Haiti Voyage - Helping KPE in Haiti
25 March 2010
Kara - on twitter @xapaxapa
Konbit Pou Edikayson (KPE) is a non-profit organization working to provide educational opportunities to children in Haiti. KPE was started in 2008 by a group of law students who had been to Haiti previously and heard one request repeated over and over by children -- when asked what they wanted most, the children replied, "To go to school." The obstacle for most families in Haiti in sending their children to school is cost. Few public schools exist and private schools are expensive for most families. The added costs of uniforms and textbooks mean that many families must choose which of their children to send to school or must rotate their children in school, with each child only attending part of the year. KPE helps to alleviate the problem of cost by sponsoring the cost of tuition, fees, and uniforms for children in the program; funds are also available for living stipends and emergency needs. Currently, KPE sponsors 33 kids from families in the Port au Prince area (Cite Soleil, Carrefour, Petit Place Cazeau) and Tessert, a village near Jacmel.
After the earthquake on January 12, the situation for many of our KPE kids' families has become even more difficult. KPE board member Kara Grant recently went to Haiti to meet with children in the program and -- while we are glad to report that few physical injuries or health problems have been reported -- housing, food, and clean water are in short supply in the areas where our families live. KPE is now working to help our kids with those needs and ensure that they will be in a stable situation to return to school when it reopens. Although the families in Tessert escaped with little damage to homes, the majority of our KPE kids' families in the Port au Prince area have homes which are destroyed or seriously damaged. KPE is sending 25 tents aboard the Halie and Matthew, which will be distributed by our Haiti Child Advocate to the families of our kids in Port au Prince. While long term housing solutions will be needed, we hope that these tents will provide our Konbit kids with an added measure of shelter and protection as the rainy season approaches. We are thankful to the crew for transporting them and helping us to help our kids! www.konbitpe.org