery, and while I tried to do what I could to get blogs sorted out in a space of 2 weeks, it did not happen. So I am going to share images that I took back in December 2015 at a fundraiser. Some of you may know that I am passionate about serving those who are unable to serve themselves. Growing up in Africa, I was exposed to many levels of poverty. Children starving. Lack of education. Lack of healthcare. Lack of planning.
In late November 2015 I met a doctor who was passionate about similar areas of ministry. After the devastating earthquake that hit Haiti in 2010, Dr Fredeline Amedee-Benjamin and her brother, Reubens, who are of Haitian heritage, felt an intense need to go to Haiti and see what they could do. They were shocked at the devastation and wanted to do something to make a difference. When back in the USA, they started to discuss how they could make a difference. They both strongly believe they way of the future is education. However, to build a school costs money. To start off you need land. Through many discussions it came about that Dr Amedee- Benjamin’s grandfather owned land in Haiti and after negotiations with all family members they finally had the land to build the school.
A mission was established: “B.A.T.I. School is a non-profit organization focused on making long-term investments in education through the use of agriculture, bringing about sustainable solutions and long-lasting change for the future leaders of Haiti.
The vision was defined: “One of Haiti’s bright spots is the availability of vast intrinsic resources. With over 5 acres of arable land allocated specifically for the school’s use, our goal is to create a self-sufficient environment where the crops we grow will be used as a source of food for our students while also genereating income for future development of the school campus.”
And so B.A.T.I. school was born. This school will give the children a chance at a better future.
bati (bah tee): verb 1. To build or construct by assembling and joining parts. (French/Creole)
Many children come from marginalized communities and the schools are a safe place for them. Added to that they will get lunch each day. For some children that may be the only meal they get.
In addition to the crops grown on the farm, B.A.T.I. school directors made the decision that they needed a sustainable way to raise funds and the way they choose to do this was through the process of growing coffee on the farm. By selling the coffee they would be able to create additional income apart from fundraising to help build and sustain the school.
Like any kind of mission development fundraising is a very defining part of this endeavor. This is where I come in. I was invited to attend the fundraiser and instead offered to take photo’s at the event. B.A.T.I. school hosted a painting party. At the event they also sold their coffee. The hosts provided food of Haitian origins and it tasted so good. The mood was set, the hum of voices concurred my observation.
After they passionately shared their vision for Bati school, the painting fundraiser began. Here are some images from the evening’s fundraiser.
It was a fun evening, everyone left with their painting, a sense of having really had a fun evening and a bit more knowledge about B.A.T.I school.
Bati School Farm Coffee
At B.A.T.I. school they are not just building a school they are building a future. You can help to build that future to. If you want to know more about B.A.T.I. school head over to their facebook page and read more about it.
It takes a village to raise a child. Are you interested in being part of that village? Read more on the webpage on what you can do. You can also make a donation via the webpage or learn more about purchasing their coffee.
My final note – I know Dr Amedee-Benjamin personally. I have seen her passion and excitement when she talks about the school. I have seen her commitment to developing the school. She travels to Haiti every 2 months. This is not some small endeavor, this is a passion to serve a community who desperately need help, education, healthcare, and to know that they are valued.
Education is the most powerful weapon
we can use to change the world
~ Nelson Mandela
Thank you for joining me for this month’s 30 minutes. This is a circle blog. Please take time to visit my fellow blogger Stacey Markel Photography | MD Family, Child & Senior Photographer and see what she has for you this month. Keep following the circle to see what the other photographers have shared this month. Don’t forget to leave a little love on their pages.
30 Minutes changed their name to Journey to an Artist. If you want to know more about Journey to an Artist head over to their Facebook page, or to the blog page. There is new and exciting happenings going on with the group Journey to an Artist that you are sure to want to check it out.
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What a beautiful project! I guess your photos were an enormous help to make it public.
Thank you Sonja. I do hope they help to raise funds. Maybe one day I will get down there with them to learn more about it.
What great images you have captured and I loved learning more about Bati – hust wonderful!
Well done, Sharleen! Great organization and great photos! It’d be wonderful if you could go down to Haiti sometime to take photos there.
Thank you Colleen. I hope I do one day. It would be an amazing trip.