Pre-school programs for poor children are relatively new in Haiti. The pre-school program of Our Lady of Perpetual Help School (OLPHS) in Petite-Riviere de l’ Artibonite started only 6 years ago with extremely limited financial resources. Thanks to the generosity of our donors who contributed $2,000 (30% of total project cost), encouraging progress in enhancing the quality of early childhood education was made during the school year 2013-2014, the first year of the project . With these contributions, the school was able to purchase pedagogical materials and hire one additional teacher, bringing the student- teacher ratio down from 46 in 2012-2013 to 38 in 2013-2014.
The opportunity to attend kindergarten in 2013-2014 was a particularly powerful and transformative experience for Rose . At the age of five, she had been given up by her destitute mother to a family in town who treated her as “restavek” or child slave, responsible for a variety of domestic chores and working from sun-up to sun-down. Her situation was so dire that a neighbor who had befriended her brought her to the attention of the Sisters in charge of the orphanage, the same Sisters who are in charge of the school. This is how -- at the age of 8 years old and having never set foot in a school before -- she was enrolled in the kindergarten program where she thrived and was promoted to the first grade.
Today, 9 year old Rose, a former “restavek,” is one of the most motivated and performing first graders at OLPHS. She now has a chance to have a different, better and more productive life.We are most grateful to you, our generous donors, and we count on your continued support for implementing the other key elements of the project: additional training and professional development of the teachers, hiring additional teachers to bring down even further the student teacher ratio, and provision of additional instructional materials.
Abandoned by his father and under the care of his indigent mother, Jeremie’s fate was to be that of thousands of impoverished Haitian children with no hope of attending school. In a chance encounter with Sister Christiane, Principal of Our Lady of Perpetual Help School in Petite-Riviere de l’ Artibonite in Haiti, his grandmother explained his dire situation and pleaded on his behalf for a chance to be admitted in the Preschool Program. This led to his being offered a scholarship starting school year 2013-2014.
His teacher reports that that he has adjusted very well to school. He is studious, quick, enthusiastic, and very much liked by the other students. He greatly enjoys time spent at school learning and playing.
On September 8, 2014 Jeremie was one of the 200 Preschool students who started the school year 2014-2015. Sister Christiane, teachers and parents of the Preschool students have high expectations to build on progress achieved in 2013-2014, first year of the GlobalGiving Head Start Project .
According to an assessment by the school principal of progress achieved last school year by the K students, 70% of the objectives were achieved. She writes: “...thanks to the Head Start Program, we have observed that the children made significant progress particularly in language, writing and drawing.”
Funds made available by the project provided basic educational materials, training and professional development for teachers and the construction of a safe courtyard for the children to play in.
Please donate today and help us provide quality early childhood education to 200 vulnerable Haitian children very eager to learn . Thank you for supporting our efforts.
When five- year- old Vanessa arrived at the Petite Riviere Orphanage in July 2013, she clearly had been mistreated by those who had taken care of her after the death of her parents. She was malnourished, did not mix well with the other orphans, and always seemed fearful. However, by the time she enrolled as a kindergarten student in October 2013 at Ecole Notre Dame du Perpetual Secours, she had started to adjust and to benefit physically and emotionally from being nurtured and nourished by those in charge of the orphanage.
Today, Vanessa is a healthy, active five- year-old who loves school and has many friends among both her classmates and the other orphans. In particular, she enjoys singing and dancing.
Vanessa and all the pre-school children were fortunate to benefit from implementation of the first phase of the head-start project aimed at improving the quality of early childhood education at Ecole Notre Dame du Perpetuel Secours. Donations received as of May 2014, representing 18% of the project cost, made possible the launch of the program to include targeted training for the six early childhood teachers and aide teachers as well as a variety of educational materials aimed at supporting the cognitive development, creative expression, language and literacy. But much remains to be done to ensure full implementation of the project.
The teacher-student ratio is still a very high 1: 37 -- three times the recommended ratio for pre-school classes. More and better trained teachers are key to the success of the project. Moreover, a greater selection of activities must be offered to support learning in the various developmental areas: cognitive, creative, language, physical, social and emotional. We must establish better links between teachers and parents. There is also a great need for parental education related to practices and customs which impact negatively on the survival, protection and participation of the children at home and at school. Further, problems related to the quality of the school's infrastructure and facilities (e.g. no designated place for the school canteen, no running water, no electricity) need to be addressed.
School principal sister Christiane, children, parents and teachers as well as PHC are extremely grateful to each and everyone of you who have through Global Giving made the launch of this early childhood education project possible.
We urgently need your continued support to fully implement the project and give the children a chance for productive lives. We also count on your advocacy of PHC among your friends and family.
The beginning of this school year was unlike any other for the 230 pre-K and K children at Our Lady of Perpetual Help school in Petite-Riviere de l'Artibonite in Haiti. For the first time in the history of the school resources, though quite limited, were made available to provide tailored training to the six K and pre-K teachers prior to the opening of the 2013-2014 school year. In addition, educational games, arts and crafts materials and age appropriate books, gave a richer and more varied educational experience. This new learning environment also raised expectations of children, teachers, parents and the community and energized all concerned.
Sister Christiane, Principal of the school, expressed her appreciation as follows:
"This year, thanks to GlobalGiving financing, we are able to provide books for the children and support the teachers with new supplies and educational materials. This has created a learning environment highly appreciated by teachers, parents and the larger community. We are most grateful to our donors who made possible the progress achieved so far. Much remains to be done to reach and sustain high quality early childhood education for these vulnerable Haitian children."
Please help us reach our goal of providing each K and pre-K child a challenging and inspiring learning experience. If you can please sign up for a recurring monthly gift.
On October 7, 2013 , the school year started for 230 disadvantaged boys and girls attending Our Lady of Perpetual Help School in Petite-Riviere de l' Artibonite. These children were excited to reunite with their friends and teachers and many looked forward to again having a daily hot meal.
Most of these children come from poor families and no more than 30% of the parents are able to pay the full yearly tuition of US$46. Parents are often illiterate and children undernourished or malnourished. For them, pre-school -- a relatively new development in Haiti for at risk children-- is an oasis where they have the opportunity to learn in a nurturing environment.
Five year old Vanessa Charlemagne was particularly excited to have the opportunity to go to school. The daugher of a single mother unable to care for her, she has had a hard life being shifted from friends to friends and suffered as well from malnutrition. Her situation was so dire that the orphanage which shares the campus with the school agreed to take care of her and gave her the opportunity to be one of the 230 pre-schoolers who will benefit from the Global Giving Project.
The recently launched Pre-School project promises to be a real game changer for these at risk children. Thanks to the project, they will have more and better trained teachers as well as educational resources for new activities that will promote their cognitive, emotional, physical and social skills and better prepare them for formal education.
To learn more about Head Start for 230 Pre-School Children in Haiti and pledge additional support, please visit http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/head-start-for-230-pre-school-children-in-haiti/
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