Alliance for Haiti’s Children works in the rural, mountainous La Vallee de Jacmel region of Haiti, 56 miles south of the capital Port-au-Prince. The region has 13 tiny village communities. The families who live there are poor, but the communities are strong.
The local population is estimated at 40,000, with 14,000 school-aged children. More than 10,000 of those children attend one of the region’s 52 (mostly private) schools, but in a 2014 survey, 73 percent had paid nothing toward their school fees by December.
Due to lack of family income and inconsistent school attendance, many students enter first grade at age 10 or older, and teenaged students often are enrolled in 3rd or 4th grade. The school dropout rate is high, with only 20 percent of enrolled students completing 6th grade.
The average walk to school is 30-90 minutes over difficult mountain paths.
Thus, the challenges for education in rural Haiti are economic, geographic, and systemic. Our approach seeks to address each of these challenges.