08 June 2021

 

The Katharine Konnection

Haiti Tuition Aid Outreach

Some Background on Education in Haiti

In Haiti, school fees can be prohibitively expensive for low-income (i.e., most Haitian!) families and schools receive minimal government oversight.  According to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), “the majority of Haitians lack access to quality education; a prerequisite for sustained social and economic development. Key challenges include:

1) Low enrollment: Primary school enrollment is roughly 85 percent. The average Haitian, age 25 years or older, has less than five years of schooling. 

2) Poor literacy rates: A USAID early grade reading assessment revealed that near 75 percent of children at the end of first grade and half of students finishing second grade cannot read a single word. Only 61 percent of the adult population is literate. 

3) Lack of government oversight: Non-governmental organizations (NGOs), churches, communities and for‐ profit operators privately manage more than 85 percent of primary schools. 

4) Shortage of qualified teachers: Half of public sector teachers in Haiti lack basic qualifications and almost 80 percent of teachers lack proper training. 

When the Haiti Outreach Committee asked Father Faubert, pastor of Saint Hubert in Ennery, how Saint Katharine Drexel parish could help his parishioners and the country overall, he suggested tuition aid for secondary school students from his parish.  We jumped in headfirst with available funds from our Haiti collection and provided $5,714 to help 21 students in grades 7 to 12 for the 2021 winter/spring semester.

The parishioners of St. Hubert Parish who received tuition aid from these funds who us the following in a thank you letter:

“Each year school fees prove to be a heavy burden on our parents. This time they feel relieved because you agreed to pay for their children. Words fail to adequately express our gratitude to you. We ask the Lord in his untiring love to fill you with his grace and blessing.” 

Supporting tuition aid in Haiti for this past semester was an act of faith.  We know we cannot continue to support students unless we find individual parishioners to join in an ongoing tuition aid effort.

HOW CAN YOU HELP?

You can participate directly to support Haiti Tuition Aid.  The success of this outreach will not be possible without you.  Funds available for tuition aid will be sent to Father Faubert each June and December for the fall and spring semesters, respectively. The funds will be administered by Father Faubert and St. Hubert parish.

Father Faubert provided the following tuition costs per semester as of September 2020 for the more affordable secondary schools in the Ennery region:

Grades 7 and 8 – $160, Grade 9 – $238, Grade 10 – $278, Grade 11 – $357, Grade 12 – $397. (Average tuition costs across these grade levels is approximately $275 per semester.) 

You can help by donating $275 for a student’s tuition for a semester. Or, if you are unable to support the full tuition aid for a student, any amount is welcome.

Please complete the form HERE and return with your check to the parish or church office.   Want to make an electronic donation?  Please complete the form and go to Faith Direct by clicking HERE.

If you have questions about this program, please contact committee member Tom Kloc at tjkloc@comcast.net or by phone at 301-682-5369.

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