Just 4 walls and a tin roof that leaks, but no one much cares today. Teaching assistant explores base-10 blocks and game with Table 1, children with 0-2 years of rote-chanting, drill-and-kill schooling.
Unfortunately, during the regular (?) school year, this same space is filled with 140 kids, sardine-style, so no room for hands on learning - one is lucky to have a seat.
this school, Lekol Fre Abraham, serves the truly disadvantaged, children who have lost one or both parents. About 1/3 pay nothing at all, the rest are at last several months behind in any sort of payments. The cost? For ONE YEAR
, Principal Dieudonne charges only 250 HG (gourdes) - roughly US $6.00 or so dollars PER YEAR
You got that? Six dollars a year!
You might ask: Can we help? I ask "Should we help?" What is the best way to help?
Children here get a bit of bread or kassav with peanut butter every day, thanks to "If Pigs Could Fly Haiti" work program. Like many, if not most, rural schools (as well as in the capital), the three schools n our zone are more centers for feeding than they are centers of learning. The Episcopal school children get a daily bowl of rice and beans (and the cost is a bit higher for that school.) Children bring their own plate and spoon, or they get nothing. Lekol Fre Abraham received some donated rice in May, so they had a "subsidized" feeding program until June this year; our team (If Pigs Could Fly Haiti) did the wood gather, the cooking and the cleanup.
Meanwhile, Digicel (the counterpart of ATT in Haiti) has its Digicel Foundation. Their CEO and her security guard hiked up to this very school room. They think there's a chance they can find a contractor to build us a real, solid, brick and ortar school, 6 classrooms, with windows and light - and maybe even lights. Maybe. They are going to try, see if they can find a willing contractor willing, literally,to go the distance. They told us, "Digicel could build one school here, or two schools down in the flat lands."
Well, I hope they choose this site. This zone has gotten little in terms of, uh, "government services" - since 1804, when maroons here built Fort Kampon, and schlepped cannons up to these mountains. The earthquake was the tip of the iceberg here - Fre Araham's schools was the only school left standing. Unlike the other two (concrete blocks and cement), this thatch and tin structure didn't have much to lose.
How to help? Pray that Digiel comes through with a building - because that will also provide jobs
for some of the community here, as well as help us develop a hospitality business, hosting all the contractors and workers. Education means business
! And we are surely in the business of education up in Mon Bouton.