Access to quality education in Haiti is available only to a tiny fraction of the school-age children. The majority of existing schools charge for tuition, books, uniforms, and meals. They are more a "business" than a place for children to learn and grow. The poorest of the poor cannot send their children to school.
For Hands Together, fighting poverty means investing in human capacity. We enable people - children, women and men - to be the people that God wishes them to be. The first step is to make quality education accessible to the very poor. Education & literacy is the key to helping people cultivate their creativity and God given potential.
Hands Together runs the largest network of elementary schools in Cite Soleil, Haiti's largest and poorest slum, where 80% of the children are unable to attend public school. Here, 6,300 children receive free education and proper nutrition at one of our many campuses. Parents and other adults participate in daily literacy programs and help with the operations and maintenance at each neighborhood campus. Our long-term goal is to provide quality elementary education for every child in this slum. We are meeting this goal through a combination of Hands Together run schools and collaborative projects with "partners" whose philosophy and approach mirrors our own.
Our support to very poor schools extends into the rural areas of Haiti where we provide assistance to dozens of Catholic elementary schools.
Summary of Ongoing Educational Efforts
Becky DeWine School
Campus: St. Francis de Sales High School
Served: 1,300 students, 78 staff, 300 elderly
Description: 40 classrooms, auditorium, covered outdoor gym, computer lab, kitchen, water well
Campus: Father Volel Middle School
Served: 900 students, 54 staff, 300 elderly, 95 barefoot school students
Description: 30 classrooms, large soccer field, kitchen, latrines, drinking water system
Campus: St. Aviat/St. Veronica
Served: 530 students, 42 staff
Description: 19 classrooms, large playground, library, latrines, drinking water system
Campus: St. Joseph
Served: 275 students (Pre-K through 1st), 27 staff
Description: 11 classrooms, playground, latrines, drinking water tank
Campus: St. Jane Chantal
Served: 135 students (Pre-K through 1st), 17 staff,
Description: 7 classrooms, dining room, drinking water system
Campus: Monsignor Connolly
Served: 260 students, 15 staff
Description: 10 classrooms, kitchen, latrines, gardens, playground
Campus: Monsignor Miot
Served: 327 students, 32 staff, 300 elderly, 72 barefoot school students
Description: 14 classrooms, kitchen, latrines, gardens, playground
Campus: Menilas - P-au-P
Description: Potential K-8 school site where HT enclosed large plot of community land.
Campus: Rural villages outside Gonaives
Served: 450 children
Description: K-6 Diocesan school in the poorest area of Gonaives. Completely funded (all materials, tuition, salaries, food) by HT.
Saint Famille School
Campus: Trou Sable Slum, Gonaives
Served: 900 children, 75 -100 adults
Description: K-8 Catholic school run by the Daughters of Mercy. HT provides significant construction & operational funds.
Gonaives Diocese Education Office
Served: More than 25,000
Description: General help to Catholic Schools in the Gonaives Dioc. More than 147 schools serve thousands of poor children. HT provided all blackboards and benches for these schools.
Christ the King School - SaPaterre
Served: 670 children
Description: Hinche Dioceses Catholic k-8 school - HT funds teacher's salaries, food, and construction of additional classrooms.
Schools run or supported by Hands Together must welcome those families completely unable to send their children to school. We embrace, with a special love, anyone living in squalor. Students learn that they are loved infinitely and absolutely by God.
We adhere to a few simple principles to help us fulfill our mission of providing a quality, spiritually enriching education:
Rely on the power of a loving God. Schools are clearly and identifiably Catholic. We teach the values & spirituality contained in the Gospel.
The learning environment is live-giving. Schools must be safe, violence free, disciplined, clean and provide spiritual, physical and emotional care and healing.
Minimize problems of money. Target the poorest children first. The school must demonstrate the preferential option for the poor, providing tuition-free schooling with no money flowing in or out of the school.
Provide dignity and community stability through service and participation. Students and parents help in the operations and upkeep of schools. Parents attend literacy classes.
Integrated educational, emergency, health and development projects flow from the schools making them true "community centers".
Insist on excellence. Offer solid curriculum and extra-curricular activities designed to develop the whole person.
For more specific information on our school projects visit the Projects List page.