Update, Oct 13th 2021: GoFundMe is shutting down, and Friends of Fontaine has a new home for your generous donations, here on Mighty Cause.
Dear friends, please be advised that GoFundMe has notified us that they will be shut down by the end of 2021, and we will no longer be able to accept your donations via this platform! Not to worry: we've partnered with Mighty Cause and have secured a new platform to continue supporting St Gabriel's School - PLEASE VISIT THIS PAGE AND UPDATE YOUR RECORDS AND RECURRING DONATIONS.
Thank you for continuing to be a part of our family!
Fontaine is a rural village in Haiti with a population of approximately 3500 people. Friends of Fontaine is a US-based, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting community-based development in Fontaine through medical and education initiatives. It is a supporter of St. Gabriel's Secondary School, the first secondary school to open its doors in Fontaine.
Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, has suffered extensive poverty over the years, exacerbated by political upheaval, earthquakes and ravaging hurricanes. It’s a country where residents have lived with hardships most of us can’t imagine and where creating a better future has often felt impossible. Our goal is to help Fontaine become a self-sustaining community where our Haitian brothers and sisters may enjoy access to food, basic medical care, education and employment.
Before St. Gabriel’s opened its doors in 2010, offering 7th & 8th grade classes, all education in Fontaine ended with 6th grade. Attending high school required a two-hour round trip walk to
a neighboring community, which only a few could manage. The establishment of St Gabriel’s changed the dynamic in the community almost instantly. It was a moment of hope, a first step toward a better future.
Seven years later, in 2017, with an enrollment of 265 students, St Gabriel’s produced its first fruits--21 high school graduates, of whom seven were sponsored to attend colleges and universities. Another step, another sign of hope.
As the school continued to grow and as it became clear that not all graduates could attend college, the school established a post-graduate training program, the Collège Technical Notre Dame Pignon, that has enabled students to learn business and technical skills; the success of this program was evidenced in the 2019 graduation of 15 students, all of whom found jobs, three of whom started their own businesses. Hope growing.
With the help of sponsors like you, over the past decade St. Gabriel’s has not only educated its students but has become a hub for the community, providing a gathering place for people and a source of tangible resources. We, the Friends of Fontaine, instituted a hot meal program to ensure that students who might otherwise go hungry receive a hot lunch every day; while there is no municipal electricity in Haiti, we have incorporated electrical power into the school by way of an extensive solar panel program, thereby providing a place where students can study at night as well as during the day; the solar program has also produced energy to power the school’s well and computers, and a solar lantern program has allowed some students the benefit of light in their homes.
We created a three-acre crop garden on school grounds, built a reservoir and water filtration system to help not only the students but the surrounding community, and spearheaded biannual medical missions to the school, thereby giving hundreds of students and members of the community access to healthcare they would not otherwise have received. You can learn more about the impact we've helped to make RIGHT HERE.
2020 has brought about unexpected challenges for us all, and in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, St. Gabriel’s needs us more than ever. All funds raised go directly towards feeding and educating students, providing them with healthcare and strengthening the resilient community of Fontaine.
Even a small donation goes a long way. Here's what your generosity will do for St. Gabriel's this coming year:
$10 – provide hot meals for a single student for an entire month.
$50 - provide meals for a student for an entire semester.
$100 – Provide hot meals for a student for a whole school year.
$300 – Sponsorship for one year's tuition for a student.
As a $300 sponsor you will receive the name, biographical information, and a picture of the student you are sponsoring along with regular updates from Friends of Fontaine!
$1000 – Support 3 students for a whole year in food, supplies, tuition and receive a seat at our Annual Dinner! This year, due to the pandemic, the banquet will be virtual, featuring video presentations showing the school's progress over the years, and a look into the daily lives of the students.
You also have the opportunity to donate to one of the following causes:
– Emergency Medical Fund: help us help those who are ill in emergencies.
– Daily Operating Fund: Let's keep the school doors open! Maintenance isn't free!
- Funds to offset the cost of supplies, books, and uniforms for students whose parents are unable to pay for them.
- Funds to establish a five days per week hot meal program.
- Support for engaging community and cultural activities.
- Teaching supplies, chalkboards, and computer supplies.
- Funds to help underwrite teachers' salaries.
If there's something you are passionate about, simply tell us what you want your donation to go towards. We are more than happy to fulfill your requests to the very best of our abilities.