Haiti: School is thriving
Gressier, Nov 24, 2017
Students who gain one of the 833 highly prized places at the school in Gressier can count themselves lucky. This is because many poor families live in the area 25km southwest of Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince. They very much appreciate not only the educational opportunities, but also the daily hot meal provided for their children – which isn’t always a given in Haiti. The company relief fund – WACKER HILFSFONDS – funded the reconstruction of the school in Gressier after the terrible earthquake of 2010 and has covered the school’s running costs including school meals since 2011.
Natural disasters are not uncommon in Haiti: In 2010 a catastrophic earthquake destroyed the Don Bosco School Riobé in Gressier. And hurricane Matthew left a trail of devastation in the south west of the island in 2016. Recovery is slow.
WACKER collaborates with the Don Bosco aid organization in Haiti, which implemented a four-phase plan to help the population in the aftermath of the hurricane. As a first emergency measure, food and clean drinking water were provided. In the reconstruction phase, Don Bosco supplied affected families with building materials to repair their homes. The third phase focused on agriculture, helping the Southwest restore their position as the bread basket of Haiti. Farmers received seedlings and agricultural equipment. The last phase was aimed at the training needed for rebuilding the country. At the Don Bosco Vocational Training Center in Les Cayes, 300 young people were given grants for courses in farming, metalwork, construction and carpentry.
The school in Gressier assisted by the WACKER Relief Fund was not directly affected by the hurricane. It has been growing steadily in recent years. There are 833 students, of which139 attend kindergarten, 309 are in elementary school and 385 in high school. Apart from regular lessons, the center offers sport and recreational activities, personal development programs, a vacation program and school meals made with home-grown vegetables. To finance running costs, Don Bosco charges a small amount in school fees. This fosters appreciation for schooling and education among parents.
A school band is in the making. They will make a little money by playing at external events. Plans are underway to build a driving school for older students. And a new school bus will join the two 22-year-old beat-up vehicles transporting children from far-flung areas to school.
The headmaster Father Gérald SDB thanked the WACKER Relief Fund for helping with running costs and school meals. If you’d like to help, here is the WACKER HILFSFONDS donation account at Bayerische Landesbank München:
IBAN DE59 7005 0000 0003 3333 33
Please note your name and address (employees are asked to provide a personnel number) on the payment transfer form. The Relief Fund will issue donation receipts to employees residing in Germany, as the donations are tax-deductible there. The WACKER Relief Fund is grateful for everyone’s support; donation receipts are issued in the first quarter of each new year.