Boskovice region – Discussion with a screening, video, quiz and coloring pirates or tying ribbons to the hair. Pupils from primary schools in Boskovice and Doubravice were not bored. We came to bring them closer to life in Haiti, where we have been helping for 11 years…
Boskovice, in the morning. “Let’s warm up in Haiti,” Klára Lőffelmannová of the Archdiocesan Charity Olomouc invites schoolchildren at the beginning of the first of four Tuesday discussions. Snow-covered roofs can be seen behind the windows, and inside the classroom of the Boskovice primary school there is heat and a hurricane. How this natural disaster can devastate, Klára describes the children in color. She helped the Haitians in their country a few days after the hurricane.
Children also learn how little Haitians live. That many of them can’t go to school. “Half of Haitians can’t read and write,” says Klára. However, Haitian children in Baie de Henne, Gonaïves and Roche and Bateau, for example, can go to school, thanks to Czech donors. In addition, they receive hot food at school, which is their only meal for the whole day.
Pupils are guessing (some report it with certainty) what is being grown in Haiti. They learn about the history of this country and also the fact that several centuries ago there were pirates who attacked ships loaded with gold heading for Europe. Many slaves from Africa were also imported to Haiti. By mixing their language with French, Creole was born. Haitians still speak that, although French has remained the official language. “Despite the fact that at the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries, slaves revolted against the cruel treatment of colonizers and Haiti then became the first independent black republic in the world,” the humanitarian worker continues.
Children do not save questions. In all three Boskovice classes, they are interested in what the Haitian schoolgirls have in their hair? Going to school is an event for little Haitians, they wear a clean school uniform and the girls improve their hairstyles with colorful ribbons and beads. The color of these beads refers to the color of the uniform. The color of the uniform then to a particular school.
Doubravice nad Svitavou, afternoon. We cross to nearby Doubravice. There, pupils from the 1st to the 4th grade are already waiting for us in the group. We travel to faraway Haiti by plane. As soon as we land, this whole island state is at our feet. However, it takes the form of paper, which Klára fills in the pictures – a pirate flag, bags of salt, an abacus… All this and much more relates to Haiti. “Beware, there are all kinds of disasters that curse Haiti. When such a hurricane hits, “says Klára, grabs the paper and swings it into the air so that all the images fall to the ground and the map of Haiti is suddenly empty,” it destroys everything. Harvests, dwellings, everything. People have nothing left. And we will play humanitarian workers and try to put this country back together. ”The children are bright – they will return the pictures to exactly where they were before. There are salt fields, there is a school there and pirates have their hiding place there…
Followed by a trip to Haiti. “We get on the bus and go for a ride,” Klára invites the children. They sit in chairs and in front of them light up the first color photographs documenting life in Haiti.
The marathon with discussions is over. A little more children learned about a small country hiding in the Caribbean. Schoolchildren in Haiti even have a keepsake – a pirate’s coloring book or a colorful hairbrush.
Karolina Opatrilova, ACHO