JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — This Sunday marks 10 years since a catastrophic earthquake devastated Haiti.
Since then, not much has changed for the impoverished nation, but a retired Jacksonville teacher is trying to make a difference in Haiti, one lesson at a time.
Action News Jax spoke exclusively with Sherrie Fausey, founder and CEO of Christian Light School, about how local donations are funding an important mission.
The images and sounds from January 12, 2010 are hard to forget.
The world watched as children and adults were pulled from the rubble of a devastating earthquake in Haiti. Many died waiting to be rescued.
Fausey was there the day the earthquake hit.
“We had a lot of people in the building. We had 27 children living on the first floor and I was really concerned for them. It’s still an emotional thing, I guess,” she said from Haiti.
Fausey’s tuition-free school is in Port-au-Prince.
Sadly, the earthquake claimed the lives of four of her students and her secretary.
But she rebuilt. In 2007, she sold her home in Arlington and with that money, she started her foundation in Haiti.
“This is home I love, Jacksonville, but this is now home. I’ve been here 20 years,” Fausey said.
Thanks to generous Jacksonville donors, her school is still up and running.
Today, 235 Haitian kids can study for free every day.
“We provide the schooling, we provide their uniform, we give them two meals a day, we provide vitamins, we are doing medical care,” Fausey said.
She said there’s been slow progress since 2010, mainly because of the lack of opportunity in Haiti.
“The educated people, the ones who are able, they leave. They go to the United States, France or Canada. And the uneducated, those who have no chance are the ones who are left behind,” Fausey said.
Her goal is to raise Haiti’s next generation of leaders, who she believes can help bring about positive change.
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