Bellevue-la-Montagne is a rural, mountainous community located 20km from downtown Port-au-Prince. The dirt roads are steep and rocky, making it accessible only by foot, motorcycle, or 4×4 vehicles. Most people are subsistence farmers and market traders. Basic human services such as clean water, electricity, healthcare and education are scarce.
Because of Haiti’s long history of authoritarianism, people tend to wait for others to take responsibility for solving community problems. Continued disasters reinforce a sense of precariousness, undermining decision making and agency about the future. A culture of gender-based violence and corporal punishment undermines participation of women and children.
Haiti Partners’ mission is to “help Haitians change Haiti through education.” Children’s Academy and Learning Center (ADECA) opened in October 2012 to be a model for participatory education and leadership practices. In addition to applied learning, the school promotes parent involvement, environmental sustainability, and social enterprise. The campus hosts a medical clinic, school garden, composting latrines, tree seedlings, community meetings, adult literacy classes, and a youth choir as well as space to train and dialogue with other schools and partners.