In 1977, Dr. Gardner and Mrs. Frances Landers of El Dorado, Arkansas heard about the desperate medical needs of the Haitian people. They volunteered to help and eventually developed a routine of making two trips a year to the impoverished island. Together with their surgical team, they provided sight-renewing surgery and eyeglasses to thousands of people.
On a trip in 1981, Frances overheard Father Jean-Wilfrid Albert reluctantly tell a heartbroken child that there was no room for her in the mission school. That incident inspired Mrs. Landers to do something to ensure that the priest could say yes to children asking for a chance to learn.
Armed with photos of several hopeful children, the Landers returned to El Dorado and raised enough money through her church, her family, and her friends to build and operate an 8-room school at Mercery village and to set up 3 small schools in nearby mountain communities.
From one woman's effort and one small school in 1981, the Haiti Education Foundation has grown in to 34 elementary and 6 high schools educating over 7,000 students. Through our schools, these children will be able to learn to read, write, and learn a trade which will help them and their families out of the poverty that runs rampant across the island.
Our primary goal is to fund our students’ scholarships, but we have also been working to rebuild or repair two-thirds of our schools impacted by the 2010 earthquake. The replacement schools and all future structures are being built to earthquake and hurricane-resistant standards. We are also raising donations to provide school supplies, pay teachers’ salaries, and furnish schools with desks and chairs. 100% of donations go directly to Haiti, with nothing deducted for administrative fees. Our team of volunteers works diligently to ensure that every dollar is accounted for and goes towards its intended purchase.
Please visit our donation page to find out more about how you can make a difference.