Innovative Partnership Created to Provide Secondary Education for Haitian Girls in Newly Outfitted School
Organizations Invite Others to Contribute and Grow the Effort
Jou Nouvo, a pioneer in providing quality education in Bon-Repos, Haiti, with successful child and university scholarship programs, and Circle of Women, a student-run nonprofit organization that strives to provide access to education for secondary-aged schoolgirls around the world, are welcoming the first class of students to school as the result of their new initiative, the Girls Scholar Program (GSP). The organizations partnered earlier this year to create the new educational program for Haitian secondary-age girls in the community of Bon-Repos, and today invited others to contribute and grow the effort.
Today, only 45% of Haiti’s adult female population is literate. While Haitian girls attend primary school on par with boys – about 77% – less than 22% of all Haitian children enroll in secondary school, primarily due to cost. Some estimate that the average Haitian girl only attends school until the age of seven. Adolescent girls are frequently pulled out of school to assist with domestic chores or to pursue domestic labor jobs in cities where they are at risk for abuse, forced unpaid labor, and exploitation.
Set up to drive positive outcomes, Girls Scholar Program students will receive assistance to help them access and complete their studies. Students will receive tutoring to prepare them for entrance exams at private secondary schools and throughout their secondary schooling to increase retention and completion of their high school education. In addition, the Girls Scholar Program will provide training that paves the way for future inspirational leaders and changemakers for Haiti.
“This new program will have a deeply positive impact on girls in Bon-Repos, reducing dropout rates and empowering them to become long-term contributors to the community,” said Nikenson Romage, director, Jou Nouvo. “In addition to assisting the girls in the learning process, our program activities are designed to help them gain the confidence and skills necessary to become successful leaders and to build a network of support. We are so grateful to Circle of Women for their generous support and collaboration. It is our hope that others will contribute to this effort and grow the number of girls who may participate.”
In January, Jou Nouvo recruited 16 teenage girls in Bon-Repos to participate in the program. Since that time, the girls have received six-hour tutoring sessions each weekend from a staff of tutors and supervisors to prepare them for admission exams at Jou Nouvo local partner schools. Students meet in three, newly refurbished, solar-powered and internet-connected classrooms provided by Circle of Women. Through ongoing recruiting efforts and additional community engagement, Jou Nouvo anticipates 61 students will participate in the Girls Scholar Program come September.
“Our goal for this partnership is to empower the girls of Bon-Repos to obtain valuable education through improved facilities and access to the learning that they deserve,” said Barbara Mola, Executive Director, Circle of Women. “This program embraces and advances our mutual missions of sustainability and increasing access to education. We are eager to see the Girls Scholar Program grow, and we invite others to join us in this worthy cause.”
When asked about what it is like working with these students, one tutor shared, “I work with future leaders, so I treat them as such. In addition to teaching them class subjects, I organize activities where they learn about respect, solidarity, gratitude, hard work, and especially self-love. They also learn how to make decisions, and I let them solve some of their conflicts in class by themselves. Within these past few months, many positive changes have been noticed whether through their participation in class or their growing interest in personal development.”
In parallel, a 250-square-meter building is under construction, and in six months will become home base for Girls Scholar Program and Bon-Repos’ first community center. This new facility will include a computer lab and a multi-purpose classroom – fully sponsored by Circle of Women – for Girls Scholar Program activities, such as tutoring, workshops, and conferences. A library for the Girls Scholar Program is planned and requires $14,000 in additional sponsorship for completion.
According to Romage, this new student center will be “a place that produces and develops leaders and changemakers for the benefit of Haiti. It represents a significant step towards Jou Nouvo’s mission of life improvement through education. In addition, this center will certainly attract new local partnerships that will contribute to increasing opportunities for more girls in the community.”
Jou Nouvo and Circle of Women invite you to join us for an opportunity to meet the organizations and the girls from Bon-Repos live, at our virtual event (https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_rpho6pwATIa2aD4LkT43fA).
For more information about the Girls Scholar Program or to contribute, go to www.jounouvo.org/girlsscholarprogram.
About Jou Nouvo
Jou Nouvo provides access to education for families in Bon-Repos, Haiti. Through education, we enrich the community and break the cycle of poverty. We are well positioned to make a meaningful difference in this community. Through literacy, education, and business development, we provide hope. Children finally see a sight-line from early education to higher learning to better employment opportunities.
Jou Nouvo was created to address the needs and aspirations of the Bon-Repos community.
About Circle of Women
Circle of Women partners with local nonprofits and secondary schools, helping to provide quality secondary education to girls We help our partners implement innovative, sustainable, and localized solutions to increase girls’ access to secondary school. One educated girl affects one community. One community effects a world of change.