Charles Salomon Primary School
The founder of The Charles Saloman Primary School, Jean Herard Charles, is an integral part of the HAM team and has worked with HAM since the early 2000’s, first as a translator and now staffs the eye clinic at the clinic in Dumay and as HAM’s Haitian Operations Manager. In 2008 Charles noticed that many of children in the neighborhood where he lives in Port au Paix, were not attending school because there was no primary school in the area. In Haiti, sending one’s children to school is expensive and given that 80% of the population lives in poverty, there are many children who go without an education. He saw so many children living in his neighborhood without the opportunity for an education, he realized that in the next 15 years these children would likely end up in gangs and threaten the safety of the neighborhood. With his own money and initiative, Charles started a primary school in his neighborhood. He is a great example of the initiative and drive within a the Haitian community to create a better situation for their children.
Given the poverty of the area, many of the parents of the children enrolled in the CSP School are illiterate. Many of these parents, realizing they couldn't help their own children with homework, approached Charles and asked if they too could learn to read and write through the school. In 2014, HAM began funding an adult literacy program for these parents in the afternoon after regular classes have concluded. One of the mothers who had attended several of the classes was delighted to discover how much her new-found skills in math were helping her better negotiate the price of food at the street markets.