Built in 2012 in a slum of the capital Port-au-Prince following the earthquake that struck the country on January 12, 2010, the Prince Albert II of Monaco School (EPAM) was inaugurated officially 10 years ago, on February 15, 2013, by HSH the Sovereign Prince and is going from strength to strength.
In the aftermath of the devastating earthquake of January 2010, the Monaco Collectif Haïti, composed of the Prince’s Government, the Monegasque Red Cross and around twenty NGOs, was created to raise funds and support a local aid initiative.
Located in the City of God, a slum in Port-au-Prince. EPAM opened its doors in September 2012, and received accreditation from the Ministry of National Education and Vocational Training of the Republic of Haiti for its elementary department and preschool.
The school’s anti-seismic construction enables the education each year of more than 350 children from poor families in a safe environment. For the 2022-2023 school year, the school welcomed 354 students belonging to families in disadvantaged areas and 50 percent of the students were girls.
Access to the Haitian education system remains very difficult for low-income families and disadvantaged children. Although the Monaco Collectif Haïti was closed in 2016, the Principality has continued to support the school since its opening via an ongoing partnership between Monegasque Cooperation and the NGO Haitian Les Centres Gheskio.
The objective is to increase the rate and quality of schooling children, and therefore increase their chances and those of their families to fully integrate into society.
EPAM provides all students with medical monitoring and a daily meal – provided in as part of the World Food Programme’s school canteen programme – in addition to the provision of teaching materials and extracurricular activities. The level of education is excellent, with a 90 percent success rate in the end-of-school-year examinations.
In this anniversary year, a fundraiser for the benefit of the children of EPAM will be initiated by pupils of a 3rd grade class from Charles III College, in order to participate in this scheme and to raise awareness of the right to education, particularly in Haiti.
ORIGINAL SOURCE & PHOTOS: Monaco Government Press Service