I have some big news to share! Artists for Peace and Justice has just opened their new school in Haiti! It’s called the Academy for Peace and Justice and it’s the first-ever free middle and high school in Port-au-Prince. The school welcomed its first 250 grade seven students this week and over the next few years the student body will grow to 2,800. It’s a big deal because the education system in Haiti has been in a real crisis for some time—over 4,000 schools were destroyed in the earthquake and literacy rates were below 60 percent before the disaster.
If you haven’t heard of Artists for Peace and Justice (APJ), try and spend a few minutes on their web site www.apjnow.org this weekend. It was founded by Oscar-winning writer/director Paul Haggis and friends in 2008. Paul and everyone involved in APJ believe that education is the key to the sustainable recovery of Haiti, and this school is an incredible first step. It’s amazing what people can do when they come together, don’t you think?