In Part 3 of this series, we will look at the third goal of Branch Schools, which focuses on the future of the students and orphanages at Branch Schools.
Goal #3: Provide vocational training to prepare and protect children who must leave the orphanage at age 18.
In May 2020, 23 treadle sewing machines made their way to Branch Schools after a lengthy shipping process. These sewing machines were donated by families across America, with an exciting purpose awaiting them in Haiti: they would be used to train the children at the orphanages in sewing and tailoring. Now, after school and on the weekend, the children push aside classroom tables and benches to make room for the sewing machines and learn their craft.
Spiritual Advisor to Branch Schools, Pastor Terry Schultz, shared his hope for the sewing institute when they arrived in Haiti:
"The idea behind our institutes is to use them as gospel outreach tools. Youths from the orphanages and from lower economic neighborhood families will be invited to study with us. The institutes will share Jesus while sharing an education that may provide youths with a way to generate some income. (In Haiti, over half the adult population lives on less than $2.41 a day.) The institute will be open for students to book time on the machines to complete sewing projects. (For example, every Haitian child attending school needs homemade school uniforms!) God willing, the sewing education will provide stimulus for the youths, discipline and focus, as well as that certain dignity that comes from studying hard and completing a job. Without this opportunity, almost none of the orphans and impoverished children at Branch Schools would have the resources to attend a learning institute."
In the last year, these sewing institutes have been a great blessing to Branch Schools. We are so thankful for the families who donated their treadle machines--a treasured possession in Haiti, due to these machines not needing electricity to operate.
May God bless these children at the sewing institutes, that they may study their craft diligently and continue to learn of Jesus' love and salvation as they work!
Branch Lutheran Schools of Haiti, Inc.