This year has been an eventful one in Caneille. It began on January 12 with a magnitude 7.0 earthquake rocking the Haitian capital. With Caneille over 40 miles away from the epicenter, there was no physical damage to any of our buildings or student’s homes. However, that does not mean this region went unaffected by the earthquake.
All schools in the country were closed following the quake, as families tried to reconnect with their loved ones who had been in Port-au-Prince and as those more directly affected fled into the provinces. The local church in Caneille with which we partner quickly set up a relief camp to house those displaced by the earthquake.
When schools reopened, we were able to absorb all of the children from this relief camp into our tuition-free school. While this resulted in a nearly 20% increase in the number of students attending our school, we felt it was important to try and maintain the normalcy and promise for a better future that school attendance can bring to these children who have had their lives devastated by the earthquake.
In addition to the earthquake and its lasting effects on the region, this was our first year with a complete primary school serving students in first through sixth grades. In Haiti, following sixth grade each student must take a government exam in order to continue onto high school. While the results are still pending, our sixth graders have expressed confidence in their performance on the exams which took place at the end of June.
As we gear up for the next school year, we have begun to plan our Fall fundraisers. In addition to attending alternative giving fairs, we are replacing our annual arts and craft sale this fall with a new fundraiser which we are calling “Paint for Haiti.” While planning is still underway, this fundraiser will be an event which allows members of our local community to come and create paintings which will then be sold at a variety of arts and craft sales (with all proceeds going directly to our work in Caneille). Tentatively this event is scheduled for October 2nd, but more detailed information will be available in the coming weeks. If you are interested in finding out how you can help with this fundraiser please don’t hesitate to contact Rebecca at CRDFund@gmail.com.
As always, please feel free to contact us at any time with any questions you may have.
Oliver W. Zornow
CRDF Executive Director