Access to public education on LaGonave is extremely limited, another example of the island’s poverty within an impoverished country.
Most of the schools on La Gonave are run by church organizations and our partnership schools operate under the auspices of the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti. Each of our 11 schools has at least one US partner. The teachers at our schools are leaders of their communities and come to school dressed in crisp shirts and ties or dresses. The children come to school in uniforms, often mended hand-me-downs, but the uniforms indicate how valued education is in this culture. Each of these 11 schools is a center of joy and enthusiasm and energy.
.Our short term goal is to continue to raise money to support the operation of these schools. Most families do not have enough resources to pay the meager tuition of $135 a year. We are working with families to subsidize their children’s education. One of the US partners has developed a pilot lunch program at the school in Nouvelle Citie which has been markedly successful in improving children’s health. Our long term goal is to replicate this lunch program at the other schools so that each child can have the nutritional support necessary for a strong learning environment.