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 Children  Haiti Project #25800

Schools Not Slavery for Rural Haitian Children

by Beyond Borders
Schools Not Slavery for Rural Haitian Children
Schools Not Slavery for Rural Haitian Children
Schools Not Slavery for Rural Haitian Children
Schools Not Slavery for Rural Haitian Children
Schools Not Slavery for Rural Haitian Children
Schools Not Slavery for Rural Haitian Children
Schools Not Slavery for Rural Haitian Children
Schools Not Slavery for Rural Haitian Children
Schools Not Slavery for Rural Haitian Children
Schools Not Slavery for Rural Haitian Children
Schools Not Slavery for Rural Haitian Children
Schools Not Slavery for Rural Haitian Children
Schools Not Slavery for Rural Haitian Children
Schools Not Slavery for Rural Haitian Children
Schools Not Slavery for Rural Haitian Children
Schools Not Slavery for Rural Haitian Children
Schools Not Slavery for Rural Haitian Children
Schools Not Slavery for Rural Haitian Children
Schools Not Slavery for Rural Haitian Children
Aug 3, 2018

You Are Keeping Children Free, Safe, & in School.

Third graders at the Wesleyen School in Nan Mango.
Third graders at the Wesleyen School in Nan Mango.

Thank You for Your Generous Support!

Thank you again for your generous support for Beyond Borders’ Schools Not Slavery Initiative in the 2017-2018 school year. We are so grateful!

We are deeply honored by your commitment to partner with us to keep children free, safe, and in school.

Since 2014, Schools Not Slavery supporters like you have helped parents to find and free more than 300 children from slavery, and ensure that they have access to a high-quality school in their community. You’ve also prevented thousands more from becoming enslaved through your generosity.

Thank you for all that you do to promote liberty, dignity, and hope for children and families in rural Haiti.

The Coming School Year on Lagonav Island

This fall, all across America, young children will sharpen their pencils, crack open fresh new notebooks, and head back to school. For many rural Haitian children though, going to school is a dream unfulfilled.

Children who are too poor to go to school are being sent away to cities. But instead of being sent to school, many get trapped in a life of servitude -- a modern form of child slavery called restavèk.

But in rural communities on Lagonav Island, people like you are helping to change this story.

Thanks to you, vulnerable boys and girls are in school, not enslaved.

Your continued support ensures that children grow up at home, where they belong, in a community that loves, protects, and educates them.

What You Made Possible for Girls and Boys This Past School Year

Your generous gift ensured continued access to quality education for rural, impoverished children, many of whom are among the most at risk of being trafficked to cities as household slaves, or restavèks.

Your support for Schools Not Slavery made it possible for teachers at 25 schools on Lagonav Island to be trained in a nonviolent, native language, participatory approach to classroom management that is not found in most traditional public and private schools. It includes the following five elements:

  1. Native Language Instruction - Students are taught in Haitian Creole - the language they speak at home - instead of French, a language students rarely encounter in their daily lives. Once students are literate in their native language, schools introduce French as a second language.
  2. Participatory Approach to Classroom Instruction - Rote memorization of French-language textbooks is the basis of instruction in most classrooms in Haiti. Your gift supported a participatory-based approach to learning, which is meant to foster intellectual curiosity and critical thinking skills among students. Rather than simply copying, memorizing and parroting back lessons in French, students write their own stories in Haitian Creole about their own lives and share them with each other. The approach, first brought to Haiti by our primary education partner on Lagonav Island - the Matènwa Community Learning Center - is  known throughout Beyond Borders’ Schools Not Slavery network as the ‘Mother Tongue’ program. Teachers also decorated the walls of their classrooms with the work of their students.
  3. Education Rooted in Rural Life  - Your gift is supporting an approach in which teachers are rethinking the traditional approach to education in Haiti that has largely shunned any classroom connection with rural life and agriculture. By integrating agriculture into the classroom curriculum, teachers teach skills and develop habits that students will need to thrive and build better lives for themselves where they live, without having to migrate to the city. School gardens teach students agricultural science and mathematics, including techniques to improve yield and mitigate drought driven by climate change. Vegetables grown are used in daily school meal programs, with excess food sold in the market, helping students learn to manage money. Families are also encouraged to plant their own vegetable gardens at home.
  4. Non-Violent Classroom Management - Authoritarian classroom management enforced via corporal punishment, shaming and humiliation is the norm in Haitian classrooms. Your gift supported the training of teachers in a non-violent classroom management approach that aims to teach students leadership and democracy by empowering them to develop class rules. Teachers then hold students accountable to the standards that they themselves established.
  5. Textbook Banks - Students at all 25 schools had the textbooks that they needed, thanks to your support. Students borrowed books on a sliding scale fee, according to their ability to pay. The bank ensured that no student went without a textbook this past school year.

In addition to these five elements, your Schools Not Slavery gift supported staff salaries, and these activities at schools in our network:

Annual Third Grade Reading Assessment – Schools conducted a third grade reading assessment to determine the level of progress students are making in reading. The test assesses the main skills that are known to predict reading success within the early grades of primary school.

Parental Engagement Strategy – Parents at every school were invited to parent-teacher gatherings at which they were invited to provide feedback, share their own priorities for their child’s education, and ask for help in how best to support their child’s education. Your gift supported a day-long ‘Open Space Gathering’ for parents. They met with teachers and the school director for a day-long session in which the agenda was determined entirely by the participants of the meeting, a strategy designed to build parental ownership at schools.

Additional Material, Seeds, and Technical Support for the School Garden – Seed and tool banks, training in composting, natural pest management, live fencing, and rainwater catchment irrigation for students, families and the larger community around each school in our network were all made possible by your support.

Salaries and Benefits for School Staff, Teacher Trainers, and Agricultural Technicians – Your gift  also supported a portion of the salaries and benefits for staff at each school and the teacher trainers and agricultural technicians who are building the capacity of teachers at the school.

Preventing Violence Against Women & Girls and Lifting Families Out of Extreme Poverty

Your gift to Schools Not Slavery supports two other initiatives: Beyond Borders’ community-based program to prevent violence against women and girls -- Rethinking Power -- and an 18-month asset-building program designed to lift the very poorest families out of extreme poverty.

Lifting Families Out of Extreme Poverty

Families that are trapped in extreme poverty are the most likely to send their children away to the city to live with others, in the hope that it will mean a better life for their children. Often, those sent away become trapped in domestic slavery, abused, neglected, and never sent to school. Beyond Borders 18-month asset-building program accompanies the very poorest families as they develop the means to earn a living, provide for themselves, keep their children at home and in school, and escape extreme poverty. Your gift supports this effort. A total of 230 families on Lagonav Island took part in this program.

Rethinking Power

By addressing the root cause of violence against women and girls -- the imbalance in power between women and men in Haitian society -- Rethinking Power is leading people through an examination of their own power and how they use it. Working with civic and religious leaders, educators, and people from all walks of life -- from moto-taxi drivers to sellers in the local market -- Rethinking Power is implementing a methodology proven to reduce intimate partner violence community-wide by 52%. Your support makes the work of Rethinking Power possible.

Thank You Again!

We are so grateful for your generous support for Schools Not Slavery, and we are deeply honored that you chose to invest in the work of Beyond Borders on Lagonav Island. If you have any questions about this update, please call or email Brian Stevens, Beyond Borders’ Donor Relations Director, anytime at:, or (305) 450-2561.

A student reads a mother tongue book at school.
A student reads a mother tongue book at school.
Students in their school garden in Gransous.
Students in their school garden in Gransous.
Marie just graduated from our asset building pgm.
Marie just graduated from our asset building pgm.
We're rated a 4-Star Charity by Charity Navigator.



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Organization Information

Beyond Borders

Location: Washington, DC - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @beyondbordersHT
Project Leader:
David Diggs
Washington, DC United States

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