In 2010, God captured our hearts as we learned stories of left behind children in Haiti. We met children who couldn’t afford school or were deemed too far behind their peers to be given a place in school. A year later, a group of ordinary people decided to take action by forming Project 117, an organization dedicated to serving the left behind through building and operating schools in Haiti. In 2013, God’s provision allowed us to open our first school less than two years after starting our organization.
The Left Behind in Haiti
As our school grew, we learned more about what it means to be left behind in Haiti. Adult literacy classes, work-study programs, and community outreach initiatives were born out of a growing understanding of what it means to be left behind in Haiti and how to better partner with the community surrounding our school.
The Global Left Behind
In 2016, God began calling us to think bigger. As our burden for the left behind grew, it did so beyond Haiti’s borders and into unreached people groups. Just as our heart breaks for children growing up without access to education, it breaks for children who are living in a world without access to the gospel of Jesus Christ. For us, pursuing access to education and access to the gospel are not two separate endeavors. Where education and the gospel are combined, transformation occurs in the lives of students. When students become fully alive, communities are restored. This is hope through education.
A New Chapter
In light of this new burden, we’re currently taking steps toward opening schools among unreached people groups while continuing to develop our operations in Haiti. Inspired by a grander vision for our work, Project 117 has transformed into One 17 International. We see this not as the beginning of a new story, but the turning of a page into a new chapter and realm of influence.