Sae-A Trading Co, a leading global apparel manufacturer and exporter headquartered in South Korea, has been operating in Haiti since 2012. In collaboration with the US government and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Sae-A Trading is a key stakeholder in the Caracol Industrial Park, a massive production complex which, on completion, will be one of the largest and most modern in the Caribbean. Sae-A has committed $85 million to set up new vertical operations that will provide jobs for 20,000 Haitian workers. The investment means that Sae-A will become the first manufacturer to produce apparel with textiles made in Haiti.
Instead of limiting its investment solely to the manufacturing sector, Sae-A Trading wishes to create positive long-term change for the Haitian people by investing in their education. Sae-A believes that education is critical to the development of any economy and that a quality, well-rounded education can provide the Haitian population with opportunities for a better future.
Sae-A will build a school to be opened to the public by October 2013. The school will offer bi-lingual Creole and English education and will be equipped with a highly qualified staff. The first principal of the school will be Mr. Jean Mirvil, who is a Haitian-American with a Master's Degree in Education. He has been a teacher since 1978 and a principal of public schools in the Bronx, New York since 2003. Other staff will be local Haitians with bilingual capabilities.
This school will teach beyond the classroom and cater to the mental and physical needs of its students through the use of facilities such as a basketball court for children to play sports, as well as provide other sports opportunities. There will be social events for the community, such as English classes for family members of the students, and counseling.
The S&H Foundation, funded by Sae-A will lead the commitment; however the organization welcomes potential partners who would be interested in contributing monetarily or otherwise.
May 2013: Teacher Hiring
Summer 2013: Teacher Training
Sae-A held a number of teacher workshops (50+ hours) in partnership with volunteer teachers from New York and Florida around the topics of: diversified instruction; strategies to teach reading: read aloud, shared and guided reading; managing the classroom for accountable instruction; steps to evaluate quality instruction; and strengthening the national reading curriculum with research-based reading approaches.
September 23, 2013: Student Orientation Week
Students will have the opportunity to join the staff by attending an orientation week. The goal will be for students to become acquainted with the new school environment and to also acquire some preliminary tips to a successful school year.
October 13, 2013: School Opening Day
Kindergarten to 4th grade classes will commence, with a total of 215 students and 19 teachers on staff.
2014 - 2018: Classroom and Teacher Expansion
One more class of 35 students will be added to the school every year until the K-9 classes reaches 390 students.
2018: School Achieves Full Capacity
In 2018, the school will have a full capacity in terms of children and teachers.
In 2008, UNICEF reported that with a literacy rate of 53%, Haiti had one of the lowest rates of education in Latin America and the Caribbean. In the five years since, the Haitian education system has continued to stagnate. According to a special report released by the United States Institute of Peace in 2011, the Haitian education sector faces problems of inadequate funding, supply shortages, lack of qualified teachers, underrepresentation of rural children and poor retention rates of less than 60%. These problems have been exacerbated by catastrophic natural disasters such as the 2010 earthquake which disrupted school schedules for up to a year after the fact.
Sae-A Trading is trying their best to accommodate children for free education. If there is any support from CGI members, the organization can extend the free education to more children, as child education is very critical in Haiti.