WNYT.com

Siena graduate builds school in his Haiti hometown

Posted at: 11/02/2012 6:30 PM
Updated at: 11/02/2012 6:33 PM
By: Elaine Houston

Pierre-Louis Zwazeel has been out of High School for years, but still remembers the high cost he paid to get an education in his native Haiti.

“I would walk to school 2 hours,” he said.

It was 'on' one of those strenuous walks from his hometown in rural fontaine, to the high school hours away, that he made himself a promise:

 “I said one day if I get the opportunity, I want to build a middle and high school so kids don't have to walk 4 hours”

Having a school in Fontaine would not only mean kids could stay in Fontaine, but also it would provide an education for students who might not get one.

By 2008 you would have no one living in Fontaine with a H.S. Degree live in Fontaine, but, in January, 2010, the school Pierre-Louis was attending was damaged by that massive 7.0 earthquake that hit near Port-a-Prince.

Pierre-Louis found himself here in the Capital Region, and thanks to a church connection, finishing out his education at Siena College, on a scholarship, but, he never forgot the promise he made to himself.

Another connection led him to Christ our Light Catholic Church where the parishioners helped Pierre-Louis realize his dream.

The parishioners at Christ our Light Catholic Church are known for their help in places around the world, so they didn't have to be pressured into helping Pierre-Louis.

With church donations, Pierre-Louis and residents from Fontaine began building a four room school, brick by brick by brick.

Now Pierre-Louis, who majored in Business Administration wants to do more for his town.

“We have a 3-step plan....library and computer room,” he said.