The school in Tellier was partly destroyed by the earthquake, and further damaged by Hurricane Tomas which hit the country in 2010. Since the disasters struck, the school has been in a desperate state. Massive holes in the walls and the roof make it impossible for classes to continue when it’s raining, with the result that many children miss out on hours of valuable schooling.
Elie, 14, is one of 200 students who attend the run-down school. He is in the fifth grade and lives with his mother and his six brothers and sisters. His father died last year and his mother became sick soon after. Elie was forced to take responsibility for bringing in an income for the family, by selling fruits at the market in Cavallion. It takes him over two hours to carry papayas, bananas and coconuts down to the market that takes place twice a week. On the lucky days when he sells everything, the family can buy food. The rest of the time, they go hungry.
The pressure of feeding his family does not give Elie much time to consider his career options. Yet, he has some dreams for the future. “I would really like to learn something that would make it easier for me to live better” he says. Elie will soon benefit from the refurbishment of the school in Tellier. By going to school and receiving an education, Elie has a chance to help his family break out of the cycle of poverty.
SOS Children believe that improving access to free and good education are necessary first steps towards rebuilding Haiti. In addition to refurbishing the school in Tellier, we are planning to refurbish a further three schools so that even more children have the chance of a quality education and a brighter future.
In the immediate aftermath of the Haiti earthquake, SOS Children stepped up to provide Emergency Relief for children and families most affected. Now, nearly two years on from the disaster, read how we are contributing to Haiti’s long-term recovery.