Louverture Cleary student teaching neighborhood children through our Timoun program.

Timoun

The Timoun Program (locally known as "Koukouy Sen Klè") is an early childhood development program for underprivileged children started by LCS. Timoun (Kreyol for ‘children’) emerged in 2009 out of the recognized need to open up the doors of our safe secondary school to small children in our neighborhood who are often times left unsupervised due to high demands on underprivileged families in the local area.

Initially, the program began as an afternoon lunch plan for the “timouns” to eat a hot meal, play, and learn. In response to the 2010 earthquake, under new circumstances and increased economic pressure, we recognized a necessary need to expand the lunch program so that we could care for the neighborhood children all day. In response to parents’ desperation after the earthquake, the Timoun program became a permanent fixture within our organization as an effort to keep families together by caring for the children during the day. If we can affect families in a positive way, we are confident it will have a profound impact on the way people work together and treat one another in the midst of challenging circumstances.

We are able to provide a safe, loving environment for as many as 60 children, subsequently lifting a large economic burden from their families, many of which are single-parent households. By starting their education early, our "timouns" will have the necessary foundation to make the transition into primary school (and eventually secondary school) a smooth one, granting them access to a better future. Each day, our timouns come in the morning for guided developmental activities. Their day begins by joining the LCS student body for prayer and flag raising, circle time in the playground, and morning academics including French oration, reading, writing, and mathematics. After hot lunch and play time, Timoun students return to their classrooms for art and Bible classes. Throughout the day, it is a privilege for our Louverture Cleary students to assist with the Timoun program, working with the children as a reflection of our secondary school’s motto: “What we receive for free, we must give for free,” (Matthew 10:8).

The local name for Timoun, “Koukouy Sen Klè," translates to “Fireflies of Saint Clare” as they serve to illuminate their little lights for others. The program is dedicated to St. Clare of Assisi who lived with and loved the poor.  Commenting on the name change, Christina Moynihan explained, "In our formation in the Developmental Center, we love and respect the children for who they are and pray that they will bring this love and respect out into their neighborhood. When I learned the word 'koukouy' (pronouced koo-koo-ee), which means firefly, I knew that that was the exact symbol we needed for the Developmental Center. The children are born with their own little light and we in the Center help their light become stronger. Then they go out into their neighborhood and illuminate the darkness."

To learn more about Timoun, watch the video!