WASHINGTON — Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., a private nonprofit organization with a sisterhood of over 200,000 predominately black college educated women and the Delta Research & Educational Foundation have collaborated with Water in Education International (WEI) to open the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Elementary School, The Cynthia M.A. Butler-McIntyre Campus in Chérette, Haiti on June 15, 2013. The grand opening of the school comes during a pivotal time in Delta Sigma Theta’s history as it celebrates the 100th anniversary of its founding.
“The celebrations planned throughout our centennial year have not deterred us from doing what we were called to do – to serve,” said Delta Sigma Theta’s national president, Cynthia M. A. Butler-McIntyre. “Although we no longer see the images of Haiti in the news, the women of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority have not forgotten the devastated faces of our Haitian brothers and sisters after the earthquake three years ago.”
The WEI SCHOOL Project was established to provide an adequate school facility to include clean water for school children in Haiti. It is the first of many initiatives to alleviate some of the challenges in obtaining a quality education in Haiti. This will be accomplished by rebuilding an improved school with larger classrooms and implementing new technologies and unlimited access to clean water, and to promote academic excellence in the remote village of Chérette, located 96 miles southwest of Port-au-Prince.
The Delta Research & Educational Foundation will support the elementary school by providing funds that were donated by members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority in support of the Clean Water Haiti Fund, which was established in 2010. The funds are earmarked to support initiatives to provide clean water for Haitians impacted by the earthquake of January 2010. WEI will exercise full managerial and financial control of the school, its daily operations and legal responsibility of all of its entities.
The site of the school will afford members an opportunity to engage in an enhanced learning environment and promote educational advancement throughout the community of Chérette while experiencing a hands-on global service learning experience. The school project involves the construction of an administrative office building and six classrooms. The 3,530-square-foot facility also meets the needs of the current 300-student population.
“We believe that by impacting the lives of young people, we will have a lasting impact for years to come,” said Butler-McIntyre. “As a former elementary school teacher, it has been my experience that providing the proper educational tools and creating a positive learning environment is essential to school instruction and enables students to excel in and outside the classroom.”
In recognition of the Delta Research & Educational Foundation’s grant in support of clean water at the school site, the Chérette school administration will name the school Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Elementary School, The Cynthia M. A. Butler-McIntyre Campus. Designated areas of the school will be named in honor of the seven living Past National Presidents: Frankie Muse Freeman, Esq., Dr. Thelma T. Dailey, Mona Humphries Bailey, Dr. Bertha M. Roddey, Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge, Rev. Gwendolyn E. Boyd and Dr. Louise A. Rice.