The Haitian Education and Leadership Program began in 1997 when a young woman who was the top in her high school class asked her former teacher for money to attend secretarial school. This young woman’s name is Isemonde Joseph and her teacher was Conor Bohan, who encouraged Isemonde to pursue her dream of studying medicine by funding her first year of tuition and books. Isemonde went on to receive her MD in 2005 and became a physician at the Gheskio Center in Port-au-Prince.
Conor realized from this experience that many talented students in Haiti are prevented from reaching their potential by extreme poverty. By 2004 HELP supported 40 students with tuition, books and housing. In 2012, the 120 students enrolled in HELP receive tuition, room and board, textbooks, mandatory English classes, IT training and computer access, leadership training, internships and job placements, and counseling and advising.
Why We Partner With HELP
HELP is actively creating a better future Haiti by providing opportunities for deserving students, breaking the cycle of poverty, building a professional class and economy and building a more just society. Educating young Haitians means improvements in medicine, economics, education, agriculture and more, and ensures that Haitians can take ownership in improving their country.
Less than 1% of Haitians enroll in university and 40% of those who enroll actually graduate. Only 16% of college graduates remain in Haiti. HELP’s university graduation rate is 81% and the employment rate for HELP graduates is 100%. 84% of HELP students stay in Haiti and make an average salary of $10,000, whereas the average salary in Haiti is just $653.
The Haitian Timoun Foundation has been one of the strongest supporters of our work over the past several years. In addition to their constant efforts to increase their contributions, HTF members have shown a deep interest in the country and dedication to the people of Haiti. Their scores of trips and the hundreds of visitors HTF has led to Haiti is a sign of their commitment to create permanent and meaningful change for those less fortunate than us. H.E.L.P. would not be where we are today without the commitment of HTF. Conor Bohan - Founder & Executive Director, H.E.L.P.