The second anniversary of Haiti’s devastating earthquake has drawn attention this week to the needs of the country’s young people, and efforts to give them a future. But is this another case of too little, too late? As our earlier blog post shows, there are reasons to be optimistic for Haiti’s reconstruction, with more children in school than before the earthquake. Even so, it is unacceptable that around one-half of children are still not in school. It is not enough to remember Haiti’s children only at anniversaries of the event. Efforts need to be ongoing and long-term.
Social media has been playing an important role this week in showcasing what different organizations have achieved, as a glance at the #Haiti2Year tag on Twitter reveals. Plan UK has ensured 31,000 children have returned to school, and CALCAREOUS has helped rebuild 20 schools. There are many other positive examples of NGOs giving children the opportunity to go back to school.
While such efforts are welcome, they are not building the education system that Haiti sorely needs. Recognizing the importance of education for the country’s reconstruction, a report by Ox fam mentions that President Michel Martel new administration announced free primary education, but this is still a long way out of reach for many of Haiti’s children.