For GES students, a bus is more than just a luxury. When we ask students what they are most thankful for among the services provided by Grace Emmanuel School, there is one response that is inevitably at the top of the list.
The bus means free transportation to and from school every day. The bus means not spending hours under the unforgiving Haitian sun. The bus means not having to feel the cars and trucks zoom by you on the highway while you walk to school.
Unfortunately, after more and more frequent repairs to the Grace Emmanuel School bus over the last few years, the bus has officially come to the end of its life.
Without a bus…
When the bus isn’t running, the students face 3 options: pay for a ride; walk to school; or stay home.
Depending on the village the student is coming from, it will cost 15 gourdes to send him to school on a tap-tap (the Haitian taxi) and 15 gourdes to get him home—the equivalent of 50 cents. For families living on less than $3 a day, that is an impossible expense.
As for walking to school, if Grace Emmanuel School were out in the country, the walk might be a peaceful—albeit hot—exercise. But Grace Emmanuel School is located off of National Highway 1, the main artery running between Port-au-Prince and half of Haiti. It is always busy. And unfortunately, many drivers are racing to make as many trips as possible in a day to make enough profit to feed their family.
This road has been the scene of countless tragedies. Over the last five years, our school alone has grieved three students being hit by cars on this highway. One of those students, a sweet first grader named Roseberline, died instantly. Another young student still suffers from cognitive delay. An 8th grader recovered, but with lingering pain.
For many parents, sending their students to school on foot via this highway is just not worth it.
So staying home becomes the default option. And school work suffers because of it.
We need to replace our bus, and quickly.
The cost of buying a quality used bus, shipping to Haiti, paying customs fees and licensing, is estimated to be $20,000.
With just over 360 students, that means $55 for each student’s spot on the bus.
Will you buy a spot on the bus for a student at Grace Emmanuel School? Let’s buy this bus as soon as we can, and get ALL of our students back to school.
UPDATE 3/12/2018—The bus is funded!!
THE BUS IS FUNDED! In less than one week, you gave $20,000 to replace the school bus for the students at Grace Emmanuel School. We are overwhelmed by your quick and generous response. THANK YOU for rallying with us in love for the students at Grace Emmanuel School. Praise GOD from whom all blessings flow!
Now—join us in praying for the rest of this process, from purchasing to shipping to customs to licensing in Haiti! Pray that each remaining step would go as smoothly and quickly as possible. We will keep you updated on progress, and we can’t wait for the day the bus arrives at Grace Emmanuel School!