Foundation Bethesda Center

Providing Hope to a Forgotten Valley in Haiti

Lucson Dervilous, who grew up as an orphan, wanted to give back to his hometown and surrounding villages.

Current work in Haiti is led by Lucson Dervilus, a local Haitian, who studied for 2 years in the United States. Lucson grew up as an orphan himself. He wanted to come back to his home village in Hinche and surrounding small poor villages in Palma and Jacob to start a school for children who would never have a chance to be educated. In 2010 a school was built which has now grown to 8 classes, with a new class added every year, 50% of the children are orphans ranging from Preschool to 6th Grade with 348 children, with plans currently being made to build the first high school in the valley. Entrepreneurial micro-loans include trading in rice, beans, soaps and oils or trading goats pigs and chickens. Small businesses like these provide essential income for many poor people enabling them to better provide for their households, improve their economic stability and bring empowerment. Especially to the women who are operating the majority of these businesses. Foundation Bethesda also runs a local church open to all from the communities around them.

The Foundation Bethesda Center works under an NGO status within Haiti.

Children going home after school
recess in haiti
haitian students studying
classtime in haiti
student at fbc
boys in haiti playing soccer




October 2008 – Initial Contact

Lucson Dervilus began studying at Reedley College, Reedley, CA and began attending Redeemer’s Church. There he heard of When I Grow Up and its work in helping children in poverty. He asked us to consider helping the forgotten region of Haiti he grew up in as an orphan. Initially, we said no. However, we did tell him that when he returns to Haiti, if he can get something started and show us his capacity as a leader, we’d come alongside him. The vision in Lucson’s heart was birthed.

Lucson in Haiti

February 2010 – Devastating Earthquake

Tod Parkinson and Derek Bergthold visited Haiti after the devastating earthquake that destroyed much of Port Au Prince. Lucson introduces them to the local committee he has formed in the communities of Palma and Jacob. These two rural communities are isolated and forgotten by the rest of the world. People would walk 3 miles for clean water and walk 4 hours to the nearest market. Lucson knew these communities well and asks us to hear the hearts of the committee members and their desire for a local school for their children – the only way they would escape the poverty of living in this unheard of valley.

Haiti Feeding Program

October 2011 – School Feeding Program Established

A school feeding program begins for the few classes making up the school. With three teachers, 100 students all with new uniforms and school bags a school in this rural valley was being established.

New School in Haiti

July 2012 – New School

A new school building begins being constructed. 150 students with 4 teachers and a Head Teacher now make up the school.

Haiti Micro Grant Program

September 2012 – Micro-Grant Program Launched

A micro-grant program is launched with 20 local guardians receiving funding to begin trading and earn income to support their families. Businesses that trade rice or beans, others involve raising chickens and pigs to trade. This development is done in partnership with When I Grow Up’s micro-grant partner Gnu Foundation led by Jim Sempere.

October 2012 – Local Church Planted

A local church begins in Jacob and Palma for the families of the area. 70 people show up for the first Sunday service.

Haiti School Expansion

August 2013 – School Expansion Project

The people of Jacob and Palma construct another classroom and toilets. Each new classroom (one built every year) enables another 40 students to attend school.

Haiti School Staff

September 2014 – School Grows Again

With yet another classroom built the school now totals 256 students, 7 teachers, 3 administrative staff, a Head Teacher, a Pedagogical Director and a new Supervisor – Salomon Damelus.

Motorcycles for Haiti School

February 2015 – Vital Transportation Provided + Cattle & Goats!

Two new motorbikes are provided to help the staff as they travel the journey from Hinche to Jacob and Palma every day. It takes 4 hours to walk and it take an hour on the back of the motorbikes, which can navigate the rivers in the wet seasons. Additionally a new cattle and goat program to help provide sustaining income to the school begins.

Haiti Microloans

January 2016 – Microloan Program Begins

The first group of parents received microloans to start micro businesses. 60 people who for the first time were able to start trading and earning income to support their children and the community.

Haiti High Schoolers

September 2016 – High School Opens

The first ever High School in the Palma / Jacob valley opens, with 60 students attending.

Continued Growth

September 2017 – Continued Growth

312 students attend the Bethesda Elementary School and 88 more attend the new High School. The Jacob church that started in 2012 with 8 people regularly attending has now nearly 150 people attending.


Because where you live shouldn’t determine if you live.