Planting Seeds of Leadership
Rising early in the morning, Estere Pierre takes a colourfully painted bus, or tap-tap, through dense Port-au-Prince traffic into Kafou Fèy to her job as principal at the Ecumenical Centre for Peace and Justice (FOPJ by its initials in French).
Home to some of the most vulnerable people in Port-au-Prince, the area of Kafou Fèy still contains visible damage from the 2010 earthquake, and gang violence is prevalent. Nestled in this urban area, the school’s pink walls and flourishing palm trees are a tranquil contrast to the bustling roads and precarious housing just outside its walls.
Pierre admits that even she did not fully understand the realities of life in this area when she began working at the school in 2001.
“The situation in which people were living, I didn’t understand it until I worked here. It is in working with them that I have come to learn the living situation is terrible. There are people who are so vulnerable and marginalized,” she says.