Leading the Hope for Haiti: Things you should know about the education system.

In honor of our upcoming mission trip to Haiti, we feel it is important to know a little background about the educational initiatives and systems that affect the communities of Haiti. 

  1. In 2010, an earthquake crushed the population of Haiti, destroyed the existing infrastructure, and caused the national debt to rise to prevent rebuilding efforts.
  2. Currently,  59% of its population lives below the poverty line. 
  3. Literacy Rate: 53% of its population do not know how to read.
  4. The official language taught in primary schools is Creole.
  5. Haiti follows after the French education model of three stages: primary education, secondary education and higher education.
  6. Primary education ages begin at 6 years old and consist of preparatory, elementary, and intermediate cycles, each of which lasted two years.
  7. Tuition in public schools is legally free for the first two cycles of fundamental education (elementary), 81.5% of these children go to private schools and pay fees.
  8. To transition into secondary education, students are required to receive a primary education certificate (CEP) and take an entrance exam which is estimated that only 2% of children pass.
  9. The education system uses French as the language of instruction. Less than 10% of the population speaks French.
  10. Upon passing these extensive state exams, hosted by The Ministry of National Education, those students would be able to continue their education in either a public or private institution.
  11. The secondary level consists of a 3-year lower cycle and 4-year upper cycle. Students able to pass into secondary education would receive the baccalauréat (the equivalent of the high school diploma).
  12. Secondary school means earning a baccalaureate.  However, only upon completion of the classe de philosophie exams entitles a student to proceed to a university.
  13. There are a limited number of regional public universities and institutions; while private institutions with higher tuition and fees.  Less than 1% of the college age group are enrolled at the university level.

We value education and cherish that basic human right!

With our partnership with the buildOn organizations to present the School Build Project- Haiti, we will be able to contribute to bettering a rural community in Haiti.  This school will serve over 400 children and adults from a rural community and will serve as a catalyst for sustainable and positive community development. 

Image result for haiti education free images


The World Bank GDP Growth, World Bank, https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.MKTP.KD.ZG (last visited Feb. 10, 2019).

Danielle N. Boaz, Examining Creole Languages in the Context of International Language Rights, 2 Hum. Rts. & Globalization L. Rev. 45, 49 (2008)

Georges E. Fouron, The History of Haiti in Brief, in THE HAITIAN CREOLE LANGUAGE: HISTORY, STRUCTURE, USE, AND EDUCATION 23, 24 (Arthur K. Spears & Carole M. Berotte Joseph eds., 2010).

Leadership Reading: Books to read for your Leadership Development Journey

Part of your leadership development journey is changing up the way you educate and learn new things. Although change can be a great thing, getting back to the basics can be just as effective. Reading is a great way to education, encourage and inspire! If your goal is to cultivate change for your community, start by cultivating change within yourself.

Unlearn: 101 Simple Truths for a Better Life by Humble the Poet

Unlearn: 101 Simple Truths for a Better Life,’ as it is titled, is a work written by Canadian MC and poet Humble the Poet.  It is a compilation of learnings and experiences of his everyday life, written in simple language for all to read. Through 101 short chapters, the emphasis is put into the attitude and thinking needed for individuals to live a better quality of life. It is remarkably blunt! Reasoning questions that force you to think about your everyday circumstances and how these circumstances can affect you. Acknowledging the things that make you happy, sad, confused, and inspired. This book allows the mind to wander into the unknown while constantly reassuring the reader that they are not alone.

For young professionals, part of learning and developing into the powerful leaders of tomorrow is understanding how experiences shape you and grabbing a newer perspective to build your sense of empathy. It is important to show compassion for the uncomfortable circumstances you may see others face, especially in leadership roles. This book helps you find the silver lining in your perception of the world; inspires you to become more self-aware and empowered, and to no longer be limited by the lessons we have learned throughout our lives. It stimulates you with ideas that challenge conventional learning that has resulted in sabotaging behaviors and go against the grain.

