Blog Archives

As I sat in a booth at Chick-fil-A at Cleveland-Hopkins Airport at 5:30am, I glanced up to see a sign on the wall that read:

I don’t shop because I need something.
I just shop for shopping’s sake.
– Cat Deeley

I don’t know who Cat Deeley is, but as I was minutes away from boarding a plane headed for Haiti, this quote stood out to me in a BIG way. (more…)

sponsor a child in haiti

So, I thought it would be fun to share a little of what goes on “behind the scenes” with the Student Sponsorship Program.

sponsor a child in HaitiAs of today, we’ve gathered photos and information on nearly 600 students – first, second, and third graders. That may seem like a fairly simple task, right? I mean, in the States, there’s picture day each year and every student is already plugged into all kinds of school and district databases.

Not so in Haiti.

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Below is the fourth in a series of articles highlighting some of the graduates of Institution Univers who, through the support of COCINA and its partners, went on to study beyond IU and have now returned to Ouanaminthe and Univers to fulfill their commitment of giving back to the community they came from.

We ask each of the returning graduates now working for Univers a series of questions that we hope will allow you to learn not only about their past, but about their hopes for the future, in their own words.

Meet James Blanc…

 

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(This post is written by our Director of Development & Sponsorships, Matt White)

Back in September 2016, I took on a part-time role with Coalition of Children in Need Association (COCINA) as the Director of Development & Sponsorships, and I’ve spent about five weeks in Haiti over the last several months. (more…)

 

 

Below is the third in a series of articles highlighting some of the graduates of Institution Univers who, through the support of COCINA and its partners, went on to study beyond IU and have now returned to Ouanaminthe and Univers to fulfill their commitment of giving back to the community they came from.

We’ve begun to ask each of the returning graduates now working for Univers a series of questions that we hope will allow you to learn not only about their past, but about their hopes for the future, in their own words.

Meet Marie-Claire Charles…

 

(more…)

emmanuel-joseph-iu-graduate-highlight

 

success in haitiBelow is the second in a series of articles highlighting some of the graduates of Institution Univers who, through the support of COCINA and its partners, went on to study beyond IU and have now returned to Ouanaminthe and Univers to fulfill their commitment of giving back to the community they came from.

We’ve begun to ask each of the returning graduates now working for Univers a series of questions that we hope will allow you to learn not only about their past, but about their hopes for the future, in their own words.

Meet Emmanuel Joseph…

 

(more…)

 

jerry-old-pic-2We are excited to start highlighting some of the graduates of Institution Univers who, through the support of COCINA and its partners, went on to study beyond IU and have now returned to Ouanaminthe and Univers to fulfill their commitment of giving back to the community they came from.

One of our first returning graduates was Hantz-Jerry Pierre. We asked Hantz-Jerry a few questions so you could get to know him. We hope this question and answer format will allow you to learn not only about his past, but about his hopes for the future, in his own words…

Meet Hantz-Jerry Pierre…

 

(more…)

hope-of-haiti-for-web

 

COCINA’s aim is to cultivate Hope in Haiti. Each year, numerous individuals, churches, mission teams, and friends of COCINA generously help us as we strive to accomplish that goal, and we are immensely grateful. In that pursuit, it is important to remember where our hope comes from – God’s Word.

This photo is of an old Haitian pastor who has been faithful to the Word for many years. What a wonderful example as we seek God’s will in our work with Institution Univers and Univers Medical Center.

The Word of God is the Hope for Haiti! 

COCINA’s foundational Bible verse is Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you HOPE and a future.” 

 

Michaela Roland“This trip is something I have been dreaming about for seven years.”

Coalition of Children in Need Association has helped create an invaluable experience for many people in Ouanaminthe, Haiti. My name is Michaela Roland, and meeting others involved with COCINA has inspired me to do more and give more of my life to the amazing and loving people of Ouanaminthe.

Institution Univers is a school run by love, prayers, support, and many hard-working, passionate people – and it has changed my life in abundant, remarkable ways. Beginning in 2009, when I was 15 years old, I started to realize that teaching children and connecting with students is my passion. After many more mission trips, I became even more reassured that I wanted to spend my life teaching children. My goal was to spend time teaching in Haiti. Every summer and winter I have had the opportunity to visit Ouanaminthe to teach English and TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) preparation classes at Univers. The students continue to pull on my heartstrings, and teaching them for just a week to four weeks is not enough.

Finally, after 12 trips, I am now able take a journey to Haiti for six months. This trip is something I have been dreaming about for seven years. Shortly after graduating this May, with a degree in English Education, I will be making the trip to Haiti for a longer stay than I ever have before.

I am looking forward to…

…being able to teach my students more consistently.

…seeing all of the children and students come to summer camp every day, and then come to school everyday dressed perfectly in their uniforms.

… learning more about the Haitian culture and people, as I become their neighbor.

…creating more friendships and connections with the inspiring people in Haiti, the volunteers, and more of the COCINA community.

Most importantly, I am looking forward to building an even stronger relationship with God each and every day in the amazing country of Haiti.


Do you have a COCINA story that you would like to share? Send it to us at haiticocina@gmail.com.

Katie Green

My name is Katie Greene. I am a junior at the University of Kentucky, and last summer I got the opportunity to go on a mission trip to Ouanaminthe with Southland Christian Church in Lexington. I had never been on a plane before, much less out of the country, but I heard God say “GO” and the rest is history.

We were there for a week and got to experience many things, including a day in the life of the students at Institution Univers. I don’t know what I was really expecting, but the warmth and the love I received from everyone there, including the faculty and the students, impacted me more than I could have hoped. I was deeply touched by the genuine love of people who had no clue who I was before I got there.

Spending time with the children in the school was a blessing in particular. It was amazing to see their desire to learn and just their appreciation for the opportunity at an education. It reminded me of all the things I take for granted here in the US, education being one of them sometimes. I loved getting to help teach in the kindergarten and the primary school. One of my favorite things was recess. The children would all just run to you and want to hold your hand. They would not stop loving on us until the entire hour was over and they had to go back inside. My heart was so moved by this, and I knew I was experiencing Jesus’ love like never before.

God opened my eyes to the way I need to be looking at and loving others through these kids. Love isn’t about what someone can do for you, or conditions, it is about having an open heart to anyone who comes my way. Jesus doesn’t wait to see what we will be or all we will accomplish before pouring His love into us – He just loves. No strings attached. These kids showed me that. The love they poured out to a complete stranger, who knew only a few words of their language, has forever changed my life, along with the kindness of so many I came into contact with on our trip.

Seeing the work COCINA is doing in Ouanaminthe made me so excited. God is really working there. I was only there for a short time, but felt like I was leaving another home after the week ended. I hope and pray I get to return and serve this place that has already impacted my life and my heart more than I could express.