Le Flambeau Foundation Inc., by Bijou Gervais, December 31, 2020
For over ten years THE SPARK of Le Flambeau has worked to ignite the desire of educational pursuit within students across both the U.S. and Haiti. Founded in 2008 with the partnership of high school students in the U.S., THE SPARK of Le Flambeau was conceptualized to provide a cultural bridge among students while simultaneously improving students’ fluency in English reading, comprehension, and writing. In its first year there were 20 participants and since its inception THE SPARK of Le Flambeau has grown to enrol 600+ students and light the torch of many more young minds. Two of the Le Flambeau Foundation scholars who earned full scholarships to attend college in the U.S. (now college graduates) are alumni members of THE SPARK of Le Flambeau program.
Structurally THE SPARK of Le Flambeau is designed so that a group of student leaders moderate a weekly discussion covering a wide breadth of topics. In the past such topics have included debating both the benefits and disadvantages of technology, the value of creating a sustainable future, and identifiable characteristics of a strong leader. The class can consist of students in Haiti and in the U.S. At the end of each session, we identify a select set of students who excelled in the categories of most improved, best grammar/spelling, and best substance.
Partnership with Babbel
This year as we adjusted to a more digital world, we decided to partner with Babbel, the world’s first language learning app. A leader in the online language learning industry, Babbel is ranked as the world’s #1 innovative company in education with millions of active subscribers. Through the Babbel partnership, Le Flambeau Foundation was awarded vouchers to provide students in Haiti participating in THE SPARK of LF program with free access to unique English learning content on the Babbel app.
THE SPARK of Le Flambeau special recognition awards are available for those who reach milestones measured by the number of Babbel certificates earned. The program is in its pilot stage. Since the start of the partnership in August 2020 Haitian youth are learning the programming and then working their way to earning achievement certificates within the app. When reaching certain certificate milestones, they can earn added recognition for exemplary performance. The Babbel app can assist the youth with English fluency and gives them a head start to perform well in THE SPARK of Le Flambeau class sessions in which top performers received awards ranging from laptop computers, college prep study guides, TOEFL test vouchers, and more.
First Award Presented
Most notably, on December 20th we recognized Mr. Viktho Deforges as the recipient of our first Le Flambeau Foundation English Innovator award. Viktho is from Saint-Raphaël and is the first in Haiti to reach THE SPARK of LF milestone of five (5) certificates, a remarkable achievement in such a short period of time. To-date Viktho has earned an amazing nine (9) Babbel certificates and is well on his way to reaching the next THE SPARK of LF milestone of fifteen (15). Congratulations to Viktho Desforges! Bravo! Bravo!
The awards presentation was held in Cap-Haitien Haiti at the Dr. Luc L. Colas Institute structure; and consisted of an initial English/Kreyol/French discussion with participating youth and guests, a demonstration of how to use the Babbel app, and the official award presentation made by Le Flambeau Foundation president Mr. Jean St.Lot-Gervais and THE SPARK of LF English learning teacher Ms. Bijou Gervais, to Mr. Viktho Desforges.
Next Class in February
As we look towards the New Year, we are excited to continue lighting the torch of Haitian youth and providing further language learning opportunities through THE SPARK of Le Flambeau. Starting on the week of February 22nd we will be launching our Spring class session of THE SPARK of LF (all participants will receive a Babbel voucher) which is only the start of several great initiatives Le Flambeau Foundation has in store for 2021. Bravo to all!
To view past THE SPARK of Le Flambeau events see below.
- Eighth Year of THE SPARK Launched
- Winners! THE SPARK of Le Flambeau
- THE SPARK of Le Flambeau 2011 Haiti Winners
- Winners SPARK Le Flambeau
- UDHR 70th Celebrated in Miami & Haiti (featuring THE SPARK)
- Being the Change – Angie (founding youth member)