The partnership supports ten schools within the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti on the island of Gonâve. Nine of the schools include grades Kindergarten 3 (3 year old students) through grade 6. One school, St. Francis d’Assisi, continues through middle and upper school. The enrollments range from approximately 100 students in the smaller schools to more than 450 at St. Francis for a total of 1500 students. The curriculum taught in the schools is prescribed by Haiti’s Ministry of Education. Partners provide the money for administrative costs, teachers’ salaries, two teacher trainings per year, and a minimum number of textbooks and school supplies.
School Lunch Program
The program serves a hot, nutritious meal every school day to each child in the ten schools supported by the partnership. Thirty cooks begin preparing their outdoor fires each morning at dawn and serve more than 325,000 lunches each school year. For many children, it is their only meal of the day. School attendance is improved and educational achievement is enhanced.
In 2011, a young Haitian woman spoke up in a community meeting. She said that many wanted to learn what their children were learning, to read and write. Within a year, there was a trained adult educator in each of the ten communities offering literacy classes free of charge. Over 800 adults have participated in the classes. The Haitian program leader reports that women are no longer cheated at market because they can now read prices and do simple math.
Sainte Marthe and Sainte Marie de Bethanie Middle School Campus
La Gonâve Haiti Partners is working together with our Haitian partners to build a middle school campus (Grades 7-9) in Palma, central to 5 of the 9 rural primary schools. Updated national standards define a fundamental education as successful completion of the 9th grade, which is required to advance to high school or begin a vocational program. Local access to this critical infrastructure will make an impact for generations to come.