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Today at Rise Against Hunger, we pause to focus on something vital to the hunger relief field: literacy! Access to education takes us one step closer to ending world hunger, so in celebration of the International Day of Literacy — celebrated annually on September 8 — we invite you to join us in shining the spotlight on global literacy needs and recognizing all that has been done across the world to put emphasis on educating students across the world.

The following pictures and stories were gathered from a recent trip to Haiti with our Impact partner, Hearts and Hands for Haiti. Please join us in spotlighting some of the schools Rise Against Hunger supports through school feeding, as well as the educators who make them great!

Tarasse School: Providing Access to Computers and Books

At the Tarasse school, located about 1.5 hours drive north of Port au Prince, students are given the opportunity to read in the library or work to improve computer skills in the on-site computer lab. Most schools in the area do not have a library or computer lab, so even though the school is in the a rural area, parents are eager to send their children here.

Cherismond, Director of the Tarasse School, shares that the quality of his teachers and annual teacher exams to evaluate performance have increased enrollment rates. A library, computer lab and great teachers, which to some might seem like school necessities, make all the difference in encouraging parents to send their children to school in this region.

Siloe Mission School: Spotlight on Educators

The students at Siloe Mission school are taught something that you won’t find in your average curriculum: agriculture! On site agronomist, Telson, wears the hat of teacher when he isn’t cultivating land and starting new projects at Siloe Mission. Telson travels to area schools teaching students agriculture and farming techniques. In his agriculture classes, students learn about the parts of plants and plant growth in the classroom, then take their wealth of knowledge outside where they have their own youth garden.

Telson doesn’t stop there — he now offers adult farming classes in the afternoon open to everyone in surrounding communities to improve technique and increase production potential. “My goal is to train everyone [in agriculture] I can touch,” said Telson.

Philippe Guerrier School: Meals Lead to Results in the Classroom

Pastor Willy and his wife, Raymonde, started the Philippe Guerrier (which means warrior) School in Bas Andrée, a tiny mountainous town, 15 years ago. Traveling by bus for nearly an hour up tiny winding roads will take you to the school which houses students from kindergarten to sixth grade. If kids from the town cannot afford to go to the school, Pastor Willy figures out a way to accommodate them to make sure they have an education. These students eat Rise Against Hunger meals four days a week in a large classroom for lunch. “When we give food, our school becomes better. It helps so much,” says Raymonde. Raymonde and Pastor Willy share that being able to provide Rise Against Hunger meals leads to drastically better results in the classroom. The students behave better after eating and are more interested in the subjects they study. “Kids who aren’t hungry are alive and happy,” says Raymonde.

Today and every day, we encourage the support of early access to education. Creating and cultivating literacy programs and educational opportunities around the world take us one step closer to ending the cycle of poverty. Rise Against Hunger is committed to providing meals in classrooms to improve education and literacy around the world!

Shared in Blog, Nourishing Lives