Haiti history is both complex and tragic. Its tragedy has resulted in the mindset in many young men and women of “I don’t have, I don’t know, I can’t and It’s not my fault.” A cycle of victimization and hopelessness that keeps them defeated. Long-term empowerment and impact is possible only if these young men and women are freed from this stronghold by God’s power, acknowledge that THEY OWN the results of their choices and are empowered to be responsible fathers, citizens and godly leaders of integrity.
Haiti Teen Challenge is an 18 month residential program, which provides spiritual discipleship, life skills, vocational education and leadership training for male and female youth, ages 16 to 24. HTC identifies high potential students, from targeted communities with a heart for transformation.
TRANSFORM Phase I, the foundation of the program focuses on personal transformation. The student learns about a personal relationship with God, moral integrity and character development. The 50-year proven program of Teen Challenge addresses the strongholds in one’s life, be it drugs, alcohol, poverty or violence. The student learns that they are valued and have purpose. They learn how to be responsible for daily life decisions, and how to manage relationships with dignity and respect. The student completes the first level of their personal and biblical studies, and courses on what it means to be a servant leadership and a person of integrity. From entrance into the HTC Program every student is involved in community outreach and restoration.
"People say that you are nothing, God says you are valuable and have purpose." Samuel Jean, HTC Graduate
During Phase I each student is monitored and evaluated for evidence of spiritual growth, personal maturity and strength of character, and academic achievement. Upon completion of Phase I each student is assessed to determine if he/she satisfies the requirements needed for a vocational scholarship.
EQUIP The purpose of Phase II is to strengthen the student's commitment to a life of discipleship, to begin their choice of vocational education and to prepare them to return to their communities. A vocation empowers every student to gain employment and to take responsibility for their families. In Phase II each student is connected with a mentor. These mentors assist them in applying biblical principles to their lives, and model for them how to be responsible servant leaders, husbands and wives, and parents in their families and communities. They also help to connect them with a church community. Albert Einstein said, "Setting an example is not the main means of influencing another, it is the only means." A mentor helps to guide, direct and encourage a student to success. Other components of Phase II include training in community transformation, internships, business workshops, and job interview training. The student continues to be involved in community service and participates in the HTC Alumni activities.
The magnitude and depth of the issues in Haiti requires a strong process for re-entry in order to create a success story for the HTC Students and for Haiti. To build accountability and long-term success HTC gathers students from a targeted community during the intake process. Students learn to confront and resolve issues they may have had with one another and as they grow in faith, understanding of one another and character they begin to embrace one another. They become "brothers" and "sisters" and the strength of these relationships carries on as they return to their neighborhoods.
Haiti Teen Challenge believes that only Haitians, with God's help, can heal their nation. They must be the ones who “rebuild the cities that have been ruined for generations.”
They begin by transforming their own families, establishing households where as fathers and mothers they support and care for their children, breaking the cycle of “fatherlessness.” In their neighborhoods they serve and lead with trustworthiness; taking on responsibility and working hard, while engaging other members of their neighborhoods to participate. They are mobilized by the spirit of God, the knowledge that they are significant, valued and have a purpose, and empowered with an education and skills that can make a lasting impact.
"I want to change the way a child grows up. I talk about my past and what Jesus is doing in my life." Jackson Fils-Aime, former gang member and HTC Graduate
Haiti Teen Challenge 740 East 24th Street Minneapolis, MN 55404 651.592.8774 (Vicki Jefferis)