Announcing a Strategic Partnership to Improve Classroom Instruction in Haiti MDG2: Achieve Universal Primary Education

September 2012, Maryland –  WebFirst, Inc. and the HavServe Volunteer Network (HavServe) have formed a strategic partnership to improve classroom instruction and better evaluate teachers by collecting student data in rural communities in Haiti, using mobile technology for the upcoming school year. WebFirst will be designing, developing and implementing an elementary school data system for rural communities in collaboration with HavServe in Haiti and will expand data collection for multiple student outcomes and help educators and stakeholders find areas for improvement.

The goal is to improve data collection and analysis, which is needed to comply with the Millennium Development Goals 2 in Haiti and HavServe CEO, Joyce M. Hunter believes it will accomplish three major goals on the country’s education reform agenda:

  •  The data collection will help evaluate the effectiveness of teachers and administrators,
  •  Provide information to help legislators make well-informed decisions and
  • Predict primary school students difficulties to improve learning and encourage career readiness among students.”

The data also will be available for legislators and other stakeholders, so they can address educational issues with an accurate picture of student challenges and performance in rural communities. Carline Brice, HavServe, Executive and Founder along with Kristin Derry, HavServe Education Program Coordinator will launch the data collection project in September 2012 and look forward to the metrics it will produce. “I am proud of the work of HavServe in Haiti to promote access to primary education for all children and we are working  to develop a comprehensive strategic plan for education reform in rural communities in Haiti,” Ms. Brice comments on the program. “Utilizing mobile technology and the use of high quality data will increase the ability of stakeholders to improve instruction and student outcomes.”  “We are very excited to be working with HavServe in applying mobile technologies to helping increase access to education in Haiti,” said Sanjay Patel, President and CEO of WebFirst, Inc. 

“We feel strongly that mobile will play a key role in helping organizations to streamline data collection and assessment efforts, while increasing their ability to deploy resources where they are needed most.”  WebFirst and HavServe look forward to this partnership that will empower villagers with the education, training, and basic services necessary for them to play an ever-increasing role in determining their own futures and creating a sustainable Haiti.

Be Part of Something Special On July 18: Mandela Day!

“Nelson Mandela turns 91 on 18 July, and the call has gone out for people everywhere to celebrate his birthday – and the global launch of Mandela Day – by acting on the idea that each person has the power to change the world.” (

The HavServe Team for Haiti is answering this call to action by launching their own “Inspire Change & Promote Access to Primary Education for ALL Children by 2015”  campaign. We are inviting all volunteers, existing and potential, to give at least 67 minutes of their time, symbolized by Mandela’s 67 years of service, to the cause of educating children in Haiti. A great place to start is a click on this link to HavServe’s Kits for Kids page,245.htm and place a donation for the School Supplies Drive. I just did that on Jean Baptiste KATTIE’s own fundraising page, and it was easy to do. There is a link there to post the information on your facebook page to share with friends and family members. The drive will be going on for one month (July 18th- August 18th) and Jean’s goal is to raise $1000.

Be Part of Something Special – Only 1 Month To Go To Take Action and Inspire Change!  Happy Birthday Nelson Mandela!

A Healthy Appetite for Education

Proper nutrition is a crucial factor in the healthy cognitive development of a child. In Haiti, chronic malnutrition affects 24% of children under the age of five and rises as high as 40% for children living in the poorest of areas. With rural households spending more than 70% of their income on food and more than half of Haiti’s population living below the poverty line of $1 a day, it is undeniable that proper nutrition is an imminent concern. By offering basic health services and free meals to children in need, we are directly improving their health and development, and subsequently their ability to learn within the classroom.

The need for healthy nutrition begins before birth. The nutrition of the mother is a strong determining factor in the brain development of her child. Due to poor diets, many women and children suffer from micronutrient deficiencies, and anaemia is a strong concern for children between the ages of six months and five years. When a child is suffering from malnourishment within the first two years of life, the effects can be both permanent and irreversible. A poorly nourished child has an increased difficulty fighting infections and as a result may miss more school and fall behind in their learning. In an environment that struggles to provide strong educational opportunities to children, it is difficult to understand how a child can overcome the inherent struggles that accompany many developing nations struck by disaster.

