Supporting Education for Poor Children in the Municipality of The Croix Des Bouquets, Metropolitan Area of Port Au Prince, Haiti
Project location: HAITI, Port Au Prince
Project start date: June 2012 - Project end date: March 2013
Project number: 2012-028
Beneficiary: Fondazione Terre des Hommes Italia onlus
Terre des Hommes Italia started working in Haiti on 16th January 2010. Its parent organisation Terre des Hommes Lausanne was already there since 1989.The first effort was the distribution of food, non-food items and medicines in the area of Grand Goave, Petit Goave and Les Cayes. Followed by a much greater program related with camps management in Grand Goave, child protection in Grand Goave and Port au Prince metropolitan area and health care in the city of Les Cayes.
After two months Terre des Hommes Italia identified two orphanages and three schools in Port au Prince all in need of rehabilitation or reconstruction.Furthermore Terre des Hommes Italia provided support to an Italian sister, Suor Marcella Catozza and constructed a clinic in Warf Jeremie which was supposed to be a nutritional center for fighting malnutrition, but in October 2010 (26th October 2010), at the onset of the cholera outbreak in Port au Prince, it became the only structure in the all municipality, providing cure to people infected (a project funded by Nando Peretti Foundation to another Italian organisation was implemented there during year 2011). Terre des Hommes provided the center with water, chlorine, and disinfection materials till the end of December 2010.
The entire operation reached all its goals in March 2011.Terre des Hommes Italia constructed one clinic in Cité Soleil, three schools one in Port au Prince municipality, two in Croix des Bouquets municipality and rehabilitated two orphanages, of which one in Port au Prince and one in Croix des Bouquets. Before constructing the three schools Terre des Hommes Italia demolished the existing buildings and removed all the debris through cash for work .All in all Terre des Hommes build 3.800 square meters of earthquake-resistant and anticyclone buildings. In year 2011 Terre des Hommes started an ECHO funded project on cholera fighting in the two municipalities of Cité Soleil and Croix des Bouquets.
In Cité Soleil TdH removed all the debris from 30 kilometres of canals in order to improve the rain water collection and to reduce risk of flood during the rainy seasons, therefore the level of contaminated water on the ground; in the Croix des Bouquets municipality (more exactly in the remotes and isolated mountainous areas of the Belle Fontaines), it assembled 24 prefabricated houses used as Stabilisation centres (6) and oral rehydration and disinfection centres (18) servicing a population of about 38.000 people. Terre des Hommes approached the outbreak considering cholera not as an emergency, but as an endemic disease and therefore providing structures, materials, training and medicines to the Ministry of Health Office responsible for the Cul de Sac area where the municipality of the Croix des Bouquets is laying.
Terre des Hommes Italia has planned for year 2012 a child protection and support to education programme with 4 schools all based in the municipality of the Croix des Bouquets. Two of the schools were part of the construction programme, two other schools were selected on the mountain side in the territory of the Belle Fontaines as part of the cholera fighting programme. All these four schools were selected according to a basic principle, all were supposed to include all the children without any discrimination by gender, social status, religious beliefs from the family of origin and disability. The project proposed is supporting the school of the Providance and the school of the Sacre Coeur in their task of providing education to poor children. It is important to note that in Haiti public or community schools are accounting for only the 20% of all the schools, the rest is made of private schools (ranging up to 80% of the total).
The school of the Providance is a well-managed private school, it is also providing afternoon courses and Saturday activities for children in need through the association AGAPE. The school is launching computer courses for its students in order to improve their access to the higher education and because reducing the digital divide is proven to be one of the factor to create qualified personnel. The school of Sacre Coeur is a religious institution managing an orphanage and the school itself. The orphanage is a residence for about 30 children, it is authorised to work from IBERS (Institute du Bien-etre Social) responsible for abandoned children. All the children of the orphanage are attending the school and are supported by Terre des Hommes Italia. The school requires budget support for year 2012 in order to pay teachers, materials and health care for the abandoned children. Under this solution it will provide fees reduction for the impoverished families and free school for the poor families.It must be clear that the Presidency of Haiti, has approved a programme of free education for all the children that is supposed to start from school year 2012-2013.
The project, which received a grant from the Nando Peretti Foundation, is tackling school attendance for children, protection for abandoned children or orphans and improvement of school teaching methodologies diminishing the digital divide. The two schools selected for the project present different problems in management and needs. Both schools were constructed by Terre des Hommes Italia and are supported in various activities.
