It's been a long road for the girls at Elie Dubois. When we first met the school's junior class in 2010, they were attending classes at a neighboring school–in temporary classrooms that became a source of ridicule for the students whose grounds they were imposing on. Still, the girls wanted to get involved–not only to help rebuild their school, but to represent Haitian youth to their international peers...and the courage one can muster to rebuild after disaster.
Today, classes have moved back to Elie's campus–however still in a limited capacity. The girls we met two years ago have in that time helped us tell their story, engaged Students Rebuild teams around the world and introduced us all to Haitian life, the spirit of their school, and the enthusiasm inspired to help it come back to life. The Elie Dubois campus is still a ways from achieving full capacity, but the nearing completion of the cafeteria building (as part of Phase 1) was plenty cause to celebrate, and look back at how far the school has come.
Temporary classrooms built after the 2010 earthquake. Elie girls had class here for nearly a year.
Elie's junior class in early 2011 at a SR Interactive Videoconference prep session at an open-air temporary classroom
Old cafeteria at Elie Dubois School, post-earthquake
Preliminary design for new cafeteria
Below: an introduction to the Élie Dubois school by its students. Ginette takes us to the old cafeteria @ 1:26
On Bastille Day (July 14) many of these girls graduated–and have since been preparing for life's next stage (and in some cases are already on their way). Kate Evarts was able to attend most of the ceremony, which may have been a bigger deal to the grads than simply receiving a diploma.
"It was a beautiful thing," Kate relates. "The girls wanted to have the graduation in the cafeteria, it was very important to them, but it wasn't quite finished. They spent four days cleaning up construction debris, cleaning up the garden, making it beautiful. And it was fantastic. They had a great time, it looked so good."
The girls clearing some of the larger debris from the construction site preceding the graduation ceremony
Graduation ceremony about to commence...
The cafeteria served quite well for the soon-to-be grads and their
guests–a good sign for future use by the entire school. "They must've
had over 300 people there and it wasn't even crowded, it's a BIG room.
It was beautiful–the light coming through the transom-set roof was
As of last week, the Haiti team reported images of cafeteria doors being hung–at the cafeteria and for the toilet block. We can't wait to get pics back of the paint scheme they went with–and we'll let you know soon as we find out. Next step, kitchen, and then we can finally experience some of Elie's revolutionary school cuisine.
Carpenters hanging doors on the cafeteria in September