Any child that suffers from malnourishment is being deprived of basic nutritional needs, but these children also show decreased levels of curiosity, activity and cognitive functioning. Regardless of the quality and availability of the education, a child who is not eating properly and given basic health services is unable to extract any useful knowledge from the classroom. A good education must start with a healthy mind and body. A recent study explained that children who ate breakfast performed better on tests than children who did not, further highlighting the link between the two factors.

So what can we do now? We need to continue supporting programs that provide basic and necessary nutritional and health care options to the students living in Haiti. In a country that has been so deeply affected by unfortunate circumstances, it is critical that the international community continue to reach out and provide opportunities to children who are in need. Education is an important tool that all children should have the chance to benefit from; however, absorbing the benefits that education affords depends on fuelling the body with nutrients. We cannot dismiss the role of a healthy diet and consistent health services. Let us continue to extend a helping hand, but remember that a good education needs to be accompanied by a good diet.




HS4D/HYSP Whole Child Tenets: Vision – Mission – Goals – Ethos Contribution to MDG 2: Contribution To Achieve Primary Education

Haiti Sports for Development (HS4D)™: HavServe’s Youth Soccer Program (HYSP):  Whole Child Tenets

  • Each player enters HS4D/HYSP to learn and practices good soccer skills.
  • Each player enters HS4D/HYSP healthy and learns about and practices a healthy lifestyle.
  • Each player learns in an environment that is physically and emotionally safe for players and coaches.
  • Each player is actively engaged in learning and is connected to community service/service learning and broader community caring.
  • Each player has access to personalized learning and is supported by qualified, caring coaches trained by HS4D/HYSP International Coaches.
  • Each player is challenged to be an active member of his/her community and the world (Character Education, Tree planting, and community clean-up, and the objectives of the 8 Millennium Development Goals)
  • Each player is challenged academically and prepared for success in school, caring for his/her community or further study and for employment and participation in a global environment.

To learn more:

Are you on Twitter? Get Social on #Education 4 #Haiti Contribution: MDG2 - Achieve Universal Primary Education

Are you on twitter? Join @HavServe – Become a Voluntweeter in the #Servathon 2012-2015 for Haiti!

RT! Education Outreach #Haiti: #educationwillbeatpovertyinHaiti – #TeamHavServe #8MDGs

RT! Give a child a backpack: #educationwillbeatpovertyinHaiti – #TeamHavServe #8MDGs

RT! Promoting Primary Education in #Haiti – #educationwillbeatpovertyinHaiti #TeamHavServe #8MDGs

RT! Millennium Development Goals 4 #Haiti #educationwillbeatpovertyinHaiti #TeamHavServe #8MDGs

RT! Let’s get serious about charitable giving/support #educationwillbeatpovertyinHaiti #8MDGs

RT! Help Haiti Help Itself #educationwillbeatpovertyinHaiti #8MDGs

Team HavServe is asking you to join the HavServe Campaign on getting 4.5 million tweets with the following hashtag by 2015: #educationwillbeatpovertyinHaiti.

Can you give 1 tweet a day for a child in need of education and life-skills in Haiti?

Let’s Get Social — Speak up online – April 1st 2012 to April 1st 2015 with 1 tweet a day, we might change the ongoing debates on #poverty and #Haiti: Lack of access to education is a national and international security treats! We ALL can make a difference!!

We are looking forward to continue making a difference along with you!

Educational Outreach for Haiti Contribution to Achieving MDG2: Achieve universal primary education

“Education must be more than factual enlightenment – it must enrich the character as well as the mind.” Ronald Reagan, proclaiming a “National Day of Reflection” in honor of Rabbi Schneerson’s 80th birthday.

On April 3, 2012, the United States will be celebrating Education and Sharing Day, which recognizes the importance of education in the development of a strong and stable society. Education and Sharing Day promotes the value of education in honor of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, who committed his efforts to outreach and education around the world.

