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The Teachers Building Haiti’s Future

While the School of Hope and Sunshine (Ecole Soleil d’Espoir) originated as a K-6 school for internally displaced people (IDPs) in the confines of the Petionville Club Camp after the devastating 2010 earthquake, it found a permanent home on CORE’s Community Development Campus in Port-au-Prince.


Today, over 300 students are educated at the school, which has expanded to serve children from K-9 in a renovated campus that aims to guarantee that students can learn in a healthy and comfortable environment.


The School of Hope and Sunshine is one of the only schools in Haiti that offers Inclusive Education for those with disabilities. In total, 19% of students enrolled at the school are children with disabilities. Teachers provide an equitable, tailor-made education to ensure each student is cared for. To guarantee that each student arrives ready to learn, the school provides them with healthy meals each day.


Beyond the immediate benefits provided for enrolled students, the School of Hope and Sunshine has built capacity for local teachers and principals at 28 schools across Port-au-Prince, producing an important education spillover effect for the community at large.


Each of the School of Hope and Sunshine teachers has a unique story and passion for teaching this next generation of Haitians. Get to know two of these incredible teachers below.

Teacher: Guerda Lubin Pierre Louis

Portrait photo of teacher, Guerda Lubin Pierre Louis, a teacher at the School of Hope and Sunshine sitting inside of her classroom.

Ms. Guerda Lubin Pierre Louis has taught for over ten years, including three years with CORE’s School of Hope and Sunshine, where she worked with first and second graders. Now, in 2024, she has also begun teaching preschoolers, something she enjoys because of, “their innocence is beautiful.”

She is incredibly proud of her work shaping young minds and helping them learn to become responsible citizens.

Teaching seemed like a divine calling for Guerda, a mother of two and resident of the Tabarre area of Port-au-Prince. Early on in her life, she thought about pursuing a career in law to help give vulnerable people in Haiti a voice, a very noble goal. But, then teaching chose her when she began tutoring local students.

She knows she doesn’t need to be a lawyer to help create change in Haiti. Guerda sees child development in Haiti as intimately tied to the country’s socio-political situation. She knows education is paramount to the country’s future.

She said, “I feel responsible for the children and youth in Haiti and their futures.”

Teacher: Natacha Jason Pierre

Natacha Jason Pierre, a teacher at the School of Hope and Sunshine, poses for a photo inside of her classroom.

Ms. Natacha Jason Pierre has been with CORE (formerly J/P HRO) from the very beginning. She started her now 13-year CORE teaching journey in the direct aftermath of the 2010 earthquake as a volunteer for the Petionville Club Camp IDP school.


Initially, she supported the logistics and coordination of education equipment, which helped establish the current CORE school grounds.


Natacha loves working with children. It is her passion. Her dream is to one day own and operate a preschool. She first found her love for teaching when she babysat for her sister. She said, “My older sisters had babies and children. I would babysit them all the time. This is when I really discovered my love for teaching.”


For Natacha, it felt natural. She said, “Growing up, I was very comfortable working with children and getting them to listen, always making our interactions playful.”


As a teacher, Natcha’s favorite way to work with children is through active learning, such as song, dance, and physical education. She is proud of her charisma when working with children. “If you make it fun, they will listen,” she said.


After twenty years working in education, she shared that teaching has kept her young and has been a good source of stress relief.


Natacha’s wish for Haiti’s education is that general treatment and care for schools and teachers be improved. Teachers make a decent living at CORE’s school and receive quality resources. However, that is not the case for most schools in Haiti, she shared. Often, basic needs and decent wages are lacking.


In these teachers, and the ones like them found all throughout Haiti, we see the future of the future of the country, one filled with hope and sunshine.