LEARNING FOR TRANSFORMATION
As a critical element of sustainable development, we are focused on elevating education by expanding access to educational opportunities for children and adults. We’re improving quality of K-12 education by advancing place-based experiential education. And, we’re working with schools to increase school financial sustainability.
K-12 Rural Education
In the rural community of Fondwa, Partners in Progress supports support teachers’ salaries and the school lunch program at the St. Antoine School. The School provides pre-K through 12th grade education for approximately 650 students each year.
Partners in Progress was a key grantmaker supporting the construction of the new St. Antoine School building after the original school was completely destroyed in the January 2010 earthquake. Church partners and many individuals in the Pittsburgh area made it possible for PIP to help get Fondwa’s children back to school after that tragedy. Our heartfelt thanks to Sacred Heart Parish of Pittsburgh, St. Margaret Mary Church of Lower Burrell and St. James Church of Wilkinsburg, PA. Their support of our Haitian partners, the Asosyasyon Peyizan Fondwa (Association of the Peasants of Fondwa) and the Sisters of St. Antoine is much appreciated.
Opportunities For Adults
St. Antoine Professional School
Partners in Progress is partnering with the Sisters of St. Antoine in Fondwa to found the St. Antoine Professional School. The school provides training in sewing and culinary arts for women from the Fondwa area, including former St. Antoine School schoolchildren and residents of the Fatima House Orphanage.
Green Building Training
In Deslandes, Partners in Progress and the Ecole Communautaire Gamalièl de Deslandes (EGD) provide training opportunities for men and women in Compressed Earth Block (“CEB”) fabrication, a “green” building technology. Over 60 people were trained during the construction of the new EGD school facility.
Agroecology Resource and Cyber Center (ARCC)
The EGD school facility includes the Agroecology Resource and Cyber Center (ARCC), constructed in spring 2015. Over 450 community members utilized the building last year for community activities and education including farmer trainings, planning meetings, English lessons, and training for community health care first responders. The ARCC also contains a small lab for monitoring soil quality. Plans include equipping the ARCC with a computer lab that can be used by students, teachers and farmers seeking learning opportunities made possible by Internet access. As part of the Konbit Vanyan Kapab Agroecology Project, farmers will soon have an opportunity to participate in literacy training as well.
Promoting Place-based, Experiential K-12 Education
Partners in Progress is working with our partners in Haiti and in the U.S. to begin developing an initiative to pilot place-based, experiential education in primary and secondary schools. On a very small scale, this has already begun at the EGD. Farmers from the Konbit Vanyan Kapab Agroecology Project worked with EGD students to start a school garden as part of afterschool enrichment activities.
St. Antoine School Lunch Program
Along with our Deslandes partner, EGD, Partners in Progress is collaborating with the Sisters of St. Antoine (SSA) to develop a farm in Papaye, an agricultural region in Haiti’s Central Plateau region. The SSA Farm will provide food and income for the Fatima House Orphanage and the St. Antoine School in Fondwa. Konbit Vanyan Kapab Agroecology project farmers will be hired to provide training and guidance in the development of agroecology trials at the Papaye farm. The goal is to produce high quality food for consumption by the children of the St. Antoine School and the Fatima House orphanage and to establish a cost-effective and sustainable method of growing and transporting that food to Fondwa. At the same time, new farmers will acquire agroecology skills to transform their farming efforts.
St. Antoine Professional School
Partners in Progress and the Sisters of St. Antoine are working together to develop initiatives for generating revenue to support the St. Antoine Professional School and providing jobs for its graduates.