The school of Providance is a school for 500 students from kindergarten to the 8th class. It is managed by Ms. Esther Deshommes, a good manager that has proved to be always up-to-date in teaching methodologies. It is open also during the afternoon for post school programmes run by a local NGO "AGAPE" and it provides a differentiation in the offer that is remarkable. Many poor children from families where neither the father nor the mother have the possibility of child caring during the school free hours are enrolled in different courses, recreational activities or assisted study. Moreover it provides education or training courses to youngsters that had no chance to attend school during the school age. It devotes much of the attention also to hygiene promotion and development of environmental consciousness.
The school asked for informatics training in order to bring to the local community an essential, but neglected, expertise. Other experiences in Haiti saw the opening of internet cafes in the poorest areas and proved to be always well accepted. All in all is a clear request coming from students from all over the country .Young students and youngsters are in need of means of communication other than radio or the rare and expensive newspapers. Providing informatics and internet access means amplifying the offer in education through access to distance learning worldwide. It develops also curiosity toward an open wide category of civil society issues from all over English or francophone countries and it breaks the round circle of common sense from impoverished communities. The school asked for: Computers, Printers, Furniture, Internet connection, Computer training, Safe browsing procedures.
Sacre Coeur is a school of about 600 students. From kindergarten to the 8th class.The school is run by sister Vania Pierre, young and active in the domain of education and protection for the last 10 years. The school is right in front of the orphanage where 30 children are guest. The school provides the formal education as well as recreational activities for the children of the surroundings. Spanish and English are the foreign languages. The school also provides vaccination to the children, and an ambulance provides for medical care to the villagers. All these activities are managed under serious budget constraints. Officially the government was supposed to support the whole school system starting from this school year (2011-2012).In reality the policy free school for all has been postponed by one year given the difficulty in forming the new government.
UNICEF and other major donors didn't succeed in advocating with the World Bank and other lenders about this important step. It is therefore important that during year 2012 the school receive support for its activities given the fact that poor children and their families are not in condition to keep the children at school. It is likely that the governmental policy will have to dedicate a substantial amount of funds toward education, but will miss to cover other areas of concern such as health and child protection. Terre des Hommes through its programme will be capable to cover the areas set aside by the government such as protection and health starting from year 2012 onward. The Nando Peretti Foundation will partially cover school fees (only for children from families in extreme poverty) only for school year 2011-2012, vaccination, training for teachers on child protection and a playground for the children of the orphanage.
Activities managed by Terre des Hommes in relation with the school of Providance: Providing support in all the administrative procedures, Monitoring the setting up of the facilities, Monitoring that the courses are open to poor children (free attendance), Monitoring the internet installation and providing safe search standards, Sponsoring the usage of Internet for distance learning, Opening of the facilities also to adults for E-literacy, Sponsoring training courses for teachers. Activities managed by Terre des Hommes in relation with the school of Sacre Coeur: School enrolment for poor children (160), Health check for all the children (600), Monitoring the correct maintenance of the school facilities. Both schools will be targeted by a specific hygiene campaign.
Operational Procedures: each school will have to provide: List of students enrolled in the program, Pictures of the students enrolled, a bank account, Report of the activities each 6 months.
Terre des Hommes will have to provide: Payments, Collection of pro forma invoice prior to every purchase (at least three pro forma invoice if the sum is above 1.000 â‚¬), Collection of periodic reports both narrative and financial from schools, Monitoring of all the activities fortnightly, Financial and narrative reports to Nando Peretti Foundation.
Outcomes of the project: 16 teachers are trained on basic informatics, Windows competency, safe browsing for children. 250 students each year will receive computer training, 30 teachers will receive training on child protection starting from how to establish local understanding and definitions of abuse and child protection, 1.100 students will receive hygiene promotion and infectious diseases information.
Multiplier effect: school teachers are capable to deal with computers, can access internet and improve teachings methods through distance learning and international exchange. The children will have a competitive advantage in accessing the high school. Poor children can be enrolled to the school. The school teachers are much more aware of issues in child protection and will learn how to set up written standards to avoid child abuse in school, recognize possible abuses inside the classes, act as child defendants inside the community. Students will improve knowledge of diseases control and will report their understanding to the families and friends.