Itiah Angels for Learning (IAFL) has a mission to empower our young students in Haiti with a holistic education. But why is education especially important for Haiti?
Haiti’s economic and social development is held back by food insecurity, political unrest, natural disasters, and increasing levels of crime and violence. According to the World Bank, the country is the poorest of the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) region, and its already high poverty rate has risen since the COVID-19 pandemic. It was reported that in 2021, 65% of Haitian households experienced a loss in income. Further, the gross net income per capita, a measurement of a nation’s annual wealth, in 2021 was US$1,420. This is a stark contrast to the other LAC countries, which averaged US$15,092.
With these issues out of their control, most Haitian families are suffering from extreme poverty. In order to escape their impoverished state and have the possibility to move up in socio-economic status, most Haitian families encourage their children to pursue higher education and higher-paying occupations. These careers include fields such as medicine (MD), law, agronomy, and engineering. For a steady income, students may pursue careers such as nursing, education, or accounting, and some other paths include joining the Haitian army/police or learning a trade, such as carpentry or plumbing. Through education, a majority of the children in Haiti end up becoming the lifeline for their parents.
IAFL founder Marie Thadal knows this very well. As a daughter to Haitian parents, she was told to study medicine, which was the reason she chose to major in science. Now, with a stable career in the US, she was able to greatly improve her parents’ situation and changed the trajectory of future generations, such as providing more opportunity for her own children. While her parents encouraged her down a specific path, Thadal states that she happily wanted to give back to her parents rather than feel confined in her options. “Family is everything to the marginalized. My parents sacrifice so much for me to escape the life of poverty I was destined to. It was my honor to make life better for them.”
Just like how Thadal was able to support her family through her education, IAFL currently aims to improve the situations of many more families by providing the best education possible for our students. Our students are able receive a proper education thanks to our generous donors, and $200 can sponsor one student for an entire year. As we enter the new year, please consider donating $20 a month to help us improve lives for the children and ultimately for their entire families! You can send your donation here.
By Kat Dinh