Current Projects

Rotary Book Writing and Training

This project aims to provide primary school Kreyòl books.

While children learn best in their mother tongue, few primary level books are available in Haitian Kreyòl. To address this issue, encouraged by a conversation one day at the Haitian Kreyòl Academy, a Rotary International collaboration formed to develop these books. They give young readers the opportunity to encounter stories in their own Haitian Kreyol language in tales about their own culture. Books will be provided at free or low cost to libraries, schools, and centers. Teachers will be trained in sharing picture books. Contact us to order.

Project leaders: Dr. Peter Manuel, Australia, Creative Director, Rotarian, author,  former professional educator; Dr. Milady August, Haitian Project Specialist, Cultural Advisor and Translator, published author; Dr. Sara Mansbach, Project Coordinator, Rotarian, Literacy Specialist

Partners: US Rotary District 7750, Australian Rotary District 9520, Friends of PILH

Video Introduction by Dr Peter Manuel

Kreyòl Alphabet Chart and Training

This project aims to provide an alphabet chart to every classroom in Haiti that teaches early grades.

There currently are few early level standardized Kreyòl alphabet charts across Haiti, which makes teaching literacy to young children incredibly challenging. This project responds to this need by creating a primary level chart encouraged by Haitian colleagues and educators with the hope of supplying it to schools across Haiti and by providing initial training to teachers on how to use the chart in the classroom with very young pupils.

Project leaders: Martin Blampied, Project Originator, Secretary Na Rive Lekòl; Carla Bluntschli, Haitian Project Specialist, Cultural Advisor and Translator, Co-Founder and Coordinator of N a Sonje Foundation; Daniel Linginfelter, Creative Director, former businessman

Partners: Na Rive Lekòl, Outside Source, US Rotary District 7750, Friends of PILH

Haiti Libraries Alliance

Photo by Kelly Lacy on

This project aims to facilitate networking and communication, focusing on rural community, village and school libraries.

A wide range of stakeholders work on literacy in Haiti, including libraries, local organizations, foreign non-governmental organizations, and individuals. Each of them makes a contribution to libraries and improving literacy in the country. This project will create a group of Haiti literacy stakeholders. We hope to target rural individual community and school locations to introduce additional services and enhance communication. One goal is to introduce more Kreyòl books and activities to parents of toddlers and preschoolers and teachers in the early primary grades.

Partner: Mortenson Center for International Library Programs, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Friends of PILH

Support to Children’s Libraries

This project aims to improve existing school and community libraries.

School and community libraries have wide-ranging needs that impede their ability to provide quality library services to children who patronize them. This project helps meet those needs by providing bookshelves and furniture or enlarging children’s literature collections, for instance. PILH offers small competitive grants to these libraries, based on their targeted, itemized requests for support. See video featuring students in 2015 commenting on the impact of a former project.

Project leads: Rita Yarbrough, Rotarian; former businesswoman; Dr. Sara Mansbach

Partners: Cange Community, Summits Education; HEPI; Upstate Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina; Friends of PILH

Soupe Joumou Book

This project aims to add a contemporary story available Kreyòl children’s books. It will provide a book about Haitian Independence Day and Soupe Joumou.

Famous for two centuries, Soupe Joumou was prepared by slaves, but eaten only by slave masters until Haitians earned their independence. This project will publish a new modern children’s book written by Melinda Long that celebrates Soupe Joumou along with this important Haitian holiday. PILH will make the book available free or at low cost to libraries, schools and clinics.

Project leads: Melinda Long, bestselling children’s author; Dr. Sara Mansbach.

Partner: Star Bright Books