APPROACH AND METHODOLOGY
The Digicel Group will launch a fundraising and awareness campaign both in the United States, and online globally, to raise funds in support of Concern's efforts to increase access education for 10,000 of Haiti's most vulnerable children.
The Fundraising Campaign:
The 'YOUR DOLLAR, OUR FUTURE' campaign aims to raise $2 million between September and December 2011 to fund Concern Worldwide's Education programs in Haiti. The campaign is backed by a plethora of celebrities and partners, such as Viacom, Communicorp and the Digicel Group. The campaign will be initiated via the launch of the www.yourdollarourfuture.org website with eblasts to the Concern database and to Care2 subscribers.
Viacom support will come through multiple outlets including MTV, VH1, and BET channels and websites, as well as through free advertising in Newsweek, TIME Magazine and Sports Illustrated. In addition, support will include public service announcements and full TV, print and online media activation, interviews and media trips.
Finally, there will be an online drive through Facebook and Twitter activations, and blogger outreach in partnership with celebrity supporters including Usain Bolt, Giuliana Rancic, Gabriel Byrne, Brendan Fraser, Stanley Tucci, Renee Olsted and others.
Concern's Education Program:
Concern works in close collaboration with the Haitian Ministry of Education (MENFP) to implement its education program, which comprises both pre-school and primary education, and will continue to do so over the coming years. Through this initiative, Concern will provide assistance to rehabilitate school structures and provide schools with a substantial quantity of required school materials (furniture, school books and other educational teaching aids). The project will address problems of water supply and sanitation in schools through a comprehensive WASH in schools component focused on latrine maintenance and the construction of hand washing stations. Emphasis will also be placed upon improving the quality of education by strengthening the skills of teachers and principals through formal training and ongoing support from field staff.
Schools in the most disadvantaged areas of Haiti will be prioritized through this initiative with an emphasis on public and national schools, and private and community schools which are officially registered with the Ministry of Education. Concern is already collecting information to assess the needs of schools in Greater Port-au-Prince as well as in Haiti's other departments. To ensure program quality, Concern implements a rigorous system of monitoring and evaluation through baseline and end line data collection and regular internal audits.
IMPLEMENTATION, TIMELINE, AND DELIVERABLES
The fundraising campaign will be launched mid-September 2011. The goal is to raise $2 million in support of Concern's education program in 2012-2014 benefiting more than 10,000 children and up to 100 teachers, principals, and other school support staff.
Public education in Haiti has consistently proven problematic: according to a World Bank study, 50% of children do not attend school, and 80% of those who do attend private schools. Without qualified teachers or adequate access to pedagogical materials, the quality of education is generally poor. This has resulted in poor examination performance, grade repetition and high dropout rates. In addition, school fees are also prohibitively expensive - an estimated cost of $70 to $80 per child each year in a country with a per capita GDP of $771. In many cases, parents simply cannot afford to send their children to school.
Furthermore, Haiti's earthquake had particularly severe consequences for the education system, destroying or damaging over 1,300 of the nation's schools. As a result, following the earthquake, many children did not have schools to return to, and were therefore obliged to study in temporary, tented schools or to not study at all. A recent survey conducted in Port-au-Prince by development partner Feed the Children highlights the severe water and sanitation (WASH) situation in the capitals schools: in 42% of surveyed schools, children had to bring their own water to school and only 23% of schools had water storage facilities on site. Even in the wake of Haiti's cholera outbreak, 60% of surveyed schools had no hand washing facilities, while 75% had latrines described as in 'very poor condition'.
Digicel has been working in Haiti since 2006. Concern Worldwide has been working in Haiti since 1994 and is committed to improving access to quality education for Haiti's most vulnerable children. Since the earthquake in January 2010, Concern Worldwide has supported the Ministry of Education to evaluate the damage to the nation's schools, while facilitating the return to education of 7,500 in Port-au-Prince through school rehabilitation, the provision of furniture and educational materials, and the training of teaching staff. Looking to ensure the long-term improvement of Haiti's schools, Concern is also implementing a school construction program, which aims to improve access to education for underserved communities in Haiti's Central Plateau.