On January 12, 2010, many of you witnessed the devastation of the earthquake in Haiti. The first questions that likely arose in your mind are “how did this happen?”, followed by “what will it take to rebuild this country?” While the science of earthquakes is a little beyond the scope of Universal Learning Centre, we will try to address a few areas that we collectively undertake, using the power of education and knowledge to help minimize the impact of such a disaster.
Poverty is a multifaceted concept that includes economic, social and political elements. Poverty can be seen as absolute or relative, and is typically associated with lack of income, or with failure to attain capabilities. It can be chronic or temporary, and is often closely tied to social inequality. Poverty is a dynamic concept, changing and molding to the level of educational consumption in a community or nation.
All over the world, libraries are dedicated to providing free and equitable access to information for all, be it in written, electronic or audiovisual form. Libraries play a key role in creating enlightened communities and promoting literacy by offering relevant and attractive reading material for all ages and all literacy levels. ULC’s libraries in Haiti are no different, and we embrace the social responsibility of offering services that bridge social, political and economic barriers, and a key component of our mission is to extend our services to marginalized people. Our centers assist in finding, interpreting, and delivering appropriate information and media that opens up opportunities for literacy enhancement, informed citizenship, recreation, creative imagination, individual research, critical thinking, an appetite for knowledge, and ultimately, empowerment in an increasingly complex world. A community cannot foster development without an educated people. Businesses, large or small, are unlikely to choose to invest in Haiti if skilled or trainable human resources are unavailable. Similarly, Haiti cannot retain educated people without an attractive economic environment and good infrastructure.
To date, ULC is nourishing nearly 5,000 minds through books, educational programs and technology, funded entirely by generous contributions from donors like yourself. Your donation has taken us so far from where we started, but the snowball is now rolling downhill, and the demand for our services is ever-increasing as word of ULC spreads. We are asking you to extend a hand to your friends and family to help us carry that flag of hope that one day a child will see the bright light and become a productive member of society. Be the difference!