Ten additional schools have been constructed to restore children's right to education in areas affected by the earthquake in Southern Haiti.
Thanks to the generous financial support of the Carlos Slim Foundation, UNICEF has rebuilt ten additional schools in Southern Haiti, benefiting over 2,800 students.
AQUIN (Haiti), September 19, 2023 – UNICEF, along with the Ministry of Education and the Mexican Embassy, inaugurated the first group of new schools in the Great South of Haiti, in the towns of Aquin and Roseaux. The construction of these schools was made possible through the generous contribution of the Carlos Slim Foundation.
These schools are part of a reconstruction project aimed at restoring the right to education in this part of the country, which was severely affected by the earthquake of August 14, 2021. The goal is to establish progressive model schools in southern Haiti, providing education from preschool through the 6th year of the Haitian basic school system. In addition to the 38 schools already constructed by UNICEF, these ten additional schools are spread across four departments: South, Grand'Anse, Nippes, and Southeast. This project will directly impact 2,800 children, 70 teachers, 10 school principals, 150 school inspectors, along with four departmental education offices.
"These new constructions symbolize Haiti's resilience and demonstrate that it is possible to recover sustainably and build back better for every child," said Bruno Maes, UNICEF Representative in Haiti.
Each school features seven classrooms for the first and second elementary cycles, a classroom for preschool, an administrative office, separate latrines, a handwashing station, a rainwater harvesting system, space for a school canteen, and solar panels for clean energy.
In addition to the construction efforts, UNICEF's support includes providing locally made school furniture and individual school kits to ensure that all children have school supplies for at least one school year. Preschool-aged children will receive early childhood development kits containing play-based learning materials.
"Over two years have passed since the earthquake, but continuous support is necessary to provide children with safe and sustainable learning spaces," said Bruno Maes. "We hope this initiative could serve as a model to generate more support for Haiti's education sector.”
On August 14, 2021, a violent earthquake struck the South, Nippes, and Grand'Anse departments, resulting in the loss of 2,200 lives and injuring 12,200 others. Moreover, 1,250 schools, 97 health facilities, and 55 water supply systems were destroyed or damaged, leaving more than 340,000 children without proper educational conditions and 800,000 people without access to healthcare, clean water, or hygiene services.
"We are deeply grateful that the Carlos Slim Foundation has demonstrated its commitment to the children of Haiti," concluded Bruno Maes.
Note to editors: After the earthquake, the Maingrette National School in the commune of Aquin operated inside a church of no more than 100m2. Over 150 students were grouped by their grade in the same space. The resilience and creativity of the school's director, Mr. Joseph Franck, allowed the children to continue learning. Today, these children have their own classrooms and a conducive space for their education.
UNICEF works in the world’s toughest places to reach the most disadvantaged children and adolescents – and to protect the rights of every child, everywhere. Across more than 190 countries and territories, we do whatever it takes to help children survive, thrive and fulfill their potential, from early childhood through adolescence. And we never give up.
For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org