"It is fundamental to show children that one loves them and that one really wants to help them. The rest goes automatically. It is also a work of justice towards these children whose physical, intellectual and moral development is jeopardized by a life without affection, without guidance, without constraint, without obligation. The street cannot be educative in any way."—Father Joseph Simon, Founder/Director, Timkatec schools
DECEMBER 28TH UPDATE
POPE FRANCIS AND TIMKATEC
In September Father Simon, Founder of Timkatec, was invited to a Vatican Symposium as one of those who has made "street children" their pastoral mission. Pope Francis, who championed the Symposium made a powerful expression of his and the Church's concern for children and women forced to live on the streets and personally met each attendee.
Father was unable to travel (his is 86 now) and Ms Rachelle Fleurimond, Coordinater for the three Timkatec Catholic schools and shelter, was asked to attend in his place.
Read the full story, including video of the pope's address, here.
JULY 20TH UPDATE
ON JULY 1, 2015, TIMKATEC SCHOOLS GRADUATED 179 STUDENTS BUT FUNDING FOR 2015/2016 FACES ENORMOUS CHALLENGES AS TIMKATEC STARTS ITS 21ST YEAR
The Patrick O'Shea and Mike Spinelli families, Founders of the Friends of Timkatec, 11 years are proud to announce the 2015 graduation results for Timkatec. As Friends of Timkatec you should also take pride in knowing that, since 2005 you have changed the lives of over 2500 young people in Haiti, who previously had no hope of ever receiving an education. The 75 boys and 89 girls that graduated from the two trade schools and the 15 from the Primary school are a huge achievement for Father Simon and the remaining Timkatec staff during this very difficult year.
The 3 Timkatec schools, the orphanage and the shelter had to contend with the following loss of funding:
- USAID had provided surplus food aid to schools and orphanages in Haiti for the last decade. This aid ceased in September 30, 2012, a loss of about $30,000 annually.
- Fondation-France, the French Presidents' Foundation, was a strong supporter of Timkatec for several years. That aid, approximatly $30,000 annually, was not renewed by the new President.
- GEOMOUN of Belgium, Timkatec's strongest supporter for a dozen years lost its funding for Timkatec 1n January 1, 2015. A loss of $180,000 annually.
- The devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy on Haiti's food supply caused hundreds of deaths and subsequent large increases in food costs for Timkatec since the typhoid epidemic that killed thousands and is still causing deaths on the island.
- The Friends of Timkatec active donor list declined with the stagnant US economy. Please, tell your friends about Timkatec and its success against these overwhelming odds.
Father Simon has reported to Mike and I that Timkatec 2 and Timkatec 3 lost the ability to serve an additional 150 students and shelter homeless children since January 2015 and for 2016, resulting from the loss of funds, the layoff of teachers and, without the midday meals, some students must forage elsewhere and drop out. Life in Haiti is so precarious than an education can ride on a midday meal.
In 2008, before Timkatec 3 was built, we graduated the first class of just 15 from Timkatec 2 and 10 from the orphanage Timkatec 1. To date, Timkatec 2 has now graduated almost over 500 apprentices with a state recognized diploma as electricians, plumbers, masons and tailors. Trades essential to the post- earthquake recovery of Haiti. Another 270 have completed their training as cooks and seamstresses at Timkatec 3 and 150 finished Primary school at Timkatec 1 in the same timeframe. This year 180 compared with 25 in 2008, a 620% increase. That is a major success.
We know that you each receive many requests for support from other worthy causes that help people, pets, schools and the planet. Knowing what you have helped Father Simon to achieve at Timkatec, we ask you most humbly to put this at the top of your 2015/2016 donation list. About $280 yearly covers the cost of each trade trainee in the current Budget-less than three years ago. Their two year training costs $560.
TIMKATEC SCHOOLS—A HAITIAN SUCCESS STORY THAT MUST CONTINUE TO GROW
The cataclysmic earthquake of January 12, 2010 is past, estimated by the UN to have killed 230,000, injured 250,000 and destroyed a million homes. Timkatec lost a teacher and over 100 students. The physical effects are visible everywhere, as the country struggles to rebuild. Yet, those of us who recall the slow recovery of New York after September 11, who lived in England during and after the WW2 blitz as I did and like Mike Spinelli and I, served in Germany is the 1960s know that recovery even in those sophisticated countries took not just three to four years, but decades. What Haiti has achieved after the worst catastrophe in the last century in the Western Hemisphere is impressive
The effects of this near-constant barrage of death and destruction on young minds are what we try to counter with the love and discipline of education—to rekindle their lost hopes. Many young people struggle with PTSD, haunted by memories of the death around them. No 2010 family in Haiti is intact. All lost family, friends and neighbors during and after, as 15% of the Port au Prince population died and 15% were wounded or sick, in just days and months, not years.
BENCH MARKS IN FISCAL 2015 (Oct.-Sept.)
The Timkatec team directed by Father Simon HAS suffered or achieved the following in 2014/2015:
- A loss from the 2014 total student count by 150.
- Increased Timkatec 3 Girls School capacity to 220 day students. However (October 1, 2014-July. 2015)—only 180 could register for lack of resources.
- The Timkatec 3 shelter now has room for 70 nightly. However, it can only take 30 girls at this time due to lack of funds.
- The third story addition at Timkatec 2 increased capacity to 250. However, the fund shortage has kept the 2012 Timkatec 2 registration at 180—well short of capacity.
- Timkatec 1, the primary orphanage and boarding school remains at capacity with 110 students, consisting of 45 boarders and 65 day students.
In effect, Timkatec Schools had the capacity to feed and educate 650 young people in 2014 and 2015, a time of desperate need for training in Haiti. But due to the increasing lack of funding for teachers, food, and basic needs, Timkatec currently only has the funds to shelter, feed, and educate 500 students. That is a difference of 150 young Haitians who could be off the streets, recieving meals, basic medical care, and education in a trade which would change her or his life forever. The funding crisis means that those 150 boys and girls still suffer in extreme poverty, and in many cases are forced to leave their homes and live on the street—or worse.
Timkatec relies on the tax deductible gifts from friends like you.
A gift of $280 will educate a student for one year, while $560 will fund a two year apprenticeship, to change a life forever. If we could raise an additional $42,000 we could add 150 places and operate the schools at their 650 student capacity. Please, be generous.
The Patrick O’Shea and Mike Spinelli families
Founders of the Friends of Timkatec
"Timkatec receives many admission requests, however they do not have room to accept them all. It is difficult to refuse a child who comes at night, in the rain, asking for a small place to sleep. In those instances, children sleep on the floor, sometimes with only a blanket, sometimes without even that. A rotation system was established, in order to allow children to sleep in beds on a schedule."—Father Joseph Simon, Founder/Director, Timkatec schools