Updated: Aug 5, 2021
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" 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.
If you want to donate, you can here.