The IHCD school in Kwadèbouke provides a holistic, year-round program upon completion of which students are prepared to enter Haiti’s mainstream schools, vocational training programs, and workforce, with tuition scholarships provided upon matriculation. The program combines academic and human rights instruction with daily nutritious meals, free health and dental care, supportive psychological counseling, and adult education in children’s rights and parenting.
Our academic program addresses our students’ lack of basic literacy and math skills and introduces the children to history and the sciences. A major focus is placed on deep understanding of human and child rights and how to react when one’s legal rights are infringed. Living isolated lives, in dysfunctional and inhumane environments, the students find a warm, close-knit school community at IHCD that offers group and one-on-one counseling to mitigate the trauma of abuse. In this way, the children’s social and communication skills are built up so they can sustain comfort upon entry into a mainstream school and overcome their extremely severe emotional problems.
Each day begins with a nutritious, vitamin-rich meal (for most their only meal of the day) to combat lethargy due to under-nutrition, with routine and as-needed health care provided by partnering physician groups and dentists. In addition, the children’s adult caregivers come to evening vocational classes where they are also taught human and children’s rights, covering the legal consequences of child abuse, and where open discussion confronting their unethical mistreatment of the children is encouraged and supported. We train caregivers to lead their household and community to socially accept and treat humanely all children who are in domestic servitude.