At LaRocco, we started out with the most pressing needs- rebuilding destroyed houses, and bringing stable, fresh drinking water to families in need. Completing these projects was incredible – watching these families have a stable supply to live, cook and clean with on a daily basis is incredible. Completing these projects brings to light other important needs, like education. In Haiti, public schools are rare. Roughly 87% of all school aged children have to go to private schools- each with a sizable tuition, expensive uniforms, and book fees.
While we continue rebuilding homes and building water and sanitation infrastructure, we have also launched our Education Re-admittance Initiative, which identifies students who were forced to leave school because of the earthquake and due to familial poverty are unable to rejoin the school system. Since September 2015, we have successfully re-enrolled students in our program into several schools throughout Port-au-Prince. We supply their tuition, uniforms and school supplies.
As awesome (and successful!) as this new project has been, most of our students come from homes without reliable electricity. Many of our students leave the classroom and go home to houses without lights or desks to complete their assignments. This makes keeping up with their studies and completing their homework almost impossible.
Luckily! We were able so score some incredible land right in the heart of the Carrefour Feuille region, and we want to build a community center there! The center will host 2 rooms for quiet study with individual desks and lights, 2 classrooms with blackboards and projection, with computers and internet access; and one large communal space for instruction in various vocational skill sharing.
This center is integral to supporting our students’ academic progress by giving them a safe and reliable place with electricity and internet to complete their homework. But, the community center will also be open to the community of people who need a place to complete school work. We have an amazing team on the ground that has experience in after-school activities and homework support who are eager to support students serious about their education.
We have consulted with three trusted architects and have received an estimate of $86,000 to construct the center, and $14,000 to add reliable electricity, plumbing and internet access with a projected timeline to be completed in approximately 6 months. At LaRocco, we firmly believe in sourcing the best local contractors who focus on apprenticeship programs. We’re excited about building a new center, employing hundreds of workers, and expanding access to education!