REACH – Cherette, Haiti
Cherette, Haiti is located 35 km from Les Cayes and is home to over 6,000 people. The primary income-generating activities are fishing, farming, and livestock breeding. Villagers have access to piped water as well as nearby rivers and streams, and the closest medical clinic is 6 km away.
Although formal education has been available in Cherette since 2004, there was no permanent school building. At the time of construction, 85 children (45 girls and 40 boys) were enrolled in classes. Students from grades 1 to 5 studied with 3 teachers in makeshift classrooms, or walked 6 km to a neighboring community.
“This school will change our community because children would no longer lose many schooldays when it rains. Students from other schools won’t be able to laugh at them anymore like in the past. In the past they use to call the school a chicken tent.” – Melene Dorsan, teacher, age 32.
IAPW contributes the engineering, materials, skilled labor, and project supervision. Each village provides the land, local materials such as sand, and the unskilled labor to build the school. Additionally, every village promises to send girls and boys to school in equal numbers.
The new school block in Cherette has 3 classrooms made with a poured concrete floor, cinderblock walls reinforced with rebar, and a corrugated metal roof. The project broke ground on July 8, 2013, and was completed on September 13, 2013. Community members provided a combined 948 volunteer workdays and completed construction ahead of schedule. Students began attending classes in their new school in October 2013.
“I want to thank BuildOn, the students who came to help build the school and the donors. I hope God will bless them.We have more students this year because of your help. Our students eager to work hard at school to show their satisfaction.” – Yves Pierre Salibat, community leader, age 32.