HELP’s mission is to create, through merit and needs based scholarships, a community of young professionals and leaders who will promote a more just society in Haiti.
We envision a Haiti where every Haitian has access to quality education, the opportunity to live up to his or her potential, and the ability to contribute to a just and prosperous society.
Most Haitians are denied access to education, resulting in the lowest school enrollment rates in the Western Hemisphere. Haiti’s university enrollment rate is less than 1%. HELP’s scholarships and leadership training provide high-achieving students with their only opportunity to fulfill their academic potential, become productive citizens and agents of change.
HELP graduates command substantial salaries that enable their entire family to join the educated class. Helping one person earn a university degree can break the cycle of poverty for an extended family.
Decades of repression and instability have drained Haiti of the professionals it needs to develop; 85% of graduates have emigrated and university enrollment is just 1%. The 2010 earthquake revealed the disastrous effects of the absence of a professional class. A lack of urban planners, architects, civil engineers, and zoning and construction standards compounded the damage and tragedy. The shortage of doctors, nurses and disaster-response experts resulted in needless death and suffering. Building the country’s educated class is the only way to create a better Haiti.
Education has measurable economic benefits, but its most powerful effects are often incalculable. Haiti’s lack of opportunity and strict class divisions date to the colonial era. By leaving the slums to become top professionals, HELP graduates become important role models to the country’s disadvantaged youth and bring new perspectives to their professions, helping to erode the centuries’ old mentalities that have impeded Haiti’s social and economic progress.