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Te Soley Haiti School Project

Posted on by Sarah Ross

To kick-off this year’s Charity Month we will be donating 15 per cent of the proceeds from our weekly feature wines and spirits from November 5th to November 10th to the Te Soley School Project by Mario Bollag. Supporting our friends and family has always been a key component to the Trusted Experts at Willow Park Wines & Spirits. We have worked closely with Mario Bollag for many years and his organization is near and dear to our hearts.

About Te Soley Haiti School Project

The Te Soley project is focused on the continuing construction and management of a new school in Southeast Haiti, in the village of Haut-Kabic within the comune of Cayes-Jacmel. This project will help children in need of a school for education by creating a safe environment for the children to learn in.

The school is currently in final stages of construction and will open to students between 2022 and 2023 depending on any complications that may arise due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

About Mario Bollag and the creation leading to the Te Soley School Project

Mario Bollag lived in Haiti in the late 70's for a few years, working in the tourism and visual art sectors. He saw the gradual demise of Haiti following years of cruel and authoritarian leadership under the Duvalier regimes. Corruption, and doomed policies from Haitian politicians as well as foreign countries contributed to an almost complete economic and social collapse.

‘The future of Haiti is at best uncertain. There no short-term cure, It will take generations to reverse the downward trend both socially and economically. I believe change begins with the newest generation: The children.’ - Mario

The Haut-Kabic school will operate outside of the Haitian public school system. The education will be focused on four core tenets; art, agriculture, computer skills, and the English language

Art:

In the 70's and 80’s, Haitian Art was celebrated worldwide, but has steadily decreased since the 90’s mostly due to the economic and social disaster in Haiti. Today Haitian artists can barely afford to pay for materials to paint and draw. There is still so much talent out there but not enough opportunities. In exchange for space and materials, artists will be able to dedicate some of their time to teach the school children. The The Haut-Kabic school will organize physical and online exhibitions and auctions for artists and young students to sell their work.  All of the proceeds from the sales will be shared by the artists and the school to fund the supply of materials so that artists young and old can pursue their passion.

Agriculture:

Haiti has history of unsustainable and inefficient agricultural practices. The main fuel source for cooking food is charcoal, due to a lack of electricity and propane gas. The crop choices are limited to basics needed to survive. Students at the school will learn the proper skills of sustainable agricultural, including efficient water canalization systems. 

Computer Skills:

In order to promote Haitian products and community with the world outside of Haiti, it is key to learn basic computer tech skills so in the future it can be applied to access public institutions, administrations, suppliers and clients. Basic computer skills will be taught in the school to ensure a successful and rewarding future.

Language:

The English language is spoke almost everywhere in the world and is key for communicating with the outside world. The student at the school will have courses that are taught in english in order to enhance their communication skills.

Building Process:

  • In 2020, the foundation and the raw structure of the walls of four classroom buildings were built, as well as the access road to the property and construction of a small bridge crossing the ravine to access the property. 
  • In 2022, they will be completing the four classrooms and adding an administrative house, which will hold a teacher's room, a library and an administrative office. They will also be adding four washrooms, and a utilities building with solar panels on top.
  • By the end of 2022/ beginning of 2023 the school will be completed and ready for students!

Click here to check out our feature wines from November 5th to November 10th to support the Te Soley School Project by Mario Bollag.

Make sure to follow us along our Charity month as we will be teaming up with several other organizations, stay tuned!