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Haiti - Jacmel : Opening of the largest school of South East
The school was built using contemporary, sustainable building methods and is designed to withstand any potential future earthquakes. Honeywell used the school's construction to train local builders in modern earthquake-resistant construction and environmentally-conscious techniques that can save Haiti both money and natural resources in the years to come. Honeywell has established a scholarship fund in partnership with Operation USA to help cover the cost of books, uniforms and other student expenses.
"Working together with Operation USA, Mayor Edwin Zenny, and the City of Jacmel, we have delivered on our commitment to rebuild creating a terrific community asset and environment for learning just 7 months after we broke ground," said Cote. "This is one of the largest post quake rebuilding projects completed in Haiti so far. Haiti's children have been profoundly affected and we are gratified to be able to help Haiti continue their education and to play a meaningful role in improving the learning environment."
Jacmel, a seaside town with a population of 80,000 and located 45km from the epicenter of the earthquake, saw an estimated 80% of its buildings either damaged or destroyed, with the most severe devastation in the poorer neighborhoods. Before its destruction, Ecole JM Henriquez — one of the few free schools available to the city's children — served 400 students between the ages of 7 and 17. The new school complex, which sits on one and a half acres overlooking the bay of Jacmel, will offer 600 K-7 students a new, free educational home featuring a computer lab, library, cafeteria, administration building, six classroom buildings, a sustainable community garden and an athletic field.
Immediately following the earthquake, Honeywell committed $1 million in aid to Haiti, including a 100 percent match of employee donations, to fund rebuilding projects. Honeywell also made business jets available to relief agency Operation USA for airlift support to deliver medical supplies and transport medical staff.
In an effort to promote good health and nutrition while also incentivizing school enrollment and thereby enhancing literacy rates, a feeding program was developed for all students attending the school. At the core of the program is a community garden on the school grounds. The garden will be cultivated and maintained by the students, their families, and school staff. All produce grown in the gardens will be used in the daily meal provided to the children. These “learning gardens” will integrate practices of resource management, basic horticulture, water harvesting, composting, and small animal husbandry.
The government of Haiti estimates that approximately 230,000 people were killed and over 300,000 injured in the massive January 2010 earthquake, including 38,000 students, more than 1,300 teachers and other education personnel. Over 4,000 schools and the Ministry of Education's headquarters were destroyed, and all available data on education was lost. An estimated three million students are believed to have suffered an interruption to, or complete cessation of, their educations. Only 50% of the children living in resettlement camps and relocation sites attend school.