The Hope for Haiti
Cooking School began with the initiative of Hope for Haiti's
House Coordinator and extraordinary chef, Miss Carmene Alverbe. After learning the basics at a cooking school near her home in the mountains of Gris Gris, Carmene made all of her progress in the kitchen through her own disciplined self-teaching. Her passion for food and service is an extension of her selfless concern for others, which she imparts on each of the students that come to learn a piece of her culinary wisdom.
The first classes began in 2009 as an effort to support Haitian women, and were tailored to the domestic role they often play in their families and the economy. Since then, Carmene has led four class sessions with incredible success, each lasting at least 12 weeks. The most recent course welcomed Carmene's first male student, who joined his female counterparts in learning proper food preparation and presentation techniques, varied recipes, balanced nutrition, and savvy planning for purchasing and using local products on a precise budget.
Each student gains the professional skills needed to work for a private employer or a local restaurant, and many have found employment in local joints around Les Cayes. The students also report an improved quality of life in their homes, where their newfound knowledge leads to increased economic ability, better health, and better nutrition for themselves and their families.