Established December 2009, a month prior to the earthquake that devastated Haiti in January 2010, ULC-Pilate was the proud recipient of 25,000 books donated by the Parliament Foundation of Quebec. The facility is currently housed in a building near the town’s center, has approximately 5,000 books in circulation and more than 640 card-carrying patrons. Because the facility, approximately 800 square feet in size, is not large enough to hold the entire collection, approximately 5,000 books were immediately loaned out to local schools for use in their classrooms. In addition to the 25,000 books, ULC-Pilate has been the fortunate recipient of several laptop computers and other assistance through a partnership with the Harvard Medical School Basic Science Partnership. Three residents of Pilate staff the site, managing daily affairs, maintaining the collection and assisting patrons in their research efforts.
The facility in Pilate was leased as a temporary “home” for the collection while the organization located land to build a permanent structure. In 2010, a 2-acre parcel was donated to ULC for such use, and a guesthouse is now being built on the property for volunteers and interns to reside in while working at the ULC-Pilate.
ULC-Pilate has been very well-received by the community. The Superintendent of schools, school administrators, teachers, students, the mayor, and other local business leaders attended the grand opening in 2009, and were among the first to celebrate the arrival of the 25,000 books. Despite not having electricity, patrons form long queues outside the library waiting for a turn to access the materials. During the school year, ULC-Pilate sees an average of 60 visitors per day.
Pilate is a town with between 50,000 – 100,000 residents, located in north central where the land is lush and green. Within the town of Pilate, there are 15 schools, although more than eight additional schools are reported just on the outskirts of the town.
Learn more about donating books to Haiti. Contact Universal Learning Centre today for donation or volunteer opportunities.