Haiti Project Update

By October 8, 2010Our Efforts: Haiti Project

The Rubicon Foundation sent a 6 person team to Haiti, to both better understand the educational system and how the Rubicon Foundation could make a difference. 

After nearly two weeks on the ground, our team is pleased to have successfully scheduled and met with numerous organizations.  

Our contacts ranged from small independent schools just offering their first classes, to strategic advisors of the Haitian Ministry of Education. In the coming weeks, we will continue to compile information for the Foundation Board as we determine where our strengths and resources might best serve the children of Haiti. 

Upon arrival in Haiti, our team was quickly exposed to the magnitude of the educational climate and need after a meeting with lead education advisors within the World Food Programme.  WFP currently provides food for approximately 750,000 children in Haiti, largely through school food programs.  They expect this to increase to 1.1 million.  The context they provided was extremely helpful.

We are also thankful for the perspective and context provided by Save the Children here in Haiti. Their invitation to meet with the Educational Cluster meeting of NGO’s, allowed our team to gain key insight to what some of the major players in Haiti are doing to influence education.  Key participants included UNESCO, UNICEF, Save the Children, as well as other NGO’s, and a diverse group of other not-for-profit humanitarian organizations. All are hoping to cooperate on potential approaches for improving Haitian education.  Our team was also able to witness education in action at the facilities of several different types of schools. These include larger K-12 school programs, such as Cours Prive Edme and Quisqueya Christian School.  We also saw Bachelor-level students learning while the walls were literally being built around them at the Ecole Supérieure d’Infotronique d’Haïti.

Thanks to connections via Forward Edge International, a group that mobilizes hundreds of volunteers each year to alleviate suffering through disaster-response work, our team was able to engage with kids in a more rural community and assess needs outside of Port-au-Prince.  Similarly, we were able to visit an established orphanage and school in the mountain town of Kenscoff called St. Helene’s, part of NPFS (Nos Petits Frers et Sours – Little Brothers and Sisters).

Through all of our meetings with key players in the educational arena in Haiti, as well as the many site visits to different types of schools, we have learned that there are infinite ways to help these children.  Working through the Rubicon Foundation, we are committed to apply our resources and make connections across the broader educational community to contribute a significant and lasting impact on the education children receive in Haiti.