Education International and its affiliates are beginning to collect information and funds in preparation for an international solidarity effort to assist members and their families in earthquake-stricken Haiti.
“Teachers everywhere are concerned to express their solidarity with colleagues suffering this terrible disaster. Obviously we are following media reports closely and seeking additional information through our Caribbean regional office,” said EI’s General Secretary Fred van Leeuwen.
“However, with the electricity knocked out in many places and phone service very unreliable, it has been nearly impossible for EI and its affiliates to get full details of the devastation.”
The massive earthquake which struck the Caribbean island on 12 January was centred only 15 kilometres west of the capital, Port-au-Prince, at a depth of only 8 kilometres. With a magnitude of 7.0, the U.S. Geological Survey said it the strongest earthquake in more than 200 years to take place in what is now Haiti.
The earthquake is reported to have killed thousands of people, while many more could still be trapped under the rubble of collapsed buildings, including schools. The Red Cross estimates that three million people have been affected by the devastation. The ICRC’s Head of Delegation in Haiti added “the quake has had a massive impact on a population already reeling from other recent disasters." Aid organisations are assembling rapid response teams to cover basic needs of food, shelter and sanitation.
“Education International is anxious to support our member organisation CNEH, the Confédération National des Enseignants d’Haïti, to help teachers, students and communities to rebuild their lives so that they can return to work and to school,” van Leeuwen said.
Education International has set up a special fund for this purpose and urges all members and concerned individuals to contribute. Donations to the Education International Solidarity Fund can be transferred to the following account:
Education International “Fonds de Solidarité” ING Bank Rue du Trône, 14-16 1000 Brussels Account number: 310-1006170-75 IBAN: BE05 3101 0061 7075 SWIFT OR BIC CODE: BBRUBEBB
EI will provide additional information on the impact on schools, teachers and students as soon as it becomes available. Thank you for your solidarity.