Haiti Partners was founded in 2009 by John Engle and Kent Annan to help Haitians change Haiti through education. Many people have shaped who we are through their generosity and work. Our experience and programs go back to when John first moved to Haiti in 1991. Several of our core Haitian and American staff have been collaborating for more than a dozen years to develop the core programs and approach of our work. We draw on our experience as we keep pushing ahead toward our vision.
After living and working in Haiti for most of 20 years, John concluded with his wife Merline and their Haitian and American co-workers that establishing a school that modeled an educational approach with collaborative leadership practices was critical to influence the 6 partner schools that Haiti Partners was supporting and beyond.
As such, Haiti Partners’ Children’s Academy opened in 2012. The Children’s Academy and Learning Center (known as “ADECA” in Haiti) is a vibrant primary school that serves as our model school. It’s a place where educators from across Haiti come to see a quality school in action and discover methods of education and leadership that help them transform their communities.
From the ground up, we’re building it as a place that’s cultivating learning and innovation for children and adults of all ages, a center of activity that brings the whole community together.
While helping our partner schools financially and with teacher and administrative training was important, it was not enough. Teachers at these partner schools needed to see, to experience, to witness an approach in working with parents, staff and students that was completely different from the top-down norm in Haiti. Today, with the Children’s Academy, that model is possible.
Haiti Partners consists of Haiti-based and US-based organizations with boards of directors and core staff teams in both countries. More than 200 additional people are employed or receive stipends through our schools and programs in Haiti, including teachers, administrators, cooks and school directors. Today we have over 1,200 students enrolled in seven schools.