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Published on December 13, 2019

French Students Hold Fundraiser for Scholarships in Haiti

Students in the class “Global and French Perspective on Women’s Issues” at Eastern Connecticut State University recently organized a community engagement project to support scholarships for female students in Haiti. This is the second year in a row the fundraiser has taken place under the guidance of French Professor Michèle Bacholle.

The goal of the fundraiser was to raise funds for scholarships for girls at the Jean Bruny school in Les Palmes, Haiti. “Haiti is a French-speaking country,” said Bacholle, “and one of the poorest in the Western hemisphere. These funds can make a major difference in improving living conditions there.”

Members of the class planned the fundraiser while Bacholle assisted in providing them with the resources they needed. This year the students decided to sell laptop stickers and partnered with Moe’s Southwest Grill to raise a total of $669. The annual cost to send a girl to school in Haiti is $180; this year’s proceeds will fund almost four scholarships.  

One of the topics in the course is the importance of women’s and girl’s education. “When women are educated, their children are healthier, far better in school and have a better future,” says Bacholle. “Women’s education has also been shown to reduce maternal and child mortality and the number of pregnancies.”

The fundraiser was led by junior Shaheera Khan, who took charge of the sticker distribution. As president of the campus chapter of the National Organization for Women, Khan was able to have her club sponsor the fundraiser. Her duties included ordering and pricing stickers and providing Cash App and Venmo accounts. Khan double majors in Criminology and Sociology.

Moe’s Southwest Grill offered 20 percent off to anyone who presented the fundraiser’s coupon. The partnership with the restaurant was organized by sophomore Evelise Boening.

“When women are empowered, they are more likely to have a say in their family’s decision making,” said Bacholle. To help fund scholarships for the girls at the Jean Bruny school, make checks payable to St. Mary Haitian Ministry and mail to St. Mary Haitian Ministry 1600 Main St., Coventry, CT 06238.

Written by Bobbi Brown