Importance of Education

Facebook Interactions

Recently on Facebook, I asked our followers what they’d like to hear from Jacques and me if they were able to attend our “Armchair Travelers” presentation at the Allen Public Library.  This is what we received from one reader:

“Are your book collections in English or French?  Have you considered an online library for certain books that are already digitized and how is technology being applied?”  from Henrick Beausoleil

Great questions, Henrick!  Thanks for asking!

The books we have so far are mainly in French as they are donated by the Parliament Foundation of Quebec and are gently used books from the libraries in Quebec.  However, we do have plans to have a Haitian Creole section in each of our libraries in the future and have already begun connecting with the biggest publishing houses in Haiti to make sure we follow that goal through to the end.  We believe firmly that access to materials in Haitian Creole is important as it is the “language of the people,” so to speak, and a beautiful language at that.  If you have family or friends willing to donate books in Haitian Creole, please contact me at dana.jean@universallearningcentre.org.  We would be happy to put those books into our collection!  We actually received such a gift from Haitian author, Edwidge Danticat, from her own personal collection and we couldn’t be happier.

Regarding e-books and digitized formats, we most definitely plan to make that technology available at some point, hopefully sooner rather than later, as we know it is the “way of the future” and we want Haitians to have access to the latest and most up-to-date information.  However, a primary concern before we are able to provide such access, is electricity which is integral to being able to access the Internet in able to utilze such digital tools.  We are currently working with Mr. and Mrs. Newman, volunteers from Texas who own an electrical contracting company, to bring our sites up to par as far as electrical needs.  Mr. and Mrs. Newman have been doing electrical contracting for over 30 years and have visited Haiti many times.  We are fortunate to count on their expertise and commitment to our projects.  Once electrical needs are met, we will quickly be able to get online and get more current resources for our communities.

Technology at ULC-Haiti is a promising area, though challenging.  We have six computers donated by Harvard Medical School Basic Science Partnership, and we are working on a large donation from a British corporation that will hopefully bring us a large number of refurbished computers.  We would also like to add iPads, iPods, and other devices to the list of information tools at our sites.  However, technology at this point is at a stand-still until electricity issues are tackled.

If you or someone you know has technology to donate, please contact us at info@universallearningcentre.org, and of course, if you are able to make a contribution to our projects, every penny donated helps us get one step closer to having fully-functioning libraries in Haiti!  To make a donation, please visit our Donations Page.  Thank you!

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