Haiti: 100,000 Children Missing Out on Learning

New York, N.Y. One week after Hurricane Matthew slammed into Haiti, more than 100,000 children are missing out on learning as their schools were either damaged or converted into shelters, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reported today, stressing the urgent need to rehabilitate those facilities.

“At least 100,000 children today will not experience the joy, safety and stimulation that being in a classroom brings.”

In Les Cayes, Haiti, hundreds of people who have lost their homes are sheltering in a neighbourhood high school. Photo: UNICEF/Roger LeMoyne

In Les Cayes, Haiti, hundreds of people who have lost their homes are sheltering
in a neighbourhood high school. Photo: UNICEF/Roger LeMoyne.

“At least 100,000 children today will not experience the joy, safety and stimulation that being in a classroom brings,” said UNICEF’s Deputy Representative in Haiti, Jean Metenier, in a news release. “We need to get them back to learning as soon as possible. Hurricane Matthew took away their schools, homes and textbooks. It shouldn’t take away their sense of hope.”

Schools across the country are reopening but, according to initial national estimates, at least 300 public schools have been partially or entirely damaged in the country and many others are being used to shelter displaced families. Schools in Sud and Grande Anse departments will remain closed for at least another week.

UNICEF is working with partners to help set up temporary learning spaces. Priorities include rehabilitating damaged schools, deliver adequate school supplies, furniture and teaching materials, and providing children with psychosocial support.

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The Editors
The Stewardship Report on Connecting Goodness is the communications platform of The James Jay Dudley Luce Foundation (www.lucefoundation.org). There are now more than 100 contributors around the world to this publication.