IMPACT
04/20/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Haiti Needs Schools: Who Is Helping And How You Can Too

With learning institutions across Haiti wrecked by the earthquake and many indefinitely out of session, Haiti's students are fearing that their futures have been buried among the rubble.

CNN reports that thousands of students are missing and years of learning were lost, exacerbating the educational situation in a country already struggling to produce qualified graduates.

Farrah is an economics student at the university and she worries about her future. "I am young and I want to come back to study," she says.

Professors say they are committed to forging on despite the catastrophe. "We need to make them feel alive again," said Rogeda Dorce Dorcil, a professor at the Linguistics University, "because they represent the future of Haiti, they have to work to have courage to build again this new Haiti.

Some effort toward rebuilding schools has already begun. Ben Stiller's online campaign, Stillerstrong, has already raised more than $286,000 for temporary, safe schools so students can return to their studies as soon as possible.

Shakira has also pledged to build a school in Haiti through her nonprofit, Barefoot Foundation. Both celebrities are working with Architecture for Humanity, which is supporting design and building needs for both short- and long-term reconstruction.

In the meantime, UNICEF is providing mobile classroom kits to jump-start education in disaster zones that are in immediate need of supplies. In addition to providing tent classrooms, the organization has begun to roll out additional educational supplies, they announced Wednesday.

UNICEF has started the distribution of 390 School-in-a-Box kits and 410 recreation kits in 10 rural departments where displaced quake survivors are now living. Each School-in-a-Box kit provides as many as 40 children with exercise books, pens, pencils and other learning materials.

Key to the success of reconstruction is rebuilding schools in areas where Haitians have migrated to escape the extensive damage of major cities. GoInspireGo Founder Toan Lam described on Huffington Post Thursday the effort of one New Jersey reverend to build a middle school for the influx of Port-au-Prince residents that are seeking shelter in the smaller town of Grand-Saline.

You don't need to be the head of a nonprofit or a celebrity to make a real difference to Haitian students in the To make donations to any of these organizations you can contribute directly on their sites:
Stillerstrong
UNICEF
Architecture For Humanity
Barefoot Foundation
Haiti Enrichment Foundation

For a more tangible contribution, check out The Goods on Huffington Post. You can directly purchase a UNICEF School-In-A-Box for $250, or educate a girl for a year through Save the Children for $65 dollars.

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