The Congregation of Holy Cross and the Digicel Foundation agreed earlier this month to partner in building a primary school and support facilities in the neighborhood of Tabarre in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
Prior to the devastating earthquake on January 12, 2010, building a school in this poor, growing neighborhood of the Haitian capital had been the top priority for the Congregation’s Our Lady of Perpetual Help Province in Haiti. Now, through the generosity of the Digicel Foundation and the support of the University of Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education, this dream is becoming a reality.
The project will create a new school in an area where few children have access to quality education. The demand for quality schools increased dramatically after 80% of schools in Port-au-Prince were destroyed in the 2010 earthquake.
"This investment will make a life-changing difference for hundreds of children, and enable a top education provider, the Congregation of Holy Cross, to serve this community for decades to come," said Fr. Timothy Scully, C.S.C., founder of ACE and director of Notre Dame's Institute for Educational Initiatives. “No longer are we only rebuilding (better and stronger) what was lost in the devastating earthquake of 2010, but we are now building anew!”
"We are deeply grateful to the Digicel Foundation for its dedication to Haiti's children and their future," Fr. Scully continued. "We are absolutely committed to the long-term success of this new school and the children it will serve. We look forward to deepening our partnership with the Digicel Foundation to make more transformative changes in Haiti in the years to come."
The Digicel Foundation is the charitable arm of the Digicel Corporation, a major provider of mobile telecommunications services in the Caribbean, Latin America, and the South Pacific. The foundation has already helped in building over 100 schools and training many teachers in Haiti.
In confirming this partnership with the Congregation, Sophia Stransky, the CEO of the Digicel Foundation in Haiti, said: “Digicel is committed to providing high-quality school facilities and instruction for students, and we are delighted to partner with the Congregation of Holy Cross, an educational leader with a proven record of providing Haitian students with an education that prepares them to be the citizens and scholars Haiti desperately needs."
Construction is expected to begin soon on the new school, with an expected completion date of September 2014.
Since the 2010 earthquake, ACE has been working with Holy Cross in Haiti to assist the Congregation in not only rebuilding, but also expanding its educational mission in the country. Earlier this year, on January 17, the Congregation celebrated the inauguration of the Institut Supérieur Marcel Bédard in Cap-Haïtien, Haiti. A product of the partnership between the Congregation and ACE, the Institute seeks to bring international best practices in teacher education to Haiti, where 70 percent of teachers lack appropriate training. It uses an innovative blend of coursework, school-based coaching, and distance education to deliver a two-year sequence of study in high quality instructional methods.