La Madeleine, Petit Goave
HSDF, along with OJD, are currently working to develop a school assistance program for children who have no possibility to attend school. OJD has set up a writing contest with local children with topics like the importance of the environment, specifically trees, as well as AIDS and other health issues for young adults. Close to 70% of Haiti is considered illiterate, mainly due to the lack of government educational aid, and the missed opportunity for children to attend school. Education is key in creating a populace that is aware of their potential and that is empowered enough to realize ideas and form the seeds of change.
The school assistance program will allow for children to have the chance to get an education, that otherwise would not. It is common in Haiti that only one or two children per family is permitted to attend school for financial reasons. This is detrimental to a child’s self-confidence and motivation to create change. The program gives these children the chance to enter a writing contest exploring the many different issues that Haiti faces today. The children that are selected will be required to attend a weekly tutoring program with OJD members in order to make sure that the children stay engaged and pass their classes. OJD will have periodic seminars on tree nursery management and the importance of trees and the environment with hands on experience in the tree nursery.
This year, 15 children will be selected from the contest which will be regulated by OJD. The winners will receive the funds necessary to keep them in school for the year. OJD will keep in close contact with the students and aid them through school by providing tutoring and a mandatory seminar once a month. The program will double each proceeding year and will be dependant on funding so that it may continue indefinitely. The program involves the collaboration of students in the U.S. and will develop cross-cultural education between the two countries. Ryan McCrory and Volunteers will be presenting a multimedia video for children in Portland, Oregon, which describes Haiti, their culture, and expresses their dire need. Local children in the U.S. will learn about the many issues that Haiti faces and will be given the opportunity to ignite their altruistic passions by helping HSDF fundraise specifically to send these less fortunate children to school.
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