December 30, 2003 - The Lawrence Journal World: Peace Corps volunteers Renee Low and Corey Lewis work in village of Prévilé in rural Haiti

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Haiti: Peace Corps Haiti : The Peace Corps in Haiti: December 30, 2003 - The Lawrence Journal World: Peace Corps volunteers Renee Low and Corey Lewis work in village of Prévilé in rural Haiti

By Admin1 (admin) ( - on Tuesday, December 30, 2003 - 10:53 am: Edit Post

Peace Corps volunteers Renee Low and Corey Lewis work in village of Prévilé in rural Haiti

Peace Corps volunteers Renee Low and Corey Lewis work in village of Prévilé in rural Haiti

Volunteers seek funds for village school

Peace Corps worker from Tonganoxie says $5,000 could make world of difference

By Holly Naylor, 6News

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

For nearly three years, Renee Low has been a Peace Corps volunteer in Prévilé, a small village on the southwestern tip of Haiti.

And now Low, of Tonganoxie, and fellow volunteer Corey Lewis have made it their mission to replace the village's primitive schoolhouse.

"The school is a tin roof basically with no walls, and it's for eight classes," Low said. "You'll have one set of classes facing one direction in the room with a professor at the front, and another set of classes facing another direction. So everyone is basically fighting to hear what their professor is saying to them."

Low said it was easy to see how the 350 children who attended the school had trouble learning in that environment. Low and Lewis decided they wanted to build a new five-room schoolhouse for the village.

In November, they applied for a grant through the Peace Corps seeking $3,238 to build the new school. In late November, the grant was approved, but there is no money to support it. Low said part of the reason was the war in Iraq.

"They cut money from the Peace Corps to go toward the war, and so we have less money," Low said. "So they have to re-budget and figure out how to make the money spread out evenly."

She said the uncertainty about when or if the check might come through was frustrating.

"It could be January when we get the money, or it could be next June," she said. "We have no idea when the money will come in. It's really frustrating because you're only there for a limited time, and they tell you this is how it's done. And we went through all the paperwork and all the little things that needed to be done, and now they're telling us there's no money."

So the two volunteers are now taking it upon themselves to raise the money. The $3,000 grant they applied for would cover only the cost of building the structure.

6News video: Peace Corps worker seeks donations for school

"We also wanted to do benches, chalkboards and some books," Low said. "With that, our goal would be closer to $5,000."

While home for the holidays, Low has been sending letters to family and friends in hopes of raising the money. But she and Lewis are scheduled to leave Monday for Haiti for their final tour of duty, which ends in May.

They had hoped to have the schoolhouse built by then. But now, they said, they must cross their fingers and hope the money arrives.

How to help

Those interested in contributing to building a new school in Haiti can send donations to: Haiti Relief, c/o Trinity Episcopal Church, 1027 Vt., Lawrence 66044. Please write "Haiti Relief" on the check's memo line.

Lewis said the new schoolhouse would improve the children's education and their quality of life.

"The ones who end up with a better life in Haiti, which is hard enough as it is, are the ones with an education," said Lewis, a Michigan native.

"What I worry about is the children that we've talked about this project to. We've tried to get it together, and now I'm having to say, ‘Well just wait. I'm not sure; we're not sure.' And it could come down to when May rolls around and I have to leave and I still don't have the money."

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Story Source: The Lawrence Journal World

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Haiti



By solow ( on Monday, January 12, 2004 - 4:13 pm: Edit Post

Thank you Peace Corps for the wonderful experiences you have afforded our child, Renee Low. Jack and Tanya Low

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