Centre Inspiration Jeunesse was formed en 1998 when a small group of friends, active in Port au Prince resolved to find solutions both in urban slums and rural communities where people were most in need.
In 2000, CIJ learned about the situation in Deslandes, a community deep in the Artibonite valley, where very few children were going to school. The community was on the side of the river accessible only by a small ferry or a big truck in the dry season. CIJ first helped the community to start a school and later, to build a school with compressed earth blocks, a new technology for Haiti. Today the school has more than 400 students.
CIJ also engaged the community in an agroecology project involving a nursery, treeplanting, a collective garden to support the school and an environmental awareness program for the whole community. CIJ facilitated a partnership between two communities Goyavier and Deslandes to encourage the cultivation of a particular type of coffee. When the cholera epidemic broke out after the earthquake, CIJ worked to ensure clean water by enabling the fabrication of water filters that were then distributed to those most in need. CIJ also helped the community bring in the Rotary Club to build a new water station.
Le Jardin des Violoneux supports an organization working in Haiti called Centre Inspiration Jeunesse. CIJ prioritizes education --where it is needed the most--, and agro-ecology --for a brighter future.
Currently, CIJ HAÏTI's activities are focused on four schools located in Deschappelles, Verrettes and in two remote mountain communities: Haut Cabouet and Dauphinée where access is by foot.
These schools were founded in the 1970s by Reverend Bolière who, as a young pastor, saw the importance of education in the most disadvantaged communities. In 2021, Reverend Bolière, age 96, handed the reins over to one of his former students: Osprival Descomme.
Osprival was born in Dauphiné and attended school in Deschapelles and Saint Marc. He then studied at the Normal School in Port au Prince and was later employed by Reverend Boliere to work with the teachers in all these communities from 1987 to 1989. In 1989 he immigrated to Canada. When he returned to Haiti in the 90's he returned to his pursuit of a better situation for those most in need. He founded CIJ and spearheaded the initiatives in Deslandes. He is now tasked with providing the same opportunities he had as a child to another generation of children.
The four schools now under the direction of CIJ were supported for a long time by a Canadian organization that is no longer active in Haiti.
The teachers are paid in part through school fees, however, the collection of these fees is not enough to pay a very modest salary to the teachers, especially when parents are often unable to pay. Osprival is currently working on assembling a group of Canadians who understand the current reality in Haiti and who wish to help. CIJ is making a special appeal to people from the Artibonite Valley, to people who have been to Haiti and to young people who have a connection to Haiti.
A small effort can make a difference.
Stabilize the revenue for the schools so teachers are paid regularly
Provide professional development for the teachers and supplies for the classroom so teachers are able to provide a solid education.
Leverage the contact and involvement with the four communities to initiate agroecology initiatives that prioritize reforestation, improve soil health and encourage diversity.
If you are ready to be part of a small group of Canadians making a big difference, please click one of the options below. It will direct you to a site where you can give securely. A receipt will be issued from Training4Change a Canadian registered non-profit. As soon as we reach 10 contributors, we will organize our first zoom conference where we can meet each other, talk about positive ways to help and build solidarity.
We are looking for 60 people who know first hand the situation in Haiti. If you have the ability, a contribution of $20 to $45 per month, can support a teacher. This will allow the schools to meet their obligations to the teachers and provide professional development so students learn more.
We are looking for 60 people with ties to Haiti who are willing to contribute $10 per month to sponsor a child whose parents are having difficulty paying school fees
We are looking 20 organizational sponsors. There are expenses involved in running an organization and in travelling to make sure things are running as they should. We are appealing for core funding at our level--not salaries, not overhead-- just enough to make things happen. A donation of $50-100 per month or a one time contribution, is a contribution to progress.