Since 2003 the Haitian American Caucus has supported the functioning of Ecole Shalom, a primary school in Croix-Des-Bouquets Haiti. After the devastating earthquake in January 2010, HAC expanded its educational efforts in Haiti to promote comprehensive community development. HAC-Haiti seeks to provide the tools, skills and venue for individuals to take control of their destiny. We believe that by educationally, economically and socially, empowering women, children and families, we can create strength that will build a better Haiti.
Many of HAC-Haiti’s programs focus on the children of the community. Our major activities include maintaining an elementary school, educating 85 children between the ages of three and sixteen annually. We also provide a child-friendly space where students can remain on the premises after school hours to complete their homework and participate in academic and recreational extracurricular activities. Aside from working with the youth, HAC-Haiti provides a holistic approach to supporting the entire community.
HAC-Haiti views education as an integral part of our approach to bestowing self-sustaining skills upon our community members. Over 90% of Haitian primary schools are private and ultimately too costly for most families. Therefore, parents are often faced with the difficult decision of which child or children within the household will attend school each year. As a result, many children go for long periods of time without schooling. This disruption in educational advancement and sometimes-complete lack of access makes many Haitians susceptible to cyclical elements of poverty.
Over the years, Ecole Shalom has furthered the education of over 300 students in the community. Through the continued support of HAC-Haiti and our partners we hope to enhance the future potential of all of our students and prepare them for the global professional market.