What will your students do when they finish school?
This is a question we’re regularly asked. Given that two-thirds of Haiti’s labor force does not have formal sector jobs, it’s an important question. Haiti is ranked 214 out of 217 countries in unemployment. It’s no wonder that most young people in Haiti aspire to leave their country in search of a better life. Remittances (money sent back to families by people who go abroad) is the single largest source of Haiti’s GDP and nearly double the combined value of Haitian exports and foreign direct investment.
We’re completely committed to developing a school model to prepare and inspire Haitians to be able to make a living and become changemakers. Most Haitians love their country and culture and would prefer to stay, IF they have work. This is why, at the Children’s Academy and our partner schools, we are committed to helping students develop entrepreneurial skills and habits so that they’ll be able to find their own way to make a living, care for their families, and improve their community.
At the Children’s Academy, students like Yara and Abigaelle (pictured above) see their parents selectively investing in seeds, working the land using sustainable permaculture techniques for maximum long term yield, and producing crops that people want to buy. In doing so, they are learning entrepreneurship. Likewise, as Yara, Abigaelle and their classmates are exposed day in and day out to our hand papermaking social business — with all its challenges and opportunities as we strive to bring a quality product to market — they’re learning entrepreneurship. When they witness how the school leadership team and teachers work collaboratively and serve one another, they discover a new type of leadership. We learn best by doing and being coached to constantly improve.
In this way, entrepreneurship — the art of figuring out how to responsibly use available resources to create value that people are willing to pay for — is in the air our students and their parents breath each day. With your help, we’re creating entrepreneurial and collaborative culture.
This holiday season, we invite you to visit our online store (haitipartners.org/gift-shop) where you can order the two main products that are driving our current entrepreneurial activity: Merline’s Hot Sauce and our beautiful Handmade Holiday cards. Place your order knowing that you’re contributing to the apprenticeship of Yara, Abigaelle, their parents and classmates.
As ever, thank you for your ongoing support to help Haitians change Haiti through education. Without the partnership of people like you, this important work simply wouldn’t be possible.
With profound gratitude,
Director & Co-Founder
P.S. We’ve devoted our lives to this work and are humbled by the progress of our unique school-based community development model. Please, will you make a special gift to ensure the continued education of Haitian children and their parents and the establishment of a new model of schooling? To do so, please visit our Gifts for Education holiday campaign page, where you can receive gifts from Haiti when you give $250 or more. Thank you!