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Educate a child

About the project

Georges Marcellus School serves 197 K-6 students in rural Guerot, about five hours from the capital city of Port-au-Prince. Although remote and rural, the students receive a quality education that includes moral and character development classes, teaching them teamwork, communication skills, and the importance of community service. Parents are also committed, and even though living in abject poverty, they send their children to learn how to build a better life for themselves, sometimes even without shoes.

The school has just two simple concrete structures and a temporary one constructed of woven palm leaves. The Director and the teachers work closely with the community to improve parental engagement with their children's education.  Last year saw a 400% increase in the parents’ contribution to tuition. This is significant because parents who contribute to their children’s early education are much more likely to continue to support them in the upper grades.

How we help

Georges Marcellus students are some of the poorest in Haiti and often have to face great challenges. The school prepares and encourages them to strive to better themselves and serve their community.

In working closely with the School Board, Mona Foundation supports Georges Marcellus growth plan to provide access to education to as many children as possible, while investing heavily in teacher training to build local human resources to support sustained quality instruction.

Heart and Determination

With a steel determination, the teachers and administrators of this school educate Haiti's most marginalized children.  When promised funding from the government did not come for many months, the teachers agreed to reduce their individual salaries by 20% so that everyone could be paid.  Since January 2018, the salaries of all teachers have been raised to not only meet the minimum wage standards, but also attract and retain talented teachers to ensure quality of teaching and learning.  

Scholarship Program: Providing access to more students

To assist families with multiple children enrolled in the Georges Marcellus School, and to reduce the burden of tuition payments on the families least able to afford them, the school board has established a scholarship program with the aim of complementing, rather than replacing the payments made from parents.

In working with the School’s Administrative Committee, the Board has established the eligibility criteria and a transparent mechanism for enrolling children in the program.   

Teacher training to improve quality of teaching and learning

The Director and the School Board are very enthusiastic about the impact of the evaluations completed in 2017 as it enables us to identify the strengths of educational approaches and the areas in need of attention.  The funds provided will allow this systematic assessment and complete evaluation to be repeated at the end of 2018.

In addition, the grant will also allow classroom observations/ individual dialogues with teachers to occur every three months for planning and ongoing accompaniment. In the middle of every three-month cycle, the teachers are to be invited to participate in quality learning circles.  Assessment of the reading, writing and oral comprehension skills of 2nd Grade students in both French and Creole would occur in June and October. 

In April a two-day teacher training was conducted. During the teacher training, materials were provided and discussed how to develop institutional capacity. The members of the School Board worked with three kindergarten teachers, five primary school teachers, and six secondary school teachers. 

Over the past 5 months, there has been a 23% increase in the classroom average score in Oral French skills and a 65% increase in the classroom average score in Written French skills.


Improving learning through providing supplemental meals

Many of the children attending Georges Marcellus come from very impoverished backgrounds.  The Board will continue to seek local sources of food, but due to the criticality of the current situation, had decided to fully operationalize the canteen beginning of April.  

The Board spent the time needed to reinforce the administrative skills (such as record keeping, inventory control, good food storage practices, reasonable authorizations and oversight) needed to operate an efficient and transparent food program as well as to educate and motivate the parents and community.

The grant also covered the purchase by the School of cooking pots and other materials needed to make the new kitchen operational.

Water and Sanitation project

In Haiti, many people do not have access to proper sanitation facilities, and only 28% of the population have access to adequate toilets.  The stakes are particularly high in a country where waterborne diseases caused by poor hygiene and sanitation practices are responsible for 20% of deaths of children under 5 years old. To address this problem, and with Mona's help, Georges Marcellus is building a latrine with a septic tank at the school. This will be completed at the end of September.

In addition, steps are being taken to replace the current, aging water well at the school site with a new one. The new well will ensure access to clean water for both the students and surrounding commuity.   

2017 Achievements

  • Served 197 students, of whom 55% are girls.
  • Quadrupled the parental engagement with the school through minimal monthly fee
  • Purchased 40 copies of a Creole reader
  • Mona Foundation funds covered 88% of teacher salaries
  • Engaged a local teacher training organization (CAFT) to conduct a multifaceted evaluation of the Georges Marcellus quality of education.
  • Provided several teacher training sessions to all 10 teachers, to be continued in 2018
  • Completed the building of the kitchen to enable providing one meal a day to all the students in 2018 school year. For some, this is their only meal.
  • Repainted the entire school, and made structural improvements to several classrooms.

Provide scholarship to all 197 students at $78/year/student, $15,700

Continue with vigorous teacher training programs through CAFT to improve quality of teaching, $14K

Continue with school maintenance and build 5 latrines and the septic tank, cost $21K

Purchase textbooks and school materials, $1,600; furniture & equipment, 3,789. 

Provide a meal a day to every child through the year, $5,550.  

Transform 3 lives

Give $50 a month to support the education of 3 students for one school year.

Alceus Duvensky's Story

Despite all the help received from other countries, and while small progress is made here and there, Haiti continues to be one the poorest nations in western hemisphere....

Christopher's 3 Jars

We at Mona are extremely excited to announce that...