Education May Help Eradicate Poverty in Haiti

They say if you want to improve the quality of life in a country, you have to educate the people. For Haiti, that is a challenging feat. Although most Haitians find it offensive when the island is regarded as “the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere,” they humbly agree that Haiti could use an economic upgrade, especially its education sector.

It’s no secret that the country was once as prosperous as its neighbor, the Dominican Republic, even after being indebted to France from 1825 to 1879. Tourism was bustling and many of Haiti’s families could afford more than one meal a day. Now most of the island is poverty-stricken, the cholera epidemic still runs rampant and crime is steadily on the rise. Even worse, the government is as non-existent as clean water and the nation’s assets are still missing.

The misuses of public funds, including millions of dollars in U.S. aid that have all been unaccounted for (by big organizations like the Red Cross), have resulted in poor quality of health, housing and education services. Political corruptions have severed any possibility for private investment, both domestic and foreign.

Although, efforts to improve the country’s infrastructure began six years ago after the devastating 2010 earthquake weakened it, the progress has been noticeably slow. A generation of youth has had to suffer the consequences because many of them have not been able to go back to school since the natural disaster ruined opportunities for their parents to make and save money.

Even the children who are able to attend school are at a disadvantage. Funding, teacher training and an improved curricula are seriously lacking in the country’s education system, putting students at risk of not receiving the basic knowledge needed to excel in the labor force. Haitians who have emigrated to the U.S., including Haitian-Americans can help remedy this issue by researching the schools in Haiti that could use some resources—school supplies, textbooks, and computers—and making donations through non-profit organizations like Sons and Daughters of Haiti. Big corporations and organizations headed by individuals with no significant ties have already proven to be faulty. It is up to the Haitians who have been afforded an education and a promising career to give the poor children in Haiti the same opportunities.

If you’re already making a difference, please share what you’re doing and how effective you’ve been. We’d love to hear from you!

By Ifonia Jean