Educators Mustering Aid for Haiti Earthquake Victims
January 14, 2010 — The international educators union, Education International, concerned about the humanitarian impact of the devastating earthquake which struck Haiti earlier this week, has launched a special fund for the families of teachers affected.
The International Solidarity Fund will also help support the Haitian teachers union — the Confédération National des Enseignants d’Haïti — as it tries in the coming weeks and months to re-establish its work of caring for teachers and promoting education.
Communication with those in the country has been extremely difficult due to the wide-scale destruction, but Education International officials say they persist in trying to establish contact with colleagues in Haiti. Initial reports suggest that the destruction and loss of life is considerable.
The Haiti Press Network reports that many school buildings have collapsed and that hundreds of students are trapped under the rubble. The President of Haiti, René Préval, has described a bleak situation to The Miami Herald, saying, “Schools have collapsed. There are a lot of schools that have a lot of dead people in them.”
National Education Association Executive Director John Wilson shared the concerns felt by member educators around the country.
“We are all concerned about the plight of our brothers and sisters in Haiti,” he said. The Education International Solidarity Fund channels support directly to CNEH members in Haiti who have been hit hard by this earthquake. The funds are managed by Education International; disbursements will be made first to secure lives and second to support the resumption of education. This is a safe way to ensure that relief funds go directly to teachers and positively support children.
Checks can be made out to the National Education Association; which will be forwarded directly to EI for humanitarian assistance to CNEH. These can be sent to:
Haiti Earthquake Recovery
National Education Association
1201 16th Street NW, Suite 614
Washington DC 20036
At the local level, NEA members are lending a hand.
Kevin Deely, an English teacher and NEA leader in Easton, Pennsylvania, contacted members of the Eastern Area Education Association to begin brainstorming the most efficient way to raise money.
“If we can’t be on the ground, we definitely want to help in whatever way we can,” said Deely.
White House officials on Thursday shared resources for monitoring the situation in Haiti and aiding in the relief efforts. For the most up to date information throughout the coming days, they are referring citizens to http://www.whitehouse.gov/HaitiEarthquake.
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