Finn Church Aid (FCA) is building ten schools in Haiti in cooperation with the Inter-American Development Bank. The Development Bank supports Haiti in an overall reform of their education system, and one of the sponsors is Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The overall budget is approximately six million euros.
FCA will start building the schools during this year. The school buildings shall be completed at the end of the year 2015, and they will be built in locations pointed out by the Haitian authorities.
“The project is unique because Development Bank, a government operative, and a non-governmental organization FCA are all involved in it. It is unusual for Development Bank to cooperate with an NGO,” says Tomi Järvinen, FCA Director of International Cooperation.
“Development Bank usually finances only government operatives. We wish that similar cooperation will continue also with other Development Banks,” says Järvinen.
Nearly half of the schools in Haiti were destroyed or damaged in the 2010 earthquake. The government objective is to offer free basic education for all and to bring the 1.6 million children back to school by 2016.
There are several problems in the education system in Haiti. As many as 400,000 children have been left out of basic education. Over 80 per cent of the schools are private and their tuition can consume as much as 40 per cent of the earnings of low income families. Another problem is poor quality of teaching and lack of teacher training.
“We wish to have an impact on Haitian children and young receiving basic education. We are also developing the quality of teaching and teacher training. Education is one of the strategic focuses of FCA,” says Tomi Järvinen.
The cooperation agreement concerning the building of the schools was signed in Haiti in May. It was signed by Uluc Baslanti, FCA Regional Representative in Haiti, Klaus Eberwein of Economic and Social Assistance Fund FAES, and Minister of Education Nesmy Manigat.
Uluc Baslanti, Regional Representative Latin America and the Caribbean, tel: + 509 37 02 03 99 (Haiti) or + 358 40 643 3799 (Finland), e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or
Tomi Järvinen, Director of International Cooperation, tel: +358 40 641 8209 (Finland)