East Stroudsburg University is hosting a dinner tonight to benefit victims of last month’s earthquake in Haiti. The Haitian Dinner will take place 5 to 7:15 p.m. in the university’s dining hall, Dansbury Commons, on Normal Street in East Stroudsburg. The cost is $9 per person, with $2 from each meal to benefit earthquake victims through an initiative by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. PASSHE is developing plans to adopt an educational institution in Haiti that needs financial support to rebuild. (more…)
The World Food Program and other United Nations aid agencies are scaling up their humanitarian operations for millions of Haitians affected by the earthquake, which devastated their country in mid-January. The World Food Program reports it is beginning a program to provide cooked meals for thousands of school children in the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince on Monday.
The United Nations reports about three-million people, almost one-third of Haiti’s population, have been badly affected by the earthquake. It says improvements have been made in reaching those in need of food, water, healthcare and shelter.
But, it notes humanitarian needs in Haiti remain great and the emergency phase of humanitarian relief operations will have to continue for many months.
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (Feb. 15) — A Red Cross official says a school has collapsed in northern Haiti, killing three children. Red Cross spokesman Pericles Jean-Baptiste says the children were in the school when a wall collapsed at about noon Monday in the city of Cap-Haitien, about 80 miles north of the country’s quake-shattered capital.
Officials say the area saw heavy rains and a small earthquake overnight, though the cause of the collapse is not immediately clear. The quake was not recorded by the U.S. Geological Survey. A magnitude-7 quake on Jan. 12 near Port-au-Prince killed roughly 200,000 people. Most schools in Haiti reopened last week in the north but they remain closed in the capital.
PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI — The United Nations on Friday said that some of the worst-hit areas damaged by the earthquake in Haiti will see school re-openings as early as April. Despite only a few schools being open in Port-au-Prince and outerlying areas, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has announced a new deadline by which classes in areas affected by last month’s earthquake will resume by the start of the rain season in early April.
“Some of the schools for sure will be open by then and we will do an accelerated learning programme so they do not lose the school year. This will be challenging for the Haitian Ministry of Education and the partners,” Roshan Khadivi, UNICEF’s Communications Officer in Port-au-Prince told the UN News Centre.
Only about 10 percent of the schools in Port-au-Prince were functional as of February.
UNICEF and other partners plan to set up tents for immediate use as classrooms until the rainy and hurricane seasons start in the spring. By then, UNICEF says it hopes to have temporary learning spaces which can be used for a year or two until the schools are rebuilt.
In addition to identifying space, UNICEF and the Ministry are working to identify and quickly train teaching personnel. New teachers will have to overcome not only the difficulties of working in a tent, but also of working with students who are afraid of being in a classroom again.
In addition to children, university officials and students who hoped for a better life have had their education and future employment cut short. The University of Port-au-Prince mourned 150 students who lost their loves in last month’s devastating earthquake.
Some school officials want to look ahead and try to maintain a sense of normalcy. To assist with the financial aspects of getting students back to school, the UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) last week launched a public appeal for donations to help re-establish the country’s educational system.