The start of a new school year at Institution Mixte Le Phare des Anges provides students with new reasons to believe in a better future. Every fall, our students prepare themselves for the lessons they will learn and friendships they will form.
Parents and teachers also look forward to the school year for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, IMPA parents can rest assured that their children will receive meals and be kept safe during the day. This peace of mind is invaluable in a community that is often wracked by conflict. Teachers take pride in shaping young minds and future leaders in Port-au-Prince. The beginning of the school year marks a new chapter in their missions to uplift their beloved country.
We could not have said these things about back-to-school season last year. October 2022 was a month of conflict and violence throughout Haiti, with Port-au-Prince at the center. The Haitian Ministry of Education delayed the first day of school until December, urging students to stay safe in their homes in the meantime. Young Haitians were robbed of three months of education, and teachers often went without paychecks. This was a devastating blow to thousands of Haitians.
Fortunately, IMPA’s teachers used creative thinking to overcome these circumstances. They created lesson packets for their students and distributed them to parents, who worked through these lessons with their children. The collaborative nature of these arrangements is a testament to the tight-knit bonds within the Taking Shape community.
While we take pride in the flexibility students, parents, and teachers displayed last year, we are immensely grateful that we can meet in person this year. Students will be able to sit shoulder-to-shoulder with their friends once again. They will be able to play soccer on the school grounds during breaks. They will be able to share meals with each other, laughing and making memories. Social connection is a vital aspect of a person’s overall health. We cannot wait to watch as our students and staff uplift each other.
Nearly 200 students will flood into the schoolgrounds every morning when the gates open. That means 200 leaders will continue on their journey to create a better Haiti.
We cannot wait to see what the 2023–2024 school year brings.