Refugee Education Trust — Protecting through Education
The impact of the earthquake in Haiti in January 2010 resulted in the severe deterioration of the educational system (which was limited at best before the disaster). Whilst the majority of NGOs are concentrating upon educating children and primary aged students, unfortunately adolescents and youth are often being left ignored. They have few opportunities to pursue basic education, have almost no chances of pursuing secondary education in the affected areas, and are offered very few recreational activities for learning or entertainment. It is therefore urgent to create alternative learning opportunities which will help adolescents and young people improve their emotional well-being and regain confidence in their intellectual ability to shape their future.
Overall, the need for education, vocational training, employment and social inclusion is increasingly urgent. There is little access to basic services (education, information, sports and recreational activities, protection); there are no initiatives in place to strengthen the resilience and social integration of young people through the acquisition of life skills and their involvement in community services and decision making; there is a dire need for under-schooled young people to gain skills in literacy and vocational training; as well as one for an increased access to employment and income generating activities and opportunities.
The RET assists youth in school to pursue their studies successfully, overcome their psychosocial trauma and acquire the attitudes and skills needed to achieve positive social integration. The activities provided include after-school support, recreation (games, culture, sports), exercises and games for life skills including critical thinking and decision-making, interpersonal and communication skills, coping and self-management skills, and citizenship education (health awareness, environment awareness, preparation to disasters, etc.). In addition, the RET also supports illiterate or under-schooled youth in setting vocational goals, acquiring basic knowledge and professional skills (building trades) and engaging in income generating activities to prepare them for their professional integration.