Education is an important route out of poverty. The Millennium Development Goal calls for every girl and boy across the globe to receive a primary education. In our dedication to achieving universal primary education let us join together on Education and Sharing Day 2012 and remind the global community of the importance of education in achieving equality and stability within developing nations. Everyone is capable of making a difference. Together with other individuals you can be a part of a movement to bring awareness of the effects of poverty on the children and families living in Lebrun, Haiti. By making a donation to HavServe’s Backpack and School Supplies Project you will provide children in impoverished Haiti with the opportunity to attend school.

Education and Sharing Day honors a remarkable effort and while HavServe continues to pursue the mission of achieving universal primary education we hope that others will join us on the journey.

If you would like to make a donation to the Backpack and School Supplies Project, please go to:

Help HavServe make a difference on April 3, 2012 by joining us online (Facebook and Twitter): #EducationwillbeatpovertyinHaiti

Happy Education and Sharing Day!

For more information on HavServe’s School Supplies Drive 4 Haiti, go to:

Kindly visit: to learn more about fighting extreme poverty and preventable disease in developing nations.

Get Creative About Education Contribution to Achieving MDG2: Achieve universal primary education

Are you passionate about achieving universal primary education for all children and want to flex some creative muscles?

The OECD is holding their 2012 Global Youth Video Competition and it is a perfect opportunity for HavServe volunteers who are eager to share their experiences of education with the rest of the world.

The OECD’s competition is a chance for HavServe volunteers to express their perspective about the progress made on behalf of achieving universal primary education in Haiti, and the need for continual support in the area. As a participant you must make a short video (3 minutes) that examines the theme:  Education and Skills.

If you’re feeling creative, go to the OECD website ( for further information regarding the competition.

Let’s share with the global community our vision for a better future!

Volunteer Spotlight: Meet Patricia Mercado from Columbia Contribution to Achieving MDG2: Achieve universal primary education

I am Patricia Mercado, a Colombian citizen who has lived in Washington D.C. for more than 10 years. I completed a BA in Marketing and Advertising in Colombia and came to the U.S. to complete my MA at Johns Hopkins University. I am currently working as a Marketing Officer at the OAS Staff Federal Credit Union. Last month, I started my volunteer activities in Lebrun, Haiti with HavServe to get the insight of the 5 schools’ situation and gather ideas from the community to implement the Character Education Program in September 2011.

1. What motivated you to seek a volunteer opportunity in the Village of Lebrun, Haiti?
After listening to many incredible stories from people who had volunteered in Haiti, how powerful and inspirational their experiences have been, and how slow the progress have been on the ground to help Haiti help itself, I decided to look for some volunteer opportunities and make my own contribution. Furthermore, I wanted to have the ultimate volunteer experience and my trip to Lebrun, Haiti has been more than that.

2. What was most frustrating or challenging to you during your volunteering placement?
I will say that the most frustrating part was the language barrier. There were so many things I wanted to ask and learn about Haitian culture, the people’s feelings, ideas, problems, etc. It is a slow process but I am learning bit by bit from the community. The time spent in Haiti has proven to be so valuable! Haitians are so patient and helpful; they always tried to communicate with me and be helpful. Their attitude is incredibly uplifting despite all the hardship; they are so happy and relaxed that their enthusiasm is very contagious. They always had a smile on their faces trying to do their best with what they have and what they know.

Also, being in the Village I had the opportunity to learn about the problems and needs that people have, and I found myself constantly thinking of different ways to help. Unfortunately, there are so many things that need to be done that I got frustrated at times, knowing that I have to focus only on the Character Education Program. Anyway, after all, everything cannot be done at once. It will take time to see the results and the impact; the key is consistency!

3. From what you observed during your experience, what are the three most important characteristics of a successful international volunteer?
Openness: It is very important to immerse yourself and adapt to the local culture and the way of life. Successful volunteers should be engaged, attentive, open, and be able to adapt to the local environment while showing respect for the Haitian way of life.

Patience: The pace of life in Haiti is slower than in the U.S. or in Columbia, for that matter. I think that in order to be effective and maintain a positive attitude, volunteers should focus on the process rather than immediate results. We have to get to know the people, understand them in order to help and have the desired impact.
Flexibility: Be able to do the tasks or work on the project assigned to you as well as helping in other areas whenever you can. There is so much work to be done that it is helpful to be ready to lend an extra hand whenever possible.

