By Tony Manshino | Shashamne Sunrise Haiti Station Chief
November 30, 2017
In December 2016, Sagicor’s staff raised $20, 711 to fund reconstruction of the Marion School. In addition to these funds, Sagicor pledged to raise further funds to aid reconstruction, with Digicel Foundation pledging a further $20, 000 to fund supplies and furnishings once construction is complete. At the end of December, with the assistance of Shashamane Ambassador, Raquel Pelissier Miss Universe 2016 first runner-up, and MSC Plus, school, and classroom supplies were handed to students attending the a Christmas event at the site of Marion School.
In March 2017, Sagicor provided a further $2, 400 to assist in the continuation of phase 2 of the construction 1at Marion School. These funds were used to purchase additional material for the continuation of phase 2 of work. This included the erection of the supporting columns for the framework of the main structure of Marion School. However, with the urgent need for classes to continue, a temporary classroom was made as an integral part of phase 2 of construction.
Jean Robert Bellande, a Haitian American philanthropist and contact of Shash Ambassador Raquel Pelissier, also provided further funding of $2, 000 towards construction activities. With this funding the Marion School now has a temporary roof on the permanent main school block which was needed for classes to continue in September 2017 despite the weather, as well as the school supplies.
As construction continues, the students and staff are showing unmatched tenacity in ensuring pencil is put to paper each day and education continues despite the challenges they continue to face. We thank Sagicor Life, the Digicel Foundation, MSC Plus, Jean Robert Bellande and all of you who have made this endeavor possible.
About Sagicor Life:
Sagicor Life is an international life insurance company which operates in 22 countries worldwide though primarily based in the US, Caribbean and Latin America. Through its commitment to corporate social responsibility, Sagicor donates hours of volunteer service and pledges funds dedicated to philanthropic support annually. The company centers its aid programs on health, education and youth initiatives, causes which reflect its vision of enhancing the lives of individuals in the communities it serves.
Shashamane Sunrise is a nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering healthy learning environments for children in low-income countries throughout Africa and the Caribbean. Its established presence in Haiti identified the nonprofit as an ideal partner for a relief initiative. The organization has been working on reconstruction of Marion School in the rural community of Quillon. It had completed phase I, the rebuilding of the school’s foundation, and begun to tackle phase II just before the hurricane. Shash’s progress was setback as the temporary location of the school’s operations was destroyed during the disaster, leaving the students with neither shelter nor a current location to attend school. As an institution, the Marion School services over 200 students, as well as the nearby community, providing food, school and medical provisions to its constituents. Thus, its reconstruction will not only permit students to resume their studies, but will also provide provisional shelter for the community’s displaced population.
Tony Manshino is the director of the re-construction of the Marion School. He is a producer, musician, film maker, philanthropist and entrepreneur with over 15 years’ experience developing and executing several successful projects.