by Darren Ell
Some of the more than 50 children who finished school last year thanks for the Shada School Fund
Help Send 50 Youth Leaders to School in Haiti
The option of free primary schooling is something that most of us take for granted. This is not so in Haiti where free schooling is non-existent and public schools are inaccessible to the majority of students. Today 85% of Haitian schools are private and costs per student per year range from $10 at state schools to $400 in private schools. In addition to enrollment costs children are required to buy all of their own books and uniforms. For families with an annual income of $1000 who often have many children, school costs are prohibitive. Parents are forced to choose which of their children will attend school.
Kids often stop and start their education for financial reasons, repeat classes and often just plain drop out. Only 67% of Haitian children finish primary school and most never finish high school.
SOIL is an organization based in Cap Haitien Haiti that works on transforming wastes into resources through technology and empowerment projects, including ecological sanitation and garbage transformation contests. For the past 3 years SOIL has worked closely with the community of Shada, an urban area on the outskirts of Cap Haitien where 40,000 people live in a labyrinth of houses without a single road. Shada is one of the poorest communities in Haiti.
In 2007 SOIL did a photo empowerment project in Shada where 18 youth were asked to take pictures of things they liked and did not like about their community. After the photo project the group began meeting on a regular basis and began to call themselves UJDS (Youth fort the development of Shada). The group has since grown to over 100 children, who have worked with SOIL to build and manage the first public composting toilet in Shada, help run a weekly clinic, and develop a community center where kids take sewing classes and practice singing and dancing.
In 2008 several of our visitors were particularly moved by the fact that many of the kids in the youth group were not going to school and they decided to work together to raise the funds for 50 kids from the group to attend school in 2008-9. The program was a great success with 10 of the participants finishing in the top 5% of their class.
Unfortunately this year the original supporters of the project have been unable to raise the $3500 necessary to send all 50 of the kids back to school this year and with school starting September 14 it is unclear whether many of the kids from last year’s program will be able to attend the first trimester.
We are sending out an urgent call for funds to get this group of dedicated students through the coming year. The average cost per student in the program is $70 for the year, less than .20 cents per day. Please help support a student in Shada and be a part of the change that UJDS is making in their community.
TAX DEDUCTIBLE DONATIONS CAN BE MADE ONLINE at SOIL.ORG or mailed by check to :
124 Church Rd.
Sherburne, NY 13460
All donations should indicate that they are for the Shada school fund and checks can be made out to SOIL.
For more information, contact Sasha Kramer: firstname.lastname@example.org