When we did a street census in 2006, we found hundreds of Haitian immigrant children working on the streets with no opportunity for schooling, facing many challenges and dangers. We have since worked endlessly to empower and improve education initiatives begun by the Haitian immigration population in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic themselves so that they can properly educate their youth and give them a chance for the future.
The community of Padre Granero is a barrio on the east end of the city of Puerto Plata. It is roughly 65% populated by Dominicans and 35% populated by Haitian immigrants who have left their home country of Haiti in "search of life" because there is so little economic opportunity in Haiti and there is often political unrest and conflict as well. In the Dominican Republic, there is no support but much discrimination. Kids face barriers in entering the already poor public education system.
The school we run has a Haitian director and teacher and is a school where these Haitian immigrant children are 100% welcome. They learn much as they would in a school in Haiti with some necessary curriculum changes to accommodate the reality of their live in the Dominican Republic. There is no discrimination in our school because it is Haitian run. This safe place gives the children the strength to live their life with dignity in the Dominican Republic.
The Dominican Republic is highly corrupt with much prostitution and theft. However, it is economically advantaged compared to Haiti. Our school gives children a chance for a better future through education, not just economic opportunity through corrupt practices as found otherwise. The Haitian Diaspora sends funds to their families in Haiti. Therefore, students will use their education to work in the Dominican Republic while likely sending funds to Haiti or returning and starting businesses.
organization (Project Esperanza) website
Grassroots Schools Global Affiliates website
Insightful Accounts from the ground
Organization Director's Blog