NEOSHO, MO.--- Ralph Mathey is the founder and executive director of the "Hear the Cry Foundation". The organization focuses on educating young people in Haiti. Just this past fall the group started bringing students to Crowder College.
"In the area where I work in Haiti, there is about 82% illiteracy and it is radical poverty there," states Ralph Mathey, Executive Director of "Hear the Cry".
Mathey will leave for Haiti this week and bring back 4 young men to Neosho. This spring will be their second semester of college in the U.S., after spending the holidays in their home country.
"The goal is to give them the skills, not only in academics, but leadership, character development, ethics, and empower them to impact their own community," states Mathey.
The students are enrolled in courses that are pertinent to Haiti.
"Environmental health technology, waste water treatment, computer technology, agriculture with an emphasis on animals," says Mathey.
The young men come from a part of the country where the average income is less than $200 in U.S. dollars a year.
"One student's father fishes in the ocean with a spear," says Mathey.
Mathey says the students have overcome numerous adversities in order to receive their education here in the U.S.
"Considering it is a whole different type of education system than Haiti, 2 of our students received straight A's their first semester which is really an extraordinary achievement," states Mathey.
Mathey says he would like to bring more students from Haiti to receive their education at Crowder, but funding is limited.