The earthquake that devastated Haiti also decimated its higher-education system, damaging or destroying 87 percent of the country’s universities, and killing almost 200 faculty and thousands of students1—Haiti’s future. Now, a group affiliated with the EFCA is helping Haitians step into that void by creating a new university, l’Universite Internationale en Haiti.
“This is an opportunity to help develop the next leaders of this country,” says Dr. Michael Cooper, professor at Trinity Graduate School and Trinity International University in Deerfield, Ill., and member of the Haitian university’s steering committee.
The university was the brainchild of Rev. Henoc Lucien, a native Haitian, and has the backing of other local leaders in religion, government, education and business. In fact, the town of Milot in the north of the country donated 25 acres. A team of builders and engineers has already developed the master plan, local Haitian workers will be hired, and construction is ready to begin, with a goal of raising $2.6 million for completion of the first phase.
The school plans to open in fall 2011 with 60-120 students, but eventually it could accommodate 1,200 students and offer two- and four-year programs in agriculture, business, medicine and other disciplines, as well as biblical studies and ministry.
“We are expecting that the people who come out of this school will have a solid biblically informed worldview, which will permeate all areas of their life,” says Greg Schuenke, president of Vision of Hope Ministries and chairman of the university’s steering committee.
Strong government, business and church leaders are one more step toward a changed future for Haiti.