Francisville is NPFS Haiti’s latest effort to help give Haitian people the resources necessary for societal development. It is a three-structure educational campus located just east of St. Damien Hospital that by the end of 2010, will house an industrial vocational school, a professional school and a secondary school with merits equivalent to the best schools in the United States and Europe. The center has already begun to offer jobs and training for the poorest citizens of the country, especially those graduating from St. Helene orphanage and St. Luc street schools, who would not otherwise have a chance at such an opportunity.
The first phase of the project, the industrial vocational school, will one day soon house a mechanic shop, a pasta and bread bakery, a print shop, a soap factory, a leather shop and a brick masonry which is already internally producing all the bricks necessary to complete construction on the site. On November 3, 2009, while construction continued on the rest of the building, the bakery’s five apprentices produced their first batches of vitamin fortified, delicious Italian bread and cookies under the guidance of Mario Randon, an Italian baker and owner of the Richmont Club based in Mantova, Italy. Guilene, Darline, Vanessa, Omita, and Clanette are all graduates from St. Helene orphanage and/or St. Helene School and are the first official Francisville bakers. In addition, Francky and Joseph, both from St. Helen orphanage and educated in a mechanical and electrical technical school, have been trained by Stephano Bocci to maintain and repair the new baking equipment.
When the bakery is up and running to its full potential, it will produce 4,000 pieces of bread for the children of the NPFS street schools and St. Helene orphanage in addition to sliced loaves of bread to sell to other local NGO’s and markets in order to help offset the cost of operating the facility. Already, our bakers are hard at working under the tutelage of Mr. Rando learning proper baking and efficiency techniques in order to produce such a large quantity of bread.
Those of us in Haiti enjoying the pleasant scent of freshly baked bread, owe special thanks to NPH Italy for managing, alongside St. Luc, the construction of the project as well as the many other supporters who have made, and continue to make, Francisville a reality. Ellys Randon, daughter of Mr. Randon, has also come to Haiti to analyze cost effectiveness, designate suppliers and help determine the most nutritious and logical ingredients to use. Ms. Randon and her father already helped to establish a bakery in Togo, Africa and their expertise and hard work are greatly appreciated here in Haiti.
At NPFS we, and our taste buds, are very excited that this project is finally coming to fruition and we cannot wait until the industrial center is completely up and running.