Free education as we know it in the United States, or elsewhere is nonexistent in many developing countries, including Haiti. Today Haiti faces a multitude of challenges, magnified by the devastation of the 2010 earthquake, now hurricane Matthew resulting 600,000 children are illiterate.
Greater Custine, has only 1 grade school and no additional facility. It charges 2,800 Gourdes equivalent to $70.00 U.S dollars a year, not including books, uniform, shoes or special fees. This fee prohibits the attendance of nearly all the children in the community. This problem has resulted in an illiteracy rate of more than 75% of the population.
Many Haitian parents who are unable to feed, and send their children to school, so with broken hearts, they give them away to more affluent families, hoping that their child will live in better conditions, and obtain an education. But, with few exceptions, these children work as domestic servants, working in the homes of their “masters” from early morning till night. Many of them are not permitted to go to school and are exposed to domestic violence.
These hurdles to an education can easily create a sense of desperation in parents and contribute to the hopelessness of children. As a result, a seemingly perpetual cycle of poverty continues, generation after generation. That is why Soveyo School Learning Center is so vital to changing the culture of poverty in Haiti.
These are the harsh, life-and-death issues that have brought children to ARCF’s school program. ARCF program provides the poorest of the poor with benefits they may never otherwise receive.