Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Tensions Rise Over Haiti Tent Camps

By Ken Ellingwood, Los Angeles Times April 29, 2010 Three months after the earthquake, schools and businesses want their land back. Students head for the Lycee Jean Jacques in Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti. (Ramon Espinosa / Associated Press / April 4, 2010) Displaced and homeless, the 10,000 earthquake victims crowding the school grounds of the Lycee Jean Jacques are feeling the sting of a new label: unwanted guests. Administrators and students at the private high school are eager to resume classes after a pause of more than three months. But they can’t as long as the schoolyard, now churned to mud and strewn with trash, remains jammed with thousands of makeshift tents. Residents say they are willing to make way for students, but have no other place to go yet. Across the Port-au-Prince region, Haitian and international officials are confronting the tricky […]

Bill Clinton focuses efforts on Haiti’s higher education

By Mary Beth Marklein, USA TODAY CORAL GABLES, Fla. — As he prepares to help oversee $5 billion in reconstruction spending in Haiti, former president Bill Clinton paints a challenging but hopeful picture. There’s much to do: Haitians displaced by the magnitude-7 earthquake in January need sturdy housing, nutritious food and clean water, to name the basics. But Clinton also says higher education will be a top priority. On his preliminary to-do list: help pay tuition for private university students whose families were hurt, killed or lost jobs when the quake hit; recruit faculty to Haiti to teach; and rebuild the universities. Just four of the public University of Haiti’s 13 campuses escaped serious structural damage, Clinton says. “We’ve got to get those colleges open again,” he told a crowd of student activists at the third annual Clinton Global […]

Haiti’s fragile schools reopening after quake

By Catherine Porter Education system’s routine helpful to survivors, aid worker explains CROIX-DES-BOUQUETS, HAITI – After three months of misery, pure joy greets me through the metal gates of Fleur de Chou primary school. Hundreds of little girls sing, louder, louder, LOUDER, and bounce like balls, the white ribbon bows in their hair flapping. They dance between little wooden desks placed on the foundation of their old school and shielded by the blistering sun by white tent ceilings. Are they singing for me, I wonder, as the song subsides. But then a teacher stands up in the sea of beige tartan uniforms, and they start again – a new song, more dancing, hundreds of little arms waving and shoes springing. In the suburbs of Port-au-Prince, where men continue the exhausting task of taking down the towers of rubble on every […]

Schools In Haiti Reopen, Signaling Small Return To Normalcy

By Ayinde O. Chase -, AHN News Editor Port-au-Prince, Haiti (AHN) – In a step to return some semblance of normalcy to Haiti’s children, schools reopened Monday on the earthquake-ravaged island. School districts across the country scrambled to meet the deadline announced last week by the ministry of education. Since the Jan. 12 quake, students have been out of school and for many that meant idle time in tent cities or in damaged homes. Many of the island’s residents lost everything. The first day of school for students included ample time to talk about the tragedies lived through. Teachers and administrators were mandated by the ministry to have curriculum centered around the earthquake for the next two weeks. Teachers will not only talk about quakes and aftershocks, but, should one strike again, what to do. However, not all schools were […]

‘Accessible’ education key to Haiti’s future

By BRYN WEESE, Toronto Sun OTTAWA — Giving young Haitians an “accessible” education system and a role to play in rebuilding the earthquake-ravaged country to steer them away from a life of crime is essential to turn catastrophe into opportunity, says Canada’s Governor General. So, too, is “decentralizing” the power and resources currently held in the capital Port-au-Prince, which Michaelle Jean warned is “dangerously overpopulated” and has “ignored” the other regions of the country for “a long time.” Speaking at a University of Ottawa symposium Tuesday aimed at building a more equitable, sustainable and productive Haiti out of the destruction of the Jan. 12 earthquake, Jean recounted to a crowd of about 200 people lessons she learned while visiting her native country three weeks ago. Chiefly among them is the need to create an “accessible” and “quality” education system. January’s […]

Mobile Schools in Haiti – update on the work of the Aristide Foundation

Laura Flynn, Aristide Foundation April 5, 2010 Mobile Schools in the Earthquake Zone An Update from the Aristide Foundation for Democracy – April 2, 2010   When the Aristide Foundation for Democracy launched our Mobile School project in late February we wanted to do two things quickly: support children living in refugee camps across Port-au-Prince and offer immediate employment to young Haitians at a time when the whole economy has collapsed.   With generous support from the Haiti Emergency Relief Fund we were able to get schools up and running very quickly.  Since late February we’ve been running Mobile Schools, three hours a day, five days a week, serving 1260 kids in 5 refugee camps in the earthquake zone. This project has surpassed our expectations at every level. First the amazing compassion, vitality and professionalism of the 102 monitors we called on […]

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