One month after the quake, the Aristide Foundation opened mobile schools in five refugee camps across Port-au-Prince. Throughout the spring these schools held open-air classrooms led by young high school and college graduates, offering a refuge for children who survived the quake. The schools gave the kids a safe place to go each day to relax, learn and spend time with supportive adults in the midst of the utter calamity they were living though. The mobiles schools served 1,200 children five days a week and employed 100 young Haitians during the first few critical months after the quake.
By summer as schools across the city began to slowly reopen, we ended the full time mobile school program. We had never intended the project to be permanent, and we did not have the funds to keep the schools open indefinitely.
However, in Nazon (central Port-au-Prince), Fontamara (Carrefour) and Tapage (La Plaine) the monitors along with the parents and members of these communities decided these schools were so important, and the collaboration was so successful, that they determined one way or another to keep the schools going on their own.
We launched our Mobile School project in late February to do two things: support children living in refugee camps across Port-au-Prince and to offer immediate employment to young Haitians to work with kids at a time when the whole economy has collapsed. With the generous support from the Haiti Emergency Relief Fund we were able to get schools up and running very quickly. Since late February we’ve been running Mobile Schools, three hours a day, five days a week, serving 1260 kids in 5 refugee camps in the earthquake zone.
This project has surpassed our expectations at every level.