Who will you be helping when you give to HaitiScholarships? Haitian students who otherwise would be unable to attend school. Continuing our series where we can meet some of the applicants that we hope to pay some of their tuition:
Meet Thermidor who volunteers in Leogane with AllHands and would like to go to a trade school to become an electrician:
“I’ve been an orphan since I was 16 years old. Since my mother died I did not have anybody to help me with my education but I made efforts to go to school. I already finish my secondary school but I did not have the mean to learn something else. I want to be technician in electricity.
[Thanks to AllHands] I do a lot experiences in my life for example working in rubble, hygiene promotion, building school and so on.
With the [help I hope to] receive from HaitiScholarships I will be good at electricity so that I can participate in the reconstruction of my country. When I finish…I can electrify my community because we can not talk about development without electrifying…..
This scholarship is going to help me to have an impact in quality of the life in Haiti because I’ll have the opportunity to go school; I will learn something that can [be] good for Haiti.
I was asked today how much it costs to sponsor a student in Haiti. So I figured others may be wondering the same. Hence the idea for a new blog article.
The short answer is “Not much”.
We are trying to simplify this but just like in developed nations, schools in Haiti cost differing amounts. For elementary schools, the cost for a full year of school (including uniforms) can be as low as $200USD per year but more generally is about $250USD. For High Schools, it is about $230-$350USD, and for colleges the cost is from $500USD and up.
Currently we are offering to pay a percentage of these fees for the students. It is our hope to be able to pay about 75%. This percentage is not set in stone and if a particular donor wants to pay more, we are willing to change it. The rationale for a percentage is that the students will value the education more if they must put some of their money in as well. This must be weighed against the reality that many families can afford to pay nothing for education. Pay too much and fewer students can go and they may not value it as much, pay too little and some deserving students may not be able to afford to go and applicants begin “playing games” with by exaggerating their needs. It is a hard balance to find and hence the reason for our flexibility. (as well as demands for documentation on expenses).
In the conversation this morning, I was also asked if the donor would have contact with the recipient. This is something we are working on and will have soon, but currently not yet. We hope to have a system whereby students can interact with the donors, give updates, and even participate in “pen-pal” activities with classrooms in the US (or elsewhere) but currently this is still a work in process.
In spite of the incomplete status of our system, it is working and people are going to school in Haiti that would not be able to afford it any other way. And to the donors, we thank you for that. It is clearly a case where if we wait to have everything perfect, Haitians would be forced to miss out on still more education.
Maudeline is an example of why we need to help the people of Haiti afford education. This is from her application
Today begins the first of a series of articles that will run over the next couple of months to share with you some of the reasons we started HaitiScholarships and why we think it is important. (and why you should help!). Our goal is to have 50 students in school as a direct result of our efforts this fall. It is an ambitious goal given we have just started, but with your help it is a doable one.
We will begin off with introducing you to Maudeline.
Maudeline is a 16 year old from Leogane who is in the seventh grade. (Note: due to financial difficulties grades and ages are vastly different in Haiti. For instance, often due to lack of money a would be student must sit out of school for a year or more).
She would like to be a nurse. Here is an excerpt from her scholarship application:
““In Haiti education represent a problem extraordinary because a lot people don’t have economic resources to go to school.
The biggest problem for students in Haiti their parents are not working so they don’t have the possibility to work so that they can help their children to go to school… My ambition is going to school so that I can finish with my high school when I finish I will go in university so that I can learn nursing. In Haiti we don’t have many nursing so I want to learn it so that I can help people in my community with health.
I have to say I don’t have money to do [this] it but Haiti [with] Haiti Scholarship I will have the possibility to realize my dream I mean my dream will be a reality. “