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



All projects managed by Fondazione Terre des Hommes Italia onlus adhere to the following criteria : create effective improvement in the life perspectives of the children, are based on concepts of economic and social justice, address the needs of the underprivileged and are gender balanced, aim to provide lasting solutions and in-depth changes, bring about a multiplier effect, develop civil society through the empowerment of local communities, are implemented in full transparency on the basis of proven methodology and are subjected to constant monitoring and evaluation, conform to the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. With regards to humanitarian aid projects, they are designed to help in rebuilding basic social infrastructure both during and after conflicts or natural disasters Issues addressed: Education is a basic service and a fundamental human right. However, in Haiti access to education is very expensive. As part of his electoral campaign, the actual President of the Republic of Haiti, Michel Martelly, promised free access to primary education for all. He recently did it indeed, with the support of the World Bank as major donor, but the program only concerned public schools, which just constitute 20% of the school facilities nationwide.

Moreover, quality of education in public primary schools is a big issue, which is why also poor families strive to enroll their children to private schools. For sure, this public policy represents a first important step towards free education for all, but a long way remains to do to guarantee a real free access to all and a quality education. Project goals: For this reason Terre des Hommes Italia and the Nando Peretti Project have decided to intervene in the education and child protection sectors, with the purpose of improving school services and access for poor children in the municipality of Croix des Bouquets.

This project tackles school attendance for children, protection for abandoned children or orphans and improvement of school teaching methodologies diminishing the digital divide. The school of La Providence wished to launch computer courses for its students in order to improve their knowledge in informatics and contribute to their access to higher education. The courses have also been extended to teacher as reducing the digital divide is proven to be one of the factors to create qualified personnel. The informatics courses, as well as the school fees reductions and the sensitization activities have also been carried out for the students of the AGAPE association a local NGO who provides education and afternoon courses for over-age students (adolescents) who had not the possibility to go to school before as they were assigned to domestic work outside their family house (“restavek” children). This is a common practice in Haiti, which can be defined as a modern form of servitude: parents send their children (girl children, most of the time) to live with other families as they do not have the economic possibility to take care of them and they hope that the “new” family will be able to do it. These children become servants of the new family, who mistreat them and does not provide for their education. AGAPE, with the support of Terre des Hommes Italia and the contribution of the Nando Peretti Foundation, has been able to provide these children with a quality and complete education.

Methodology: providing school fees support (partially for 152 children and totally for 12 children), monitoring that the courses are open to poor children (free attendance), sponsoring the usage of Internet for distance learning, opening of the facilities also to adults for E-literacy, sponsoring training courses for teachers. The school of the Providance had provided: list of students enrolled in the program, pictures of the students enrolled, a bank account.

Results: With the support of Terre des Hommes Italia, an informatics room has been set up and fully furnished, 18 desktop computers have been purchased and installed and an Internet connection has been created, an informatics teacher has been made available and courses have been organized regularly for teachers and children. Knowledge and competencies have already increased among both children and teachers, giving La Providence an added value in its educational offer to the community. In the globalized world, informatics has a capital importance for countries where employment opportunities for youths are few and global connections have a fundamental role for development. La Providence is the only school to provide such a service to its students and teachers in the municipality and this is expected to determine an increase in motivation and in performance of teachers, as well as contributing significantly to the future of the children. The 1st October 2012, schools have started the new academic year 2012-2013. Terre des Hommes Italia and the Nando Peretti Foundation have already intervene with school fees payment support to 60 (12 totally covered and 48 partially covered) poor families at La Providence. 32 fees were included in the interim report, other 28 were advanced by Terre des Hommes Italia. As of March 2013 the school of Providance received the second installment in order to cover the school fees for other 103 children. This are the second installment due to the school by the families. In this case the school fees covered from 75% of the school fees down to the 12,5%. The strategy adopted was to try as much as possible to avoid to substitute the family contributions as a whole, and to provide a financial aid based on salaries and economic status. In order to do this the school of Providance as monitored the families collecting all the necessary information trying to provide financial help to the families in need only. Due to Fondazione Nando Perretti contribution the project contributed to minimize the almost normal children school abandon in Haiti. In this project the synergies created by Terre des Hommes Italia and NPF were capable to design new school paradigms because computer classes and fighting against abandon will be capable to create a greater self-reliance among pupils and teachers. Amongst the expenses incurred a seminar for the secretary of the school on a school database management and the purchasing of school exercises books for the pupils in the 6th class.

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