Weak dollar causes cash crunch for Haiti school founded by Yellowknife man

The founder of a school for poor children in Haiti says the weak Canadian dollar is causing the school to run out of money and the school needs more support to keep the doors open.

Greg Brady says God's Hope School needs new roof, money to feed students

Student's at God's Hope School in Haiti. The school's founder, Greg Brady of Yellowknife, says the weak Canadian dollar is causing a funding shortage for the school. (Submitted by Greg Brady)

The founder of a school for poor children in Haiti says the weak Canadian dollar is causing the school to run out of money and the school needs more support to keep the doors open.

Founder Greg Brady is from Yellowknife. He started God's Hope School in 2010 with the help of his local church, the Vineyard Christian Fellowship. Brady donates a quarter of his pension to the school each month, but with a weakening Canadian dollar, the funds are not covering monthly expenses and the school is nearly broke.

"We were doing OK," Brady said. "But when the U.S. dollar left our dollar so far behind, our [savings] ran out."

The school pays teachers in U.S. dollars. On top of a dwindling savings account and need for more sponsors, the school is also without a proper roof. Brady is campaigning to raise $40,000 to complete construction.

"What I am trying to do is raise money to complete the second floor, and put a metal roof on with a rain water collection system so we can have hand washing and a flush toilet," Brady said.

'Can't afford' to feed students

The school offers more than just education. The school feeds its 150 students when it can afford to — simple meals such as spaghetti and ketchup. Brady said the doors of the school also stay open in the summertime, which helps keep students from begging on the street.

"We are not feeding them five days a week now because we just can't afford it," Brady said. "This is going to be a very difficult year." 

Brady says the school badly needs a new roof. (Submitted by Greg Brady)
Brady is travelling around Canada drumming up support for the school. He was in Yellowknife earlier this month and has raised $7,000 so far for the roof. He says there is no easy answer to solve the school's funding problem.

"I may have to contribute more money," Brady said. "I'll have a decision to make this year."

Despite its financial woes, Brady is determined to keep the school's doors open.

"We're not going away. We'll find our way through this."

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