You may have asked why there are so many nongovernmental organizations in Haiti. Or why FONHOH! This question is both sensible and relevant. However, if you have an opportunity to go the remotest rural areas of Haiti, especially those located in mountainous areas where even all-terrain trucks can’t access, you’ll realize there is no government and NGO presence in such areas. You’ll also notice that school age children, preteens, and teens living in these areas don’t even have access to basic education.
As stated in “About us”, FONHOH is the fruit of a series of discussions conducted by a group of Haitians and Americans. Realizing large rural populations of Haiti has been totally forgotten, they decided to create this organization to address the pressing needs of education in these rural communitiesAs a matter of fact, before the earthquake, it was reported that only 30 percent of children living in the country side of Haiti had access to education. In this post-earthquake Haiti, the number of student not attending in the remotest has exceeded 70 percent. In order words, the children and teens are growing up without any access to education. In addition, in the rural areas where there is some access to education, the quality is very poor due to the shortage of qualified teachers. In addition to access, there is a great need for quality education and creation of conditions for parents to sustain themselves and their school-age children.
Our approach to the crises Haiti has been going through goes way beyond the charity paradigm. The communities that we serve are involved in the programs from their inception till their completion. Our goal is not to help these communities as it has been said so many times, but to develop solidarity with them in a dignifying way. Moreover, we are working with these communities so as to identify solutions to their problems, and develop strategies and mechanisms that build their livelihood resilience. Haitians are powerful and resourceful human beings who can and shall take charge of their own destiny provided some basic conditions are met ̶ one of which is education. Through the initial work we’ve done with these communities, we learned a lot from their experience and wisdom, and then we realized there is so much more that we can learn from them. From what we’ve witnessed in our exchange with these communities, we do not see the situation in Haiti as desperate as it’s being presented, but as an appealing opportunity for us people of conscience to gather the resources needed and address the education issue in rural Haiti in a systemic fashion.
FONHOH is committed to working with the communities in order to provide not only access to education but also to an education oriented toward solutions to the serious problems these communities have faced for too long. In addition, FONHOH contributes to research in education and curriculum design so teachers and parents and communities can have the resources needed to provide an education that will turn the students into problems solvers.