This book is an absolute read for growth! A sample e-book is available to read on Humble the Poet’s website for those wanting to dip in and see what UnLearn is all about! The book itself is available now in hardback, paperback, and electronic editions online at http://humblethepoet.wix.com/unlearn101.

Leadership Reading: Books to read for your Leadership Development Journey

Part of your leadership development journey is changing up the way you educate and learn new things. Although change can be a great thing, getting back to the basics can be just as effective. Reading is a great way to education, encourage and inspire! If your goal is to cultivate change for your community, start by cultivating change within yourself.

Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself by Dr. Joe Dispenza

One of my favorite books on personal development I have read is Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself by Dr. Joe Dispenza. When I think of cultivating something beyond the self, I think that we first have to align ourselves with what we believe is worth cultivating. Yet in our current age of technology, conditioning, and bad habits; putting our best foot forward to become the leaders we strive to become, can be difficult. This book offers a combination of fundamental principles of neuroscience, psychology, and necessary knowledge to change any aspect of yourself. The beautiful result of what you can obtain is that your mind shapes your reality! Therefore by changing your thought process, how you view the infinite possibilities available to you, within your quantum field, you can create your desired reality. I think this book provides an in-depth look behind the meaning of ‘anything is possible’ if you position your mind to believe in the possibility. Part of cultivation is creating. As a developing leader, unpacking the foundation of your morals and values can be beneficial in your presentation to the public. If you aim to teach others what it means to create a better community for all, it helps to first understand for yourself, the look of a better community. What does it mean? How can you manifest that community? How does it benefit the members? Can the members instill faith in your vision?

Youth & Community Engagement Goes Hand-in-Hand

What is community engagement?

Simply put, community engagement is an initiative by its members to create a positive social change.

It is the partnership between members of the community through their involvement with the planning and decision-making process. They can express their opinions and exchange new information that would be helpful to others. This engagement is very hands-on ranging from community council meetings, parent involvement with academic initiatives, youth organization events and programs, as well as environmental initiatives. 

Since, the idea of a ‘community’ is inclusive of all members, their engagement provides perspective. If one’s opinion differ from popular opinion it creates a balanced understanding through conversation and can add layers to the decision-making process. 

Youth have voices too!

With communities growing every day, it is important to encourage and educate the next generation. Allowing younger members, the opportunity to voice their opinions and share new information can offer a new perspective to a discussion.

Most often, we look to our youth as the leaders of tomorrow, because are the members of our communities who actively participate, explore, and engage in its development. Dedicating their time and talents to produce a positive impact is a fundamental pillar of what defines youth community engagement. Youth involvement provides a space to recognize personal abilities by helping improve upon the conditions and challenges that directly impact their lives. It can also increase the amount of empowerment felt within the members and themselves.

To keep up their desire to be involved in their communities, youth need to be educated by methods not commonly found in a classroom. Making use of programs that emphasize technology use or discuss topics of interests, for youth; can increase awareness on issues affecting the community while increasing engagement. Taking advantage of communication tools such as social media platforms, will allow a middle ground between what changes are need and how external members can aid. Youth are more likely to be involved in fundraising initiatives such as sport tournaments, selling desserts and beverages, or creative arts showcases. These initiatives create the opportunity for youth to be able to showcase their unique abilities and use their social medias to share this information with peers from other communities.

Empowering youth to be a valuable part of the discussion is another great way to get them engaged in the community. They would be more likely to provide their input if they feel it will be a valuable contribution to the discussion. Not only do they gain a stronger sense of self-efficacy and confidence, but they build stronger connections through their sense of belonging and relationships built with older members. 

With information being shared and relationships being built, community members are building lasting traditions that can be practiced over generations. For example, community sweep days, clothing or food drives, holiday sports tournaments, summer picnic parties and various other ideas that can strengthen the connection and pride community members share.

Having both youth and adult members, working together to produce meaningful results for the community is what a true community is all about! If you are considering making a positive social impact in your local community, establishing a partnership with other members of your community is a chance for you to co-lead, by providing frequent and thoughtful contributions.