Ministry steps in to address disaster impact on Haitian schools

By September 9, 2010

Haiti (MNN) — The impact of the
earthquake in Haiti has had a cataclysmic impact on schools.

A grassroots education
organization in Haiti called the Society of Providence United for the Economic
Development of Petionville estimates a quarter of the schools were
destroyed. Half of the schools were
seriously damaged, and another 25% could
be operational, but aren't.

A whole generation is being
affected by the disruption to their education. Steve Geurink with Worldwide Christian Schools explains that "a lot of the
publicity regarding the earthquake has shifted from public view. A tremendous number of schools are meeting
under plastic tarps and tents and temporary structures. For them, a school is
inconvenient, and in many cases, there are students that don't have the ability
to go to school."

Staff and students are afraid of the concrete roof structure of most
of the buildings that collapsed, which accounts for dozens of schools that
could be operational.    

Geurink says WWCS is
collaborating with their partners in Haiti to provide a building solution
that removes that fear. "Worldwide is going to be working on a truss design
building, possibly using steel that will hold 
up in an earthquake–that will not come apart and fall like the concrete
structures that they were using in the past."

The idea is to come up with a "transitional school" design that goes up quickly and can easily be made
into  a permanent school in the future.

HANDS teams provide the manpower
to make this a reality. Time is short. "We are working with designs; we hope to have
our school structure design completed by the end of October, and we will be
starting construction as early as January."

The future of many people will change for the better
because of Worldwide's focus. Guerink
says it motivates everything they do. "Because we are a Christ-centered school,
the Gospel is always a central part of the end product. The rebuilding of the
classrooms is a necessity, but the REASON that you're doing it is because it's
a Christ-centered school, and these children will hear about Christ."

You can still help. Teams are
forming now. Click here for details.

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