Just the Facts...
Status: Complete

School: Ecole Bon Samaritan de Corail Henri

Country: Haiti

District/Province: Les Cayes

Village: Corail Henri

Donor: The Joseph Family

Partner: BuildOn

Year: 2010

Grades: pre-K through Grade 9

Students: 295

Why we work in Haiti:
52 % of the total population in Haiti was illiterate in 2009 according to the World Bank, and
60% of primary school age children in Haiti abandon school before the 6th grade while one-third of girls over the age of six never go to school at all
Before the earthquake, Haiti was already the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, with extreme poverty rates as high as 84% in rural areas.

Corail Henri School Completed on March 23, 2011!

Corail Henri
Children proudly standing in front of their new school!

Ecole Bon Samaritan de Corail Henri

The new school block in Corail Henri has three cinderblock classrooms with a poured concrete floor and concrete slab roof. The students of Ecole Bon Samaritan de Corail Henri started attending classes in their new school on March 28th, and the Community Education Program for adults in Corial Henri will launch in November. This project finished close to 5 weeks behind schedule, largely due to a tragic cholera outbreak in the area that killed 13 community volunteers and sickened many others. buildOn worked with partner NGO Hope for Haiti to set up cholera prevention training in Corail Henri during the outbreak, and took extra measures to ensure potable drinking water was available for the skilled labor team. Because of the remote location of the community, sick people were unable to get to the clinic for rehydration quickly enough in many cases.
The project was also delayed by the related problem of lack of water- for drinking, cooking, mixing concrete, etc. buildOn staff members found out, by asking many questions, that the entire community often faced such drought because the only deep well close to Corail Henri had a broken manual pump and was completely unusable. buildOn was able to purchase replacement parts and complete the repair of the well within the budget for school construction; when water started to flow out of the pump, one elderly women declared that it was like “God himself coming down to the village.”
The New School!
This school project broke ground on Thanksgiving Day 2010 and was completed on March 23, 2011. During these 17 weeks of construction the people of Corail Henri contributed a total of 1, 408 volunteer workdays to the project. Before starting construction, they met with buildOn staff to sign a covenant outlining the following responsibilities:
Community Contribution
- Unskilled labor: 20 workers (10 women and 10 men) per day, six days per week
- Commitment to educating girls and boys equally
- The land on which the school was built
- High quality local materials: sand, gravel, water & rocks
- Volunteer management committee made up of 12 villagers (six women, six men)
- Lodging for buildOn Field Coordinator and skilled laborers in local homes
- Basic construction tools (picks, buckets, etc.) when available

buildOn Contribution
- Engineering and architecture
- Construction materials (excluding local materials) for school and latrine
- Skilled labor and plans needed to build the school
- Project management (buildOn coordinators)
- Instruction in basic construction techniques
- School furniture

“As assistant director of this school and a member of the Project Leadership Committee for this project, I can say that I learned how difficult it can be to do a community activity when people are so poor and lacking resources. If a woman worked all day on the school project, she wouldn’t be able to provide that day for her family’s food. I saw many arguments among family members trying to do their part volunteering, do their part farming, and going to the market too. I have to say it is complicated, but the good part is that we made it.”
Ms. Yoleine Bien-Aime
In our community we have many people, the majority really, who have never had a chance to go to school. It leaves our children, our adults, and our country in a very vulnerable position. Just about anyone with any intent can come in and mislead people, use them, mistreat them— all because of a lack of education. Now, in participation with buildOn we have worked together as a community and built this school, and we can begin to change this sad situation. The future is looking better than the past.
Mr. Thelus Jeudilun, Community Leader

Often as buildOn staff we are working hard to build up motivation and get people to participate in the school project. Sometimes during the 12 or more weeks it takes to complete a school, you really run into some difficulties. I would say that on this project, I really found out how difficult some people’s lives are here. I remember spending the night there and no one eating breakfast in the morning, just going right to work. I remember noon coming, then evening, and still no meals. A lot of times this is the reality for people who spend the day on the jobsite, and it was good to know that, and experience that, first-hand. When people give one or more days per week in volunteering, it is a true gift, and it is not easy. Frequently there are one or two community members who rise above the rest and give heart and soul to the project, working every day, well past the time required of any community member. In Corail Henry there is a young man about 16 years old named Fleurant. He immediately offered to cook every day for our construction staff because he wanted to help. He did not know we offer a stipend for this daily task. He also arrived at first light every day and worked until dusk with our crew. He was very interested in learning about construction, and the guys in the skilled labor crew were happy to have his help. As time went on I became amazed at how committed he was, seeing as he was not in school himself, and he had no children. He had simply set his mind to be an integral part of the construction of this school, from beginning to end. I saw him today as we went to look at the completed school, and as I thanked him for his help, he was thanking buildOn for our help at the same time!
John Marek, International Programs, buildOn Staff

Corail Henri Community Profile

Corail Henri is located about an hour northeast of the buildOn office in Les Cayes, up in the mountains. It sits right on a river, which is now mostly underground as the rainy season is coming to an end.
Following the recent earthquake that affected all of Haiti, thousands of people fled to the villages surrounding Les Cayes. There are many families who have sought refuge in and around Corail Henri, and the school there already has many new students who have relocated from Port au Prince. buildOn is currently the only NGO working with the people of Corail Henri.

Previous School Conditions

Corail Henri’s school- called Ecole Bon Samaritan de Corail Henri- was established in 1991, founded by a man named Honore Samson. The villagers of Corail Henri, highly motivated to educate the youth of their community and the surrounding communities, built three school buildings themselves, arranged in a horseshoe shape with a courtyard in the middle. The school building in the center, with its back to the mountain and facing the river, was damaged during a recent hurricane; the community voted to demolish that building and use the space as the site for the new buildOn school.
There are currently 295 students enrolled in classes in Ecole Bon Samaritan, which serves 14 communities in the area- 9 local and 5 distant. There are 9 teachers teaching pre-school through 9th year.