Geography is Haiti’s fate. The 2010 earthquake destroyed hundreds of thousands of homes and disrupted lives and livelihoods across the island. The extreme rainfall that followed led to severe flooding, creating the conditions for a intense cholera epidemic. Hurricane Matthew wreaked havoc in 2016 and coastal areas, in particular, have been very slow to recover. The weakest members of Haiti’s populace - especially the children - were hit hardest.
Together with the Foundation St. Luc, nph Kinderhilfe Lateinamerika is building disaster-proof schools for children and young people from poor families in slums and disadvantaged rural regions of Haiti. 32 primary schools have already been completed for no fewer than 12,000 pupils throughout the country, teaching the official curriculum and inspiring young minds. However, many teachers have raised the alarm about the children's poor health. Due to the geographical location and the often fraught social conditions at the school sites, access to clean drinking water, let alone any form of health service is extremely difficult to get. In their mission to improve this scenario, nph partners have been able to build several drinking water facilities at different school locations over the years. Initial successes in the medical field have also been achieved by sending mobile teams to four primary schools. As a result, the children are demonstrably healthier and better learners. It therefore makes sense to extend this concept to as many schools as possible.
Ongoing project promotion
In May 2019, nph Kinderhilfe succeeded in obtaining a grant from the SKala initiative for the "Healthy School - Strong Children" project. The aim of the 2.5-year project (July 2019 to December 2021) with a total volume of around 1.7 million euros is to comprehensively improve the health of 5,500 Haitian children between the ages of 3 and 16. A medical team from the Foundation St. Luc will be sent to 18 primary schools at various locations (slums and rural regions) to examine the children and spread awareness among teachers and parents about the importance of hygiene measures, disease prevention, and medicine. Each selected school will also provide permanent access to drinking water through wells, cisterns, and treatment systems. This benefits not only the families of the children, but a total of 450,000 people from the surrounding communities. In the long term, local health facilities will be identified and included in the project, and school pharmacies set up at suitable locations. The family members of schoolchildren will continue to be sensitized to the health and hygiene of their children and families through health campaigns and at parents' evenings.
Timeline of the current project
December 2019: The first 2 primary schools have permanent drinking water supplies; drinking water committees have been set up and trained, and the facilities are managed effectively. The committees consist of school staff and parents of school children.
July 2020: At least 6 primary schools are equipped with drinking water supplies.
July 2021: All 14 schools have been equipped with drinking water facilities (4 schools are already supplied with facilities at this stage)