Since January 2010, when a devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit Haiti, severely damaging and destroying half of the country’s 15,000 primary schools and affecting one million primary school age children, Dubai Cares has been actively involved in rebuilding the country’s primary education sector. To this effect, Dubai Cares launched two programs with UNICEF in August 2010 as well as CARE International in April 2010, investing over AED 6 million to benefit more than 240,000 primary school age children.
Following a field trip led by the CEO in March 2011 to monitor the progress of its interventions, a Dubai Cares delegation recently conducted another field visit to Haiti to evaluate the impact made on the lives of the children and their families, marking the successful completion of its programs in the country.
Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Cares said: “The primary education sector in Haiti was seriously affected by the earthquake, with half of all primary and secondary schools completely destroyed or severely damaged. In response, under the direction of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum to provide educational assistance to 200,000 children in Haiti, Dubai Cares worked very closely with its on-ground partners, UNICEF and CARE International, to identify the education sector’s needs, and develop and effectively deliver primary education programs. We are confident that the impact made by our rehabilitation, restoration, provision of WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) in schools facilities and hygiene promotion efforts will be for the long-term, inspire similar large-scale efforts and outlast generations to come.”
In partnership with UNICEF, Dubai Cares implemented a program for the creation of child-friendly WASH-in-Schools facilities which impacted the lives of 158,600 children. The program was planned and designed in coordination with national and departmental authorities and involved the provision of supplies and equipment to 220 schools, training of 660 teachers and orientation of 6,600 teachers on hygiene promotion, and installation of 20 child friendly WASH facilities in schools.
According to Edouard Beigbeder, UNICEF Haiti Representative: “WASH in Schools, which is an integral component of Dubai Cares programmatic interventions, contributes to the realization of Haitian children’s rights to survival, development and dignity, and good sanitation conditions and hygiene practices lead to less diseases, better health and better nutrition. Better WASH facilitates has boosted enrolment, increased retention and contributed to better learning outcomes overall for children. In addition, age-appropriate gender segregated facilities can attract girls to stay in school, contributing to their empowerment.”
Dubai Cares has also been working closely with CARE International to support children’s education and the restoration of quake-affected schools in Haiti. The multi-donor emergency response program with CARE International is benefiting the lives of 82,134 school children. Support was provided in the form of strengthening educational opportunities through the rehabilitation of water and sanitation facilities at schools, mobilizing community involvement to refurnish a minimum of 100 education facilities with furniture while providing income-generating opportunities, and providing 100 schools with supplies facilitating their reopening.
Jean-Michel Vigreux, Director, CARE International in Haiti said: “Dubai Cares has been instrumental in allowing CARE Haiti to expand our reach to children who previously did not have access to quality education in Haiti. With the generous support of Dubai Cares, CARE has been able to reach over 82,000 children, teachers, school directors, and parents in Haiti with school materials, psychosocial support, teacher training, child rights and environmental risk reduction measures. The program initiated the unprecedented activity of creating and obtaining legal government recognition of School Management Committees joining teachers, parents, students, school directors, and community leaders together in taking an active, comprehensive role in the level and quality of schooling for their children. Haiti still faces tough challenges in improving its access and quality education to children, however with the help of Dubai Cares and local government, we are moving forward to bring equal and equitable education for all.”