CORAIL CESSELESSE - A large school complex has been built at a Haitian camp in just six weeks - providing a safe learning environment for 900 displaced children in time for the new school year.
Corail transitional school
The January 2010 earthquake damaged or destroyed 4,500 schools in the Port-au-Prince area according to an initial survey by the Ministry of Education. As of September 2010, approximately 1,000 schools still required debris clearance.
Corail Cesselesse is a relocation site camp a few kilometres north of the devastated capital of Port-au-Prince, which currently accommodates 7,000 people.
The school, with nine separate classroom buildings, was constructed by UNOPS on behalf of the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) under the Corail Schools Project to meet the needs of the children at the camp.
Each classroom is 50m2, has wheelchair access and capacity for 50 students. With two sessions held per day, a total of 900 students will be able to attend classes during the new school term.
“I love the buildings, and just can’t wait for school to start,” said 12-year-old Corail resident Geraldine Lamour.
The school was designed, tested and constructed to withstand a Category 2 hurricane (96 -110 mph) according to the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. With features such as a thirty degree roof pitch, hurricane strapping, reinforced roof trusses and half-inch plywood throughout, the school is the most secure structure in Corail camp. This means that it can also provide shelter to those at the camp during hurricanes and storms.
Thomas Dwyer, Executive Director of UMCOR’s NGO unit said: “Thanks to support from the Emergency Response Relief Fund for Haiti managed by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and this value-added partnership with UNOPS, UMCOR has been able to provide a school for children who have been uprooted from their homes and who are now living in and around the Corail Camp.
“They have a proper and safe environment to attend school and continue their education. Although this is a temporary solution, UMCOR applied standards that will ensure that the school will enhance the learning environment until more permanent school facilities are available."