UNICEF correspondent Thomas Nybo reports on how UNICEF and its partners are helping Haitian children return to school.
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Education Brings Hope to Haiti's Children
Thomas Nybo: A new beginning for the children if Haiti, they are returning to the classroom nearly three months after the earthquake that decimated their country. Here in Port- au-Prince, more than 1,000 students turned up for the re-opening of L'Institution Sacre-Coeur.
The classrooms were completely destroyed here, so the Haitian Ministry of Education along with the support of UNICEF and its partners have installed about a dozen tent classrooms along with latrines and a clean water station.
Twelve-year-old Gaille Lexis lost her home in the earthquake and is currently living in a makeshift wooden hut with her family. For months, she's been waiting for this day to arrive.
Gaelle Lexis: I'm excited to be back at school. I can play and talk to my friends, and tell them about my problems. This is what I like.
Joel Desrosiers Jean-Pierre: We have to go back to school. It's our only chance to succeed after the January 12th earthquake. So, dear children, I invite you to take up your school activities once again.
Francoise Gruloos-Ackermans: This is not just a significant step in terms of education. I believe that the return to school offers a beacon of hope for the city's children, after so many months of confusion, sadness and uncertainty. We know that Haitian parents and children value education above nearly all other services. If there's one country in the world that values education, it's Haiti.
Thomas Nybo: Across the country, UNICEF is distributing 3,000 tents as part of its effort to help return more than 700,000 students to schools over the next two months. Other UNICEF assistance is coming in the form of education and recreational materials, as well as school furniture. As the country moves forward, it is critical that education is a key priority nothing less than the future of Haiti is at stake.
This is Thomas Nybo reporting for UNICEF Television at Port au Prince, Haiti. Unite for Children.