Recognizing that education is the key to Haitian progress, we have approached providing education on several levels:
The University of the Nouvelle Grand’Anse
With an eye towards sustainable development, Haitian Connection was instrumental in the founding of the University of the Grand’Anse, a rural university 5 km outside of Jeremie. We founded the university in 2010, nine months after the devastating earthquake that ravaged Port au Prince.
By establishing a university in a rural area, we wanted to decentralize higher education and giving young people in a rural area a chance for a university education.
We began with two departments, agronomy and management, and in our first year recruited professors who taught as volunteers on a three week basis, one course at a time.
The university is now in its 8th year, and has graduated over 100 students.
Divergent Thinking Institute
In 2017 Haitian Connection began its Divergent Thinking Institute.
Divergent Thinking helps people to think broadly in solving problems and planning for the future using multiple types of activities. It provides practical experiences in seeing, evaluating and selecting the best alternatives, thinking “outside the box”, planning and imagining the future. Divergent Thinking (DT) is characterized by the ability to generate multiple connections and associations on a variety of topics. We give Divergent Thinking seminars to people of all age groups, professionals, students, farmers, teachers, and citizens.
Responding to an often-cited request for English language instruction, Haitian Connection launched its Language Institute. We have a contract with the law school of Jeremie to teach English to their first year students. In addition, we offer several services: a regular English conversation group on Sunday evenings, individual English instruction, translation work, and even basic German instruction. We also offer Creole courses to visitors and NGOs and English tutoring for children.
Haitian Connection’s multipurpose center serves as a tutoring center in the afternoons during the week. Children participate in lessons in English, math, physics, and French.
Continuing Education Institute
As part of its effort to achieve sustainable development, Haitian Connection launched its Continuing Education Institute, providing for those Haitians interested in expanding their portable knowledge portfolio. We give periodic conferences on topics of interest. One of those seminars is a two-day session on poetry writing. As Jeremie has been designated the City of Poems, this is quite appropriate.