In Haiti, schools are churches, and churches are schools. Many are housed in the same building and serve as school, church, and community center. Leaders are also typically one in the same. Help for Haiti has discovered that pastors and educators need financial support to operate. We view education as a national priority and that’s why we have embraced it in our mission.
Some children get their only meal of the day at school. Many arrive so tired from walking that they fall asleep in class from fatigure and weakness. They not only need to be educated but to be nourished so they are strong enough to sustain themselves and learn. Help for Haiti is committed to providing a meal for each school child and the teachers until all are fed. We also make sure that “kitchen” staff and school helpers are fed, too.
Most parents don’t have the means to pay for school, less than 40% pay full tuition. An average teacher in an urban school will earn $1200 per year. In rural areas, they earn a fraction of that. Help for Haiti is committed to providing funds to supplement teacher’s salaries so that they can afford to live and keep their careers as teachers. We also supplement church leaders and pastors in the role of education. Today, 17 teachers and leaders receive support.
We provide scholarships and grants to exceptional students who show promise for advanced education. Our hope is that they will contribute to the economy and help further education and economic development for their fellow Haitians.
Even before the earthquake, we have been in the business of building and repairing schools, particularly in rural Cap Haitian. Our goal is to develop three more church/school construction projects in the coming year.