We are at UNICEF assisted psychosocial support center. We are sharing the story of the children here.
It is not only about learning. For the ones at potential risk, education is also a way to protect. In the aftermath of the 14 August Earthquake which destroyed or severely damaged 738 schools, children of Haiti study in every corner they can find. Until the moment their schools are built back up and running again. Today we are visiting children studying at UNICEF supported psychosocial support center in Les Cayes, Haiti.
Physical schools are a must but in moments of crisis, education can find new forms as in this UNICEF-supported psychosocial support center where children come daily to attend classes. This is Les Cayes, Haiti and we are at a center supported by UNICEF and local NGO IDEJEN.
The children mainly come just from across the street where there is a makeshift camp established for people whose houses have been destroyed or severely damaged due to the earthquake.
Many of them live with their parents there. Here, Gigi, who is still too small to attend the classes in the center, plays and learns with his grandmother.
Children at the center receive their courses through the materials provided within the support of UNICEF and even though there are dedicated corners where the classes take place, children use the entire area to study and do their homework including the stairs this student poses for the camera.
They study with the teaching staff assigned by the Ministry of National Education in partnership with UNICEF and IDEJEN. With schools reopening on 4 October in the three departments most affected by the earthquake (Nippes, Sud, Grand- Anse), UNICEF’s priority is to ensure that 100,000 children have access to quality education and early learning. It is also to support extremely vulnerable children to stay in school, including children with disabilities.
This is also a place to make new friends, to also get a sense of normalcy after the trauma they experienced. Close follow-up of injured separated children continues in the health structures to prevent any risk of trafficking and permanent staff of the national agency in charge of child protection (IBESR) is being set-up at the Immaculate Conception Hospital (HIC) of Les Cayes, with the support of UNICEF.
“More than 168 displaced children are benefitting from psychosocial support activities here. For them to forget about what has happened but also to mentally get ready for the school opening. They play and also learn, this is a way to heal the trauma they experienced ”. Jean Stenio Pierre , UNICEF Haiti Chief of Field Office
While waiting for their school to be reopened, they study in the garden and they turn any material into learning equipment such as the chairs turned into learning desks.
For the time being education is everywhere, but it is clear, reopening schools and in-person learning cannot wait. Education in school is a priority. UNICEF is requesting US$73.3 million to respond to the humanitarian needs due to Earthquake in Education, WASH, Health, Nutrition, and Child protection over the next six months.
UNICEF thanks all donors who contributed to the response effort to the earthquake of August 14, 2021, in Haiti: AECID, Canada, Citi Foundation, ECHO, ECW FER, France, Germany, GPE, HP Foundation, Impetus Foundation, Japon, LDSC, Lego Foundation, Liechtenstein, Madrid City Council, Meta, SIDA- Suède, Target Corporation, UNCERF, USAID, Wallonie-Bruxelles International, The Walt Disney Company, Xunta De Galicia - UNICEF National committees: Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States - UNICEF CO: Argentina, Peru.