GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
- Reach out to girls who have been abused, neglected, have no family, or who simply have little reason to hope for a better life and future.
- Share the love of Christ with these girls through Bible study and mentorship programs.
- Inspire hope in their lives by training them to better provide for their own physical needs.
- Teach them the value of diligence and hard work.
- Equip them with occupational training so they can contribute to their society while earning an income for themselves and their families.
- Empower them to move into their communities and contribute to the physical and spiritual well being of their families, neighbors, and church members.
- We wish to contribute to the Haitian community by supporting the local economy and providing jobs to well-qualified individuals.
The Blue Ridge Discipleship Program operates out of the former BRIC Children’s Home in Leogane, Haiti. We work with 10-15 girls at a time. We find these girls through contacts we have throughout the region, and choose girls that have no parents, very bad home lives, or because of abuse or other hardships would benefit from a program like this.
The girls will ideally be young teenagers when they join the program, and will continue in the program until they have finished school and are on track to lead productive and healthy lives on their own.
The program will be run by an administrator (also called a director) with the help of two US staff girls and several Haitian staff. The Blue Ridge administrator in Port-au-Prince will assist if necessary as he is able, and a board of directors from the United States will provide oversight.
EDUCATION & SKILL DEVELOPMENT
The girls will be a part of the foster program and will therefore have a sponsor from the US that will help pay for their schooling. Our goal is to provide college or vocational schooling for each one of the girls. This equips them to go into their world armed with the tools to be productive members of society.
Girls will attend school outside the yard as necessary to complete high school and college or vocational school. We will also be providing specialized training in several areas within the yard – usually in the afternoons. The frequency and timing of these classes, as well as who will teach them, will be determined by the program administrator. A list of potential courses is included at the end of this section. More courses may be added as time goes on.
Most work available to women are jobs such as school teachers, social workers, secretaries, nurses, receptionists, etc. For this reason, the girls’ training and education will focus on these areas and be tailored to their individual skills and interests.
The everyday language of the Haitians is Haitian Creole – a highly modified form of French. However, a large percent of higher level business activity, legal documents, etc is written and conducted in French. Also, due to Haiti’s proximity to the US and the presence of foreign investors and aid workers, being able to speak English is a valuable asset. For these reasons, we will offer the girls English and French language classes.
A list of potential classes that will be offered within the yard or as part of vocational training:
- Music (vocal and instrumental)
- Good stewardship / personal finances
- Personal Hygiene
- First Aid / basic medicine
CHURCH LIFE / SPIRITUAL TRAINING
Girls will attend a community church and be involved in the church life as much as possible. This will include attending services Sunday mornings and evenings, and other services throughout the week as much as possible. Girls will also be encouraged to be active members of the youth group.
We are very concerned about the spiritual training and mentoring of these girls. As in any other country, young people in Haiti are confronted with an array of temptations and life changing decisions. The girls will have to remain strong in the middle of a perverse and self-centered culture.
Spiritual mentoring will be a large part of the lives of the girls. In addition to church, we will offer them Bible training within the yard on a regular basis. They will be taught how to have personal devotions and how to develop a relationship with God. They will be given insight into world views and apologetics so they have a solid foundation on which to base their faith.
It is critical that the young women have good friends and spiritual mentors when they transition from life at Blue Ridge to life in their home communities. The program director, with help of community leaders and pastors, will connect the girls with a member or members of their community who can continue to mentor them and provide them with leadership and accountability. The program director or foster program personnel will check up on the women as they are able.
The girls will live in three groups, with each group living in a separate dorm. Each dorm consists of three bedrooms capable of sleeping two or three girls apiece, one bathroom with a shower, and a sitting room with a table and sofa. Each dorm will also house a Haitian lady who will be the group leader.
DAILY LIFE / SCHEDULE
The girls will work together as groups to conduct their activities within the yard. Each group will consist of one or two Haitian leaders and five or six of the program girls.
The program director will establish a schedule within the yard. The schedule will be something like this:
- 5:00- 5:15 – Devotions in your room
- 5:15 -5:30 – Clean your room
- 5:30-6:00 – Exercise
- 6:00-6:30 – shower
- 7:00-7:30 – Breakfast, devotions under the pavilion
- 7:30-8:00 – Go to School
- After school is lunch
- Wash dishes
- Do homework
- Professional school for 1-2 hours
Although there will be some employees helping with washing, cooking, and cleaning, the girls will be expected to be as self sufficient as possible. They will work together as groups to clean their dorms, wash their clothing, plan their meals, shop for food, and prepare their meals. They will also receive allowances and be responsible to manage their personal finances. These goals are our ideals, and they may be modified as the program director sees necessary.
STAFF & JOB DESCRIPTIONS
Many of these positions have separate handbooks with more detailed job descriptions. This is an overview of each position.
Program Administrator (or Director) – Oversee the day to day operations of the program. Interact with staff and residents on a regular basis and mitigate any disruptions or issues that arise. Director’s job description is spelled out in more detail in a separate document.
House Parents – May double as administrator. A married couple responsible primarily for providing a parent model for the US staff and the Haitians.
Secretary – US single girl responsible for program finances and bookwork. Accountable to the administrator and board. Will not live with the Haitian girls, but will be expected to interact with them regularly and will be a counselor and mentor to them. Will usually be asked to teach or help teach an afternoon class based on her interests (e.g. Bible, English, Cooking).
Nurse / Program Assistant – US single girl who has received some type of medical training. Works as program nurse as well as assisting with programs, general housekeeping, bookwork, organization, etc. Will live in the US girls’ dorm with the secretary, but will also be expected to be actively involved in the lives of the program girls. Will usually teach a first aid or personal hygiene class in the afternoon.
Group Leaders – At least three Haitian women on salary to live with the girls and supervise their group activities. In the future, it would be ideal if these women would be former program participants.
Teachers / Instructors – Haitian employees hired to teach afternoon classes. The amount of teachers will depend on which classes are running at the time.
Groundskeeper – Maintains grounds and does yard work as necessary 3-5 days per week. Lives outside the yard.
Gate Keeper / Guard (Optional) – If the administrator deems it necessary and useful, a Haitian guard may be utilized to keep an eye on the property and answer calls at the gate. Responsible to screen visitors as well. Guard(s) may work part time or around the clock as needed.