Social Business with Partner Schools

 In Partner Schools, Quality Schools Program

March 15, 2012

While there are debates about schools and education policy in the U.S., few would argue with this: every child deserves a quality education.

In Haiti, however, the system makes this practically impossible. So how can we both help individual schools and also find creative ways to address issues with the system?

The problem is that over 90% of primary schools are private and rely entirely on fees or outside support for their survival. In a country where about 80% of people live on less than $2 (two U.S. dollars) per day, no matter how badly parents want their children to succeed through getting an education, they often simply can’t afford it. An unthinkable choice too many Haitian parents face each year: between feeding your family or keeping one of your kids in school.

Thus, many Haitian schools end up scraping by with chronically underpaid teachers, a lack of even basic classroom materials, and facilities that are dreadfully inadequate. And that’s for the kids who get to go to school.

In the search for creative, sustainable solutions, we’ve been working with Grameen Creative Lab, to start social businesses with our Partner Schools. This will generate additional income to help the school’s budget to educate its students. To learn more about this concept, view the video above. This is also a way the generous support people are giving to Haiti Partners’ students will go even further.

We’re so grateful for the chance to keep finding creative solutions, with you, with our Haitian colleagues, and with the communities where we’re working.

Thank you,

John Engle & Kent Annan (co-directors)

*For more photos of Bèl Platon Community School social business pilot, click here.

*For more photos of social business meeting with 30 teachers and principals of 4 school, click here.

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