Human Dignity, through opportunities in education

Banan School, Haiti



VOC has partnered with AMURTEL, an international relief and rehabilitation organization, with over 20 years of grass-root operations in Haiti, for the long-term rehabilitation work following the massive earthquake that happend in January 2010. Among the many projects that are run by AMURTEL in Haiti, VOC decided to support a new school that was started in Banan in 2011. Banan is a small town in the Haitian countryside, located only half an hour from the border with the Dominican Republic. Despite its physical proximity to the Dominican Republic and the border region’s commerce, Banan remains a simple town lacking many basic resources. Approximately eight to ten thousand people live in Banan and its surrounding communities without access to affordable medical care or formal education. Many people in the region walk over a mile to their nearest source of water.






– Provide education for the most vulnerable children in Banan

– Eliminate malnutrition that exists among the children

– Create women’s ‘Self Help Groups’ to make changes in their own communities



AMURTEL began its work in Banan in 2011. The efforts began by working with local organizers to create groups of women.  These ‘Self Help Groups’ give women a space to share their ideas, identify resources, and collaborate to make changes in their own communities. As the groups grew, and the women became more vocal and empowered, one need rang out clearer than the others: early education for the most vulnerable children in Banan. In collaboration with the ‘Self Help Groups,’ the Community Council of Banan offered to donate land for the construction of a school and began one of the groups’ first achievements.


– AMURTEL received generous support from different organizations including VOC and was able to construct the first basic structure: a small building made of wood and tin.

– Even in the school’s first year, attendance quickly grew to over 100 students. Since its construction, the school has now expanded to include two classrooms, sturdy walls, benches for the children and even some traditional Haitian artwork.

– It is difficult to convey the pride the community has taken in its new school. Some children walk over five miles, each way, to attend school every day.

– Finding a good time of day to host gatherings with parents is always made difficult by the fact that some families will walk two hours to arrive at the meeting. These are families that have rarely been included in government or social structures; for their children to receive a good-quality and formal education is truly life’s game-changer.



The Banan community needs a bigger school for its youngest and most vulnerable children! ‘Architects without Borders’, has generously offered to design the construction of new classrooms and reinforcement of the school’s structure. However, the project needs help to finance the school and building our capacity in Banan. Although the community takes great pride in the school, the project lacks certain basic necessities. For example, it needs a permanent flooring structure in place of the current make shift canvas due to Haiti’s torrential rainy season. The school would greatly benefit from an on-site bathroom, water to give the children during the day, and a fence so that lessons can also take place outside with better security for the children. Finally, as the school grows, our team of teachers must also grow. AMURTEL would like to hire more full-time teachers to improve the quality of each child’s education. To accomplish these modest goals, we seek the partnership of all who believe in early childhood education and who wish to extend its benefits to some of the most eager, and most under-served, young students.

We are looking for donations for the following:

Flooring for 3 Classrooms: $3,800 USD

A Latrine: $300 USD

A Fence: $250 USD

Water for the School Year: $360 USD

A New Teacher’s Annual Salary: $2,400 USD

TOTAL: $7, 110 USD


Please visit our donation page to make your tax deductible donation to support this project.

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