January 31, 2012—Last
Wednesday was a “big day” for the field office of the United Methodist
Committee on Relief (UMCOR) in Haiti—and an even bigger day for 700
Haitian children who now have the opportunity to continue their
In a ceremony widely attended by children, parents, United Nations
and Haitian government officials, and representatives of nongovernmental
organizations (NGOs) working in Haiti, a transitional school built last
year was inaugurated, and its administration passed to the Haitian
Ministry of Education.
The construction of the primary school’s nine classrooms was
implemented by UMCOR in collaboration with the United Nations Office for
Project Services (UNOPS) and funded by Emergency Relief Response Fund,
which is managed by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian
The school is located in the Corail resettlement camp, temporary home
to some 10,000 Haitians who were displaced when their homes
were destroyed by the January 12, 2010, earthquake.
According to UNICEF, about 5,000 schools were turned into rubble in
the disaster, as was the building that housed the Ministry of Education.
Since the earthquake, more than half of the 2.2 million
primary-school-age children in Haiti are not in school.
UMCOR Haiti Head of Mission Juan Carlos Real and Program Officer
Josny Mehu attended the inauguration. They called the handover of the
school to the Ministry of Education a “victory” in the ongoing relief
and recovery efforts in the Caribbean nation.
Real thanked all who had partnered with UMCOR to bring about the
construction of the transitional school, particularly the parents of the
school children and the participants in the UN Education Cluster, one
of several clusters, or groupings, of NGOs organized around specific
A representative of the parents in Corail expressed her gratitude to
UMCOR, underscoring that the opening of the schools “solves one of the
major problems” faced by residents of the camp.
Thirteen teachers already have been contracted by the Ministry of
Education to work in the school, and the ministry also has promised to
provide students with book bags and uniforms.
Challenges remain, as there are many more children waiting to return to classes than the Corail school can accommodate.
One hundred percent of your gift to Haiti Emergency, UMCOR Advance #418325 helps the people of Haiti recover from the effects of last year’s devastating earthquake.
To support UMCOR’s work where it is needed most around the world, please give to UMCOR Undesignated, UMCOR Advance #999895