About Out of Poverty thru Education
The project started in 2007 when George (Skip) Wrape, looking for an International project for the Cape West Rotary Club, met Fr. Rehab Isidor, a Haitian, and associate pastor at St. Vincent's de Paul Parish in Cape Girardeau, MO.
A trip to Thomassique, Haiti followed and it was here that the dream of Fr. Rehab started to take shape. Working with the Rotary Club in Cape Girardeau and Hinche, Haiti, a school for orphans and the poor of the poor was formulated.
The Diocese in Haiti donated the land. Energy from Bonnie Poythress and her husband Roger helped the project move forward. A non-for-profit was established to raise funds for the project. The name Out of Poverty thru Education, OPTE, was offered up by Lou Hagler. The corporation was formed by our lawyer, Michael Gardener, and the seeds were planted. Jim Riley, of Red Letter provided his unique energy and creativity in marketing and promotion.
By 2010, construction had begun when Haiti was struck with a devastating earthquake. It took almost a year to get back to construction. Many issues continued but the team was determined. Whenever things looked impossible, a blessing would come to the group's efforts.
In 2014, Hope Academy was dedicated and the poorest children of Thomassique were given an opportunity at an education. Today over 250 children attend the well run school.
Currently, the school is being financed by a group out of Springfield, Missouri. The kids have a meal daily, provided by Convoy of Hope. OPTE remains an avenue of support for Hope Academy and Hope Clinic.