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Haiti after the Hurricane

The massive Hurricane Matthew severely battered the Southern region of Haiti, leaving thousands of people homeless and hundreds dead. The number of deaths is likely to rise as the flood water subsides and emergency workers are able to assess the extent of damages. The heavy rains and strong winds ripped the roofs of many buildings and flooded roads and farms. Many areas remain cut off. Still recovering from the earthquake of 2010, Haiti certainly did not need another disaster.

Jeremie has had the most damage and is cut off from the rest of the country because the main bridge to the Southern Peninsula has collapsed. The two Montessori schools there have extensive damage and one has completely lost its roof.

The town of Leogane was also flooded, and one of the schools there lost part of its roof, and the second one has severe water damage. The school in Jacmel also suffered water damage.

The problem now, beside food and shelter, is water borne diseases such as cholera and diseases that are carried by mosquitoes such as malaria, dengue and Zika.

Many relief agencies and non-governmental organizations are actively delivering emergency food, water and other supplies to the hardest-hit areas, but the needs will be massive. Haitian government and foreign military forces are helping with logistics and communications. We will soon share information on where people could donate if they wish.

The Peter Hesse Foundation will try to help these damaged Montessori schools of its partner teachers to start to bring back a sense of safety and normalcy to those traumatized children.

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Blog Author


Carol Guy-James Barratt is the Senior Technical Advisor with the Peter Hesse Foundation, creating Montessori schools for underprivileged children and coordinating Montessori teacher training in Haiti and Ivory Coast. Born in Trinidad, she completed pre-school and elementary Montessori training at the London Montessori Training Centre. In 1985 she launched a programme to train Montessori teachers and to promote early childhood education in Haiti with the Peter Hesse Foundation. This initiative has grown to a network of schools and teacher training centres throughout Haiti and has made Montessori education accessible to poor communities. She has also trained teachers and teacher trainers in Senegal and South Africa. Her work in early childhood education was recognized by a nomination for the Right Livelihood Award in 1998. Ms Guy-James Barratt has written books and manuals on Montessori teacher training and designed an early childhood exhibit for the World Expo 2000 in Hanover.