Haiti: One Year On

It has been almost a year since a massive earthquake hit Haiti, killing an estimated 230,000 people, injuring 300,000 and leaving 1 million homeless. Since that day, billions of dollars in aid has been promised but, one year later, it is clear that a large portion has not made it through. Indeed, reconstruction has been extremely slow, and compounded by hurricanes and the cholera epidemic, which has killed thousands of people.
On this first anniversary of the earthquake, it is time to not only speed up rebuilding efforts and ensure that aid gets delivered, but it is also time to lay the groundwork for longer term solutions. It is, of course, imperative that the urgent housing and medical needs of the population are met. At the same time, however, I believe that longer-term solutions must also be implemented. There must be an investment in the future through education and training to help Haitians gain skills that are vital to their country’s sustainable recovery.
At UoPeople, we hope to be part of that solution by offering students the opportunity to access higher education. As one of Student Computer Center administrators in Haiti remarked,
“…Unlike other people and NGOs that decided to help Haiti rise again by providing food, water, tents… we are taking care of the spirit, the mind and we are providing the key element that can better help rebuild this country. We cannot talk about rebuilding Haiti without high and good education.” Lubin, Student Computer Center administrator.
This year, we will rebuild Haiti’s future.


About President Shai Reshef

Starting in 1989, Shai Reshef served as chairman of the Kidum Group, a test preparation company, which he sold in 2005 to Kaplan, one of the world’s largest education companies. While chairman of Kidum, he built an online university affiliated with the University of Liverpool, enrolling students from more than 100 countries; that business was sold to Laureate, another large for-profit education company, in 2004. A vessel for universal higher education, UoPeople has the enormous potential to function as a global stimulus package, reaching even the most remote and poorest places on earth. Our ultimate mission is to democratize higher education and, if the past two years are any indication, this is not merely a pipe dream.
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2 Responses to Haiti: One Year On

  1. Vicki says:

    Yes, University of the People, together we will help Haiti. You are going to help them get a degree and I am going to help them speak English well enough to take your classes. I’m looking forward to working with you.

  2. MJae says:

    It’s sad that during the time of the quake, everyone seemed to want to help.

    However, it turns out that very few of these would actually fulfill their promises.

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