Foundation For Peace built and continues to support the Complex Educatif Men Nan Men (translated Hand in Hand) Professional School is located in Ganthier, Haiti. We are dedicated to education because we believe it is the key to breaking the cycle of poverty. Men Nan Men provides a number of educational programs – from languages to tiling, culinary school to computer training. Graduates are equipped with the skills they need to find jobs, gain self-sufficiency and improve the lives of themselves, their families, and their communities. Students range from children to adults, some even into their 80s. Some travel hours to attend classes. Individuals are stepping out, breaking gender norms, and being empowered at Men Nan Men. Women are enrolled in computer classes and men are taking cooking classes. Education at Men Nan Men in enacting great change for the country of Haiti on every level!
While many lives have been changed because of Men Nan Men and the dedicated teachers who continue to show up for the students, today we want to share Wandel’s story with you.
Wandel was a student and is now a teacher at Men Nan Men. He was taught by Foundation for Peace staff member Wesley and was a student of the Advanced Class that I taught in 2019. Wandel excelled in his class, both in skill and leadership. Wandel has taught English at high schools, at Men Nan Men and many other places. He has worked as an interpreter for FFP medical teams as well as for the US Naval Hospital Ship in 2019. Wandel is a true inspiration and example of how providing an opportunity for education can truly change a life, and the lives of those surrounding him.
Wandel was interviewed by our Social Media Coordinator. Below is more of his story.
“Before attending Men Nan Men, I was attending a University in the capital of Ha ti. Unfortunately, after two years, my mother became very sick, and my parents couldn’t pay for me. I did not have the funds to continue at University on my own, so I closed my file and tried to find something else to do. Then, a friend of mine who was attending Men Nan Men told me about it, and I quickly registered myself for English because it was my dream to become a translator.
I remember the day I attended my first class there. The principal, Pastor Valentin, came and introduced himself and told the class the importance of foreign languages, especially English. That day he motivated us to focus on learning…he even promised to help us to find opportunities to work after our studies. I couldn’t believe that at that time, because it was not something common in Ha ti. Yet, what he said was true and Men Nan Men is a great source of opportunities, and also of motivation. The opportunities Men nan Men helped me find have provided work as an English teacher in many high schools and also, as an English translator in different fields. One of the best experiences I have ever had was when the US Naval Hospital Ship came to Ha ti in 2019 to provide healthcare to the Haitian people. I was one of the translators who worked with the doctors translating for the patients and doctors. Most of the translators were former students of Men nan Men.
Today I’m so proud of myself and what I have achieved through Men Nan Men. I’m also so proud of the managers and teachers. They are always there to help the students gain the skills they need to find success and also, to find opportunities to work after their studies. Men Nan Men opened doors to a life I never imagined for myself.”
– Wandel (Paraphrased)
We share these stories to show you a very small glimpse of the incredible impact that is being made in Haiti. Although there are many challenges that Haiti is facing right now, Wandel is one of the many teachers that risks his life to come and teach his students. Education is just that important. He goes above and beyond his duties to the classroom and came to help give the school a fresh coat of paint for the new year!