For Joseph Edouidge, age 19 and currently completing her final year of secondary school at College Classique in Fond-des-Blancs, giving back to her community is a priority. “It’s important to me to remember others in my community who are still in the situation I once was in and help them as well, because I was once in the situation where I needed the help” says Joseph. Joseph Edouidge hopes to continue her studies to become a lab technician.
My community needs more lab technicians – there's a high need for this but not many people in the community qualified for this position.
Joseph is one of over 700 students SBHF supports for primary and secondary school, and University degrees. Through the Scholarship initiative, entirely supported by individual donors, SBHF provides over $50,000 worth of support to students in Fond-des-Blancs. Recipients of the primary and secondary school scholarships are chosen based on need, while university scholarships are awarded on a combination of factors, including need, merit, and community involvement.
A year of school tuition in Fond-des-Blancs costs up to $160. In a place where many people live on less than $1 per day of income, families are often faced with the difficult decision of choosing between sending their children to school or putting food on the table. Going to school becomes a luxury some children simply don’t have.
“St. Boniface started paying for my school in the first grade,” says Estinvil Dulienne, “This was very good for me because my brothers and sisters didn’t have the chance to go to school the way that I’m going now, because my parents were not capable of paying for their education. After my parents passed away, it was even more important for me to be receiving this chance and opportunity.”
Like many students in the program, Estinvil’s scholarship allows her to have big dreams for her future.
I dream of working at St.Boniface as a nurse to provide newborn babies care, because I would like to help mothers sleep in peace after they’ve delivered their child.
Thermitus Kervens, a junior at St. Francois Xavier school, is very conscious of the power that SBHF’s donor-supported scholarship has had on his life. “If I didn’t have this aid then I wouldn’t have gone to school. I wouldn’t have this uniform that I’m wearing now and have the knowledge that I do now,” he says. He wants to give back to the children of Fond-des-Blancs after attending University. “I will open a school in my community that teaches many languages – like English, Spanish, French. That way my community can learn in the same way that I have been able to. In the same way that I’ve received this aid to help myself, I can help others who are in the same situation to gain more knowledge and improve their life.” Thermitus Kervens, currently in 11th grade, hopes to study diplomacy once he’s finished with secondary.
I want to learn to speak a lot of different languages and represent his country.
A single scholarship is not only an investment in one student, but in his family and the whole community. Luckson Bernadel, age 21, will become the first member of his family to complete philo and hopes to work as the Boss of Mechanics at St.Boniface Hospital. "This aid has played a huge role in my life," says Luckson Bernadel, 21.
I can become the head of the household and provide everything my family needs – everything that they want and are lacking in life right now.
Keltande Matignan knows the power of education first hand. She received an SBHF University scholarship for her Nursing degree, and returned to Fond-des-Blancs in 2012 to work as a nurse at St. Boniface. “I wanted to work for St. Boniface because the hospital helped me and believed in me, and because I love my community.”
Keltande was the first in her family to go to college, and now supports two of her sisters in University. She knows that it was the generosity of SBHF’s donors that has helped her achieve her dreams.
I don’t really have the words for conveying the honor and respect I have for the people who have helped me. I feel lots of pride for them helping me, and putting me in a position where I can help others in my community through what I have learned and what I have achieved. Today I can help people who are suffering, and it is because of the hospital and what it has given me.