4. What kind of impact did you have on the community of Lebrun in Haiti?
My trip was to help introduce the Character Education Program to the 5 school directors and teachers, and I was pleased to note that the program was very well received by the local schools. During the workshops the 5 school directors and 35 teachers expressed their appreciation and enthusiasm for the training, and they are looking forward to help the HavServe Team of volunteers implement the program for the upcoming school year. They shared with me that they are inspired and motivated to keep helping the children in the community, and the Character Education concept shared during the teachers workshop is needed and will be helpful to all children in the village.

I also got involved into the recycling program by collecting trash with the local community leaders. A key facet of the Character Education Training will be raising awareness about caring for the environment through ongoing activities such as separating garbage and recycling materials, developing a system to dispose of the collected materials, etc.

5. How did the people in the Village of Lebrun, Haiti perceive the role of international volunteers like you?
My feeling is that international volunteers are well received by the local community because the HavServe team has done a wonderful job building trust among the community and identifying leaders that support the different projects that are in place. My observation is that the local community is participating in all aspects of the ongoing projects, and during the town hall meetings they contributed with ideas and shared other needs to be considered in community-led development. They are actively engaged in participating in all training and workshops and are willing to do their part to help their community.

Their biggest concern is that the HavServe team will continue the ongoing projects and keep working with the community because they have seen so many people come in and out of the community and disappear without making any real impact.

6. What did you learn about yourself during your experience?
Wow! I learned so much about myself and from the local community! I learned about the culture, the past and current situation, and had the opportunity to visit some beautiful places. I am now convinced that Haiti is a beautiful island with amazing people who are facing some very serious difficulties.

Finally, I am now aware that we can help Haiti help itself with some creative projects and don’t really need a lot of resources to help because they are ready to do their part once they understand the process and the objectives of our presence in the community. I am now more appreciative of all the things I used to take for granted. While working with the other volunteers, I learned how to build solar ovens, how to start a square foot gardens, how soccer is uniting the Lebrun community! I am looking forward to go back to continue this amazing experience!

Thanks for being a part of this,


Summer Spotlight: School Supplies Drive Contribution to Achieving MDG2: Achieve universal primary education

Help make sure Haiti’s children are equipped for success in the coming school year by donating backpacks and school supplies. The greatest need for school supplies are backpacks, loose leaf paper, pencils, highlighters, markers, colored pencils, binders, pencil pouches, pens, and glue sticks. Supplies are collected throughout the year and will be shipped to Haiti in a timely manner.

Volunteer Spotlight: Manoel Da Silva from Brazil Contribution to Achieving MDG2: Achieve universal primary education

Volunteer SpotLight: Soccer for Development (HS4D): HavServe’s Youth Soccer Program (HYSP)

Soccer for Development brings together Mano’s biggest passions. Coming from the Northeast Region of Brazil, soccer was his ticket to a higher education in the United States, where he earned a B.A. in Business Administration. During his college soccer career in the US, he was honored as an All-American Player, and before coming to the United States he played for several clubs in Brazil. The game also opened the doors to a Master of Business Administration degree with focus on International Development.

Mano has been on Soccer for Development missions in South and Central America, the Caribbean, and Africa. One of these endeavors is the Play4Development initiative, sponsored by Young Connection, the community of young professionals at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). Moreover, Silva is the grassroots campaign Director for love.fútbol, an organization which mission is to develop simple, safe soccer fields for children in impoverished communities worldwide. Also, he wears the hat at the Many Hats Institute (MHI), a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the conditions for children and youth worldwide.


All American Soccer Player – NSCAA (2005, 2007)

Region player of the year – NSCAA (2005, 2007)

Most Improved Student at Bryan College (Class of 2008)


B.A. Business Administration (Bryan College); Minor in Spanish

M.B.A International Development (Hope International University)

Click on the links below to explore various opportunities to support the Haiti Sport for Development (HS4D)™: HavServe’s Youth Soccer Training.