Haitian colleagues take the lead organizing partner school conference despite challenges
One of the challenges of the ongoing unrest in Haiti is how it has limited our ability to work closely with our Partner Schools. Security issues and, of course, Covid-19 have simply made it impossible to responsibly do the sorts of activities we’ve done in the past.
Thankfully, our team on the ground has stepped up. Early last month a close colleague of many years got together with the leadership of our partner school, Henri Christophe Community School, to organize a teacher conference. The event took place on December 27-29. They had multiple objectives. One was to address the question of how could they better meet student, and their own, needs in the current time of crisis in Haiti. Toward this end they invited a psychologist to join them for one of the days and then held discussions about what they had learned afterwards.
Another objective was simply to raise moral by bringing the teachers together in an environment where they could have fun and enjoy each other’s company as colleagues and friends. As you can imagine, with the broader country in such crisis, it becomes very hard to maintain a positive attitude and moral can decline. Toward this end, as you can see in these pictures, they returned to a couple of the participation-based methods we have been promoting in Haiti for decades: Open Space Technology and Wonn Refleksyon (touchstones.org).
By all accounts, the gathering was very successful, dramatically improving teacher moral, and making them feel much better prepared for the coming semester.
Haiti Partners is grateful to our supporters for making such important events like this possible, despite the current challenges. We are also ever grateful to our long-time colleagues in the field and at the Partner Schools for initiating and executing such a great event.