A School with a Difference in Quake-Hit Haiti
Recently, Honeywell chairman and CEO Dave Cote and Honeywell Hometown Solutions president Tom Buckmaster joined students, parents, teachers, school administrators and community leaders to open Ecole Nationale Jacob Martin Henriquez, a new public school in the hard hit city of Jacmel in southern Haiti.
The nine-building school complex will provide a new educational home and free meals to more than 600 local children in grades K through 7. The school was built using contemporary, sustainable building methods and is designed to withstand any potential future earthquakes.
Honeywell used the school’s construction to train local builders in modern earthquake-resistant construction and environmentally conscious techniques that can save Haiti both money and natural resources in the years to come, says the company.
Honeywell has established a scholarship fund in partnership with Operation USA to help cover the cost of books, uniforms and other student expenses.
Jacmel, a seaside town with a population of 80,000 and located 45km from the epicenter of the earthquake, saw an estimated 80% of its buildings either damaged or destroyed, with the most severe devastation in the poorer neighborhoods.
Before its destruction, Ecole JM Henriquez — one of the few free schools available to the city’s children — served 400 students between the ages of 7 and 17.
The new school complex, which sits on one and a half acres overlooking the bay of Jacmel, will offer 600 K-7 students a new, free educational home featuring a computer lab, library, cafeteria, administration building, six classroom buildings, a sustainable community garden and an athletic field.
Immediately following the earthquake, Honeywell committed $1 million in aid to Haiti, including a 100 percent match of employee donations, to fund rebuilding projects.
The government of Haiti estimates that approximately 230,000 people were killed and over 300,000 injured in the massive January 2010 earthquake, including 38,000 students, more than 1,300 teachers and other education personnel.
Over 4,000 schools and the Ministry of Education’s headquarters were destroyed, and all available data on education was lost. An estimated three million students are believed to have suffered an interruption to, or complete cessation of, their educations. Only 50% of the children living in resettlement camps and relocation sites attend school.
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