Nearly ten months after Haiti’s devastating earthquake that killed thousands and left 1.5 million homeless, not much has changed. Tent cities abound, rubble litters the streets… 48% of children went to school before the earthquake, and now that number is significantly less. The official start date for school this fall was October 4th, and many schools have yet to open. There are, however, people who are working to make life better for the vast numbers of youth currently living in tent camps. Producer Amanda Thieroff reports from Port-au-Prince.
STORIES & INTERVIEWS
Most Haitian schools suffered at least some damage in the January earthquake. If they weren’t completely flattened, they’ve since been deemed “structurally unsound.” Some schools set up benches outside and hold classes in the open air. But then, space becomes an issue; schools that once served 500 students may only be able to accommodate, say, 100. And all of this, of course, applies only to kids who went to school in the first place–less than half of Haiti’s youth went to school before the earthquake, and that number has plummeted now that so many families have lost everything. Listen to the story.
UNESCO estimates that 1 in 5 adults worldwide cannot read or write. In Haiti, that number is even higher. Forty-four percent - nearly half of the population of Haiti – remains illiterate, and since the earthquake in January, schools have collapsed, and many children won’t be going back to school when they reopen this fall. But a non-profit program has sent so called “readers” out to various camps around Haiti to read to displaced children. Listen to the story.
Edwidge Danticat is an award-winning Haitian-American author. She has recently come out with a new children’s book called Eight Days, which tells the story of a little boy daydreaming about his life in Haiti while he is trapped under his house for eight days following the earthquake. Ms. Danticat supports Li Li Li and has read with the children on one of her trips to Haiti. Listen to Ms. Danticat talk about her experience reading Eight Days to Haitian children who were traumatized by the earthquake. Listen to the story.
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