Our 10th year of school is finished! We are proud to have such a long partnership with the community of Caneille, Haiti and to have been part of so many student journeys. Reaching this milestone has been the result of a lot of hard work and ingenuity.
In a community where most of the parents are illiterate, it has been a challenge to stress the importance of consistent education to parents. Often times fetching water, taking care of younger siblings, and other household chores take precedent over study time. Beyond that, there are variable challenges that come with living in extreme poverty in rural Haiti that affect daily attendance, such as transportation (meaning long morning and afternoon walks to and from school), hunger, and sickness. However, it has been encouraging to see community members slowly work at this problem. We have seen parents actively try to bring others to understand the importance of consistent school attendance. We have worked at the problem on our side as well, providing solar powered lights for evening study sessions and rewarding top testing students with a goat—something no one living in rural areas can deny the value of. As a result, this year, our school attendance is consistently at 96%, a great success.
Now, some of our primary school graduates will enter their final year of high school in the closest town, Hinche. All of those students worked hard, even beyond the classroom, to get where they are. They have had to make drastic life changes to find a way to continue their education. Our students are making a name for themselves, and we are grateful to have been able to provide a model that stresses the importance of education.
In addition to the effect our growing alumni is having on the area, the school staff are building the reach of the work in Caneille. Our teachers have now been sharing best practices with other nearby schools for several years. As an organization, we are excited the school is collaborating with others and creating a stronger Haitian education system.
Utilizing education to escape poverty is at the core of our mission. Education serves as a stepping off point for true individual empowerment and builds community focus and purpose. CRDF is fortunate to be a part of so many success stories in rural Haiti.
Happy 10 years, everyone. Now on to year 11.