Home / News / News archive / 2011 / October 2011 / Haiti: A new term begins at SOS Schools

The Children's Villages in Santo, near Port-au-Prince and Cap Haitien are home to children from Haiti who face some of the poorest conditions in the world. SOS Children's Villages has been working here since 1982 and has also provided aid during natural disasters occurring in Haiti … more about our charity work in Haiti

Haiti: A new term begins at SOS Schools

Lessons begin at SOS School Santo
Lessons begin at SOS School Santo

This October, the SOS Schools in Santo and Cap Haïtien opened their doors to welcome hundreds of children back for a new school year. In Santo alone, an extra 500 children now have access to a free education, and we are building another school to give even more young people the opportunity for a better start in life.

During the 2010-11 school year, the number of students attending the SOS School in Santo (just outside Port-au-Prince) increased by over 300 following the earthquake which hit Haiti on 12 January 2011, destroying many state schools. This year, the number increased yet again - the SOS School is now attended by 1,190 children. The intake has increased for the second year running due to the rising numbers of families SOS Children are supporting through our Family Strengthening Programme. The Programme targets disadvantaged families, offering children a free education and supporting parents to care and provide for their children.

The Director of the SOS School in Santo, Charles Myrtil, developed a strategy to ensure the large number of students can receive an education. Classes now take place in two shifts over the day. There are enough classrooms for 16 classes at a time, with around 35 students in each. The school also has a library where children can take out books to help them with their homework.

As well as enrolling as many children as possible in our schools, SOS Children are also concerned with improving the quality of our teaching. During August this year, a total of 87 teachers and trainers from the SOS Schools in Santo and Cap Haitien participated in the second phase of teachers' training with the University Quisqueya. There was also another reason behind this get-together. The teachers rehearsed a song together and presented it at the first day back at school on 3 October, much to the surprise of the youngsters!

SOS Children believe that improving access to free and good education are necessary first steps towards rebuilding Haiti. In addition to extending the original SOS School in Santo, we are now planning the construction of a second school in the area. The new school will have 14 classrooms, providing an education for hundreds of local children. Read more about our work in Haiti.