Becky DeWine School
The Becky DeWine School offers dignity to the people living in the Cite Soleil slum through tuition-free schooling, food distribution, adult education, children & elderly nutrition, employment & jobs, college scholarships and other programs that bring God's love to this desperate place in Haiti.
We began to the school in 1998 with 4 classrooms as a true "barefoot school" -- one that welcomes children too poor to pay the fees charged by the typical Haitian school. We were the only tuition-free school in the slum, as even government-run schools charge for books and uniforms. We realized we were in conflict with tuition-charging schools, and stressed to our challengers that the parents of our students must volunteer at the school and participate in adult literacy classes in exchange for their child's books, meals, and uniform.
In 1999, we dedicated the project tot he memory of Becky DeWine, daughter of Mike and Fran DeWine. The DeWine family continues to work tirelessly to help the children in Cite Soleil.Today, the school has 7 campuses located in 6 neighborhoods of the Cite Soleil slum, containing a total student population of 5,800. Each campus is a hub of outreach activities providing: feeding, elderly care, recreation, employment opportunities, summer programs and adult education. We continue to provide a daily meal, uniforms, books and school supplies to each child and in continue to ask parents to help distribute food and maintain the buildings in exchange.
Before the earthquake, the Becky DeWine School contained 6,400 students in a 7 campus structure. Two campus locations were completely destroyed and 5 others suffered severe structural damages. Using temporary classrooms, we opened schools in March of 2010, just three months after the January 12th earthquake.
We worked tirelessly to repair the damaged buildings. As of December 31, 2010 we completed 70% of total reconstruction.
Update as of 2018
At present Hands Together operates 34 schools throughout Haiti in the poorest areas. We now have 11 schools in the Cite Soleil slum that are totally free. Our deepest gratitude to Mike and Fran DeWine of Ohio for helping the children of Haiti for many years. We provide a free education to over 12,000 of Haiti’s poorest children. Nearly 3 times that many children show up for registration each fall, but sadly we cannot accommodate them all and need to expand.