The Glasgow Courier - Serving Proudly As The Voice Of Valley County Since 1913

By A.J. Etherington
The Courier 

Haiti Mission has Lustre Ties

 

November 29, 2017



A number of years ago, Lustre’s Jason and Stephanie Brown traveled to Haiti to adopt twins, and in the process met a young man by the name of Sandro, who was translating for the adoption agency. Recognizing his potential, the couple invited Sandro, who had self taught himself English and Spanish, back to Lustre to attend the local Lustre Christian High School as an international student. Following his graduation in 2014, Sandro began attending Liberty University, majoring in developmental psychology and counseling and minoring in biblical studies. He also founded a non-profit organization to help his home town in Haiti.

In 2015, Sandro returned to Cite Soleil, Haiti, and found an abandoned school building. He founded El Roi Haiti and was able to rent the building. Alicia Olfert of Lustre described the events as follows, “We were able to begin renting it [the schoolhouse], Sandro did some fix up work, hired teachers, cooks, a principal, a guard, met with parents and had 170 students from his neighborhood in school in the fall. Sixty percent of these students were not in school the previous year.”

The mission seeks to serve and empower the community as well, “We also provide them a hot meal every day. We have drilled a well on the school property that also has a spout that goes through the fence and is available to the community,” explained Olfert. Sandro also provides summer camps at which some 300 students attended this past summer, and the current school year enrolled 300 students at no cost to the families.

Currently, El Roi is planning to expand the program to serve single mothers, to build basketball courts and many other opportunities including receiving legal recognition by the Haitian government to buy land and expand services with a focus on enabling the community. According to Olfert, “All of these projects are done by Haitians, which is our desire. We don’t want to go in and do everything for them, but empower them - give jobs - educate and train - restore hope and dignity that poverty has destroyed.”  

El Roi is administered by a board of directors based in Lustre.

If you want to learn more about the mission in Haiti or find out ways to support them financially, you can visit elroihaiti.com.

 

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