February 2020 Update

We visited Lekol La Florezon and asked Joulika and her teacher to tell us how the school year is going.

Joulika is a second grader at Lekol La Florezon. Joulika loves mathematics. She told us that she wants to become a doctor when she grows up.

Since Joulika’s teachers began taking part in the teacher training program that your Schools Not Slavery Partnership makes possible, they’ve launched new initiatives with their students like the Mother Tongue Book Program. Now Joulika and her fellow students write their own books with stories about their own lives.

Joulika’s school also has a school garden now — a practice that was introduced to teachers when they began participating in the teacher training program.

Joulika and her fellow students have planted beans, corn, plantains, and lettuce.

Joulika’s teacher, Guerda, is one of the teachers at Lekol La Florezon who is part of the teacher training program.

Thanks to your Schools Not Slavery Partnership, Guerda and her fellow teachers in the training program learned about the benefits of teaching students in their native language — Haitian Creole — instead of French.

Students don’t learn as well when they think in one language but they are told to write and speak in another. Students who learn in their native language read, write, and speak better.

“They used to struggle, but they write faster now,” Guerda said, compared to when classroom instruction was in French.

Guerda also praised the school gardens training that teachers received. “Now we’re not just talking about gardening, we are doing it,” she said.

You make all of this possible, through your care, your concern, and your support. Thank you again for your generous Schools Not Slavery Partnership with Lekol La Florezon!

September 2019 Update

Top: Sixth graders at Lekol La Florezon; Bottom Left: Di, a student at Lekol La Florezon; Bottom Right: Ketia, a teacher at Lekol La Florezon.

Your Schools Not Slavery Partnership is Protecting 117 Girls and Boys at Lekol La Florezon

Thank you again for your generous Schools Not Slavery Partnership in the 2019-2020 school year. We are so grateful!

We are deeply honored by your commitment to partner with Lekol La Florezon (La Florezon School) to keep children in the community of La Palmis free, safe, and in school.

Since 2010, Schools Not Slavery Partners like you have helped parents to find and free more than 600 children from slavery, and ensure that they have access to a high-quality school in their community. You’ve also prevented thousands more from becoming enslaved through your Partnership.

Thank you for all that you are doing to promote liberty, dignity, and hope for children and families in La Palmis.

What Your Schools Not Slavery Partnership is Making Possible This School Year

Your generous partnership ensures continued access to quality education for rural, impoverished children in La Palmis, many of whom are among the most at risk of being trafficked to cities as household slaves.

Your Schools Not Slavery Partnership makes it possible for teachers at Lekol La Florezon to be trained in a nonviolent, native language, participatory approach to classroom management that is not found in most traditional public and private schools. It includes the following elements:

      1. Native Language Instruction – Students are taught in Haitian Creole – the language they speak at home – instead of French, a language students rarely encounter in their daily lives. Once students are literate in their native language, teachers introduce French as a second language.
      2. Participatory Approach to Classroom Instruction – Rote memorization of French-language textbooks is the basis of instruction in most classrooms in Haiti. Your Partnership supports a participatory-based approach, which is meant to foster intellectual curiosity and critical thinking skills among students. Rather than simply copying, memorizing and parroting back lessons in French, students write their own stories in Haitian Creole about their own lives and share them with each other. The approach, first brought to Haiti by our primary education partner on Lagonav Island – the Matènwa Community Learning Center – is known as the ‘Mother Tongue’ program. Teachers at Lekol La Florezon also decorate the walls of their classrooms with the work of their students.
      3. Education Rooted in Rural Life  – Your Partnership is supporting an approach in which teachers are rethinking the traditional approach to education in Haiti that has largely shunned any classroom connection with rural life and agriculture. By integrating agriculture into the classroom curriculum, teachers teach skills and develop habits that students will need to thrive and build better lives for themselves where they live, without having to migrate to the city. School gardens teach students agricultural science and mathematics, including techniques to improve yield and mitigate drought driven by climate change. Vegetables grown are used in daily school meal programs, with excess food sold in the market, helping students learn to manage money. Families with students at Lekol La Florezon are also encouraged to plant their own vegetable gardens at home.
      4. Nonviolent Classroom Management – Authoritarian classroom management enforced via corporal punishment, shaming and humiliation is the norm in Haitian classrooms. Your Partnership supports the training of teachers in a nonviolent classroom management approach that aims to teach students leadership and democracy by empowering them to develop class rules. Teachers then hold students accountable to the standards that they themselves established.

In addition to these elements, your Schools Not Slavery Partnership supports these activities too:

Annual Third Grade Reading Assessment – Teachers conduct a third grade reading assessment to determine the level of progress students are making in reading. The test assesses the main skills that are known to predict reading success within the early grades of primary school.

Parental Engagement Strategy – Parents are invited to parent-teacher gatherings at which they provide feedback, share their own priorities for their child’s education, and ask for help in how best to support their child’s education. Your Partnership also supports a day-long ‘Open Space Gathering’ for parents. They meet with teachers and the school director for a day-long session in which the agenda is determined entirely by the participants of the meeting, a strategy designed to build parental ownership. 

Salaries and Benefits for School Staff, Teacher Trainers, and Agricultural Technicians – Your Partnership also supports a portion of the salaries and benefits for staff and the teacher trainers and agricultural technicians who are building the capacity of teachers at the school.

About Lekol La Florezon

The school is located in the town of La Palmis, a rural community on the island of Lagonav.

There are 117 students at the school, 61 girls and 56 boys, in kindergarten through the sixth grade.

Thank You

Thank you again for your generous Schools Not Slavery Partnership with Lekol La Florezon. We are deeply grateful for all that you are making possible for vulnerable children in rural Haiti. If you have any questions about your Partnership, please feel free to contact Beyond Borders’ Donor Engagement Director Brian Stevens at (305) 450-2561 or b.stevens@beyondborders.net.

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