Periodic report: March 4, 1014 – Rural Haitian schoolchildren learn computers, then...

Periodic report: March 4, 1014 – Rural Haitian schoolchildren learn computers, then teach adults

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The Haitian Resource Development Foundation (HRDF), a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, with United States Federal Tax I.D. No. 72-1074482, was established in 1987 in the State of Louisiana. This Foundation is also recognized by the government of Haiti as a non-governmental organization (NGO) under the Re: No. MPCEFP/1993/94/17 and registered in the archives of Le Ministère de la Planification et la Cooperation Externe under the number B-0167.  HRDF’s mission is to initiate or support projects whose goals are to develop Haiti’s resources and focuses its effort on outcome-based programs in the fields of health care, education, scientific research, arts and culture and economy.

RURAL HAITIAN SCHOOLCHILDREN LEARN COMPUTERS, THEN TEACH ADULTS

Aquin, Southcentral Caribbean Coast, Haiti – March 9, 2014 –  Thanks to a one-year starter grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Haitian Resource Development Foundation <hrdf.org> began to offer a free computer classroom and recreational cybercafé last August in this mid-sized coastal Haitian city of approx. fifty thousand.

 Outfitting space in HRDF’s new vocational-technical building near Haiti’s National Route 2, announcements were circulated and dozens of school-aged children and their parents appeared on opening day.  HRDF’s teachers gave the children a basic knowledge exam and then based on the results, admitted sixty of them to the program, allowing each to spend two to three hours a day, twice a week, learning about computers, practicing keyboard skills, enjoying movies, games and other computer-related activities.  All of this is under the supervision of HRDF’s on-site manager Claude Somere and Marc Donald Jacquet, and teachers Wisky Francique, Lundi Maquedala, Alexandre Jean Lassene and Lessage Nelien.

The first cycle of instruction was completed January 30, 2014, making way for new groups of sixty children.  For those from the first cycle, HRDF added days and hours so they could continue using the facility.  Several of the recent youth “graduates” immediately proposed bringing their parents to HRDF so they could teach them and other grownups what they had just learned.  HRDF thought it was an excellent idea, and a natural way for families to improve their education together.  The attached photographs show how Aquin’s children are introducing their parents to computers, something that is quite new in Haiti, especially in rural communities.  Sixty adults and parents now attend class on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

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“Young teaches old” in Aquin, Haiti where schoolchildren who have recently learned basic computer skills now introduce computing to their parents and other grownups.

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Among Haitians, age is no barrier to learning 21st century skills.  This new computer classroom and cybercafé in Aquin is user-friendly, relaxed, clean and safe for children and parents alike.  Dozens attend weekly.

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A starter grant from the American W.K.Kellogg Foundation helped HRDF prepare the space and energy systems for its computer classroom and cybercafé, and pay wages to teachers.   Private individuals and groups donate computers, equipment and teaching materials.

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HRDF believes nonprofit cybercafés and computer classrooms are feasible in rural Haiti for children and adults alike.  The first one in Aquin will seems to be off to a good start.

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Coastal Aquin, Haiti, population approx. 50,000

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HRDF expects grownups will quickly discover that computing can help them improve their skills, look for work and learn more about the world of Haiti and beyond.

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Learning is a social affair in Haiti.  In this special program where children teach parents, HRDF offers curriculum guidelines and smoothly-running equipment, and then the friends and families are free to pursue their interests at their own speed.

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For more information, to offer expertise and to donate money and equipment to HRDF’s computer classrom and cybercafé in Aquin, contact Aldy Castor, M.D., President, Haitian Resource Development Foundation  <aldyc@att.net> USA 954.659.7953,  Haiti 509.3.685.1931

 Thank you.

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The Haitian Resource Development Foundation prioritizes programs that enable and empower various Haitian locales to further personal and collective independence. Engaging in a range of programs over 20 years, the HRDF continues a commitment to providing measurable results for program beneficiaries and program benefactors. Working with multiple international partners from North America and Europe, the HRDF is committed to fundamental improvements in Haitian villages to ensure greater economic vitality in the near future.