“It is our intention to work closely with the right partners on the ground, to ensure we truly do deliver a long-term sustainable educational facility that will form part of a 'new Haiti'”
The school is situated on donated land in the commune of Saint-Marc — approximately 60 miles outside Port-au-Prince. We recently completed Phase I of the campus, including the following:
- - Administration building
- - Clinic
- - Cafeteria in which we serve students two meals per day
- - Pre-school and pre-kindergarten schools
- - Primary and secondary schools
- - Computer room
- - Music room
- - Library
- - Sports complex
Construction materials have been selected to ensure they meet environmentally friendly standards. The school optimizes the use of renewable energy, in addition to tradition energy sources. We are also in the process of replanting 21 acres of land with indigenous trees and have created a school garden in which we plan on supplying the school kitchen with locally grown, organic produce.
The school is accessible to all, with a priority given to children not already enrolled in other schools and residents of the Commune of Saint-Marc and the children, as well as refugees who moved to Saint-Marc after the earthquake. The selection system will emulate that of US charter schools. The intention is to mix students from different socio-cultural backgrounds. The school is free, and priority for selection is given to the neediest children.
There is no school fee or tuition. The school is entirely free of charge, including meals, uniforms and education.
Six kindergarten classes (ages 3 to 5) opened in October 2011, for a total of 153 children. An additional section comprised of two classes (25 students per class) will be added every year until 2019 (Ecole Fondamentale). From 2020 to 2023, a 30-student class for each of the last 4 sections (Secondaire) will be added each year.
Who runs the school?
The school is operated by Hand in Hand for Haiti Foundation. It has been endorsed by Haitian Minister of Education Monsieur Joel Desrosiers Jean-Pierre, who gave his agreement in principle advising that it aligned with the strategies and policies of his ministry and government.
The project also received strong support from French Ambassador Monsieur Didier le Bret and his Attaché for Cooperation and Cultural Development, Monsieur Alain Sauval, with the promise to allocate four volunteers that the French government will assign to Haiti. The Ambassador deems the project the most important investment in the field of education outside of Port-au-Prince in the past 30 years.
The French Lycée of Port-au-Prince will also make it a partner school and help its development.