One member of École Elie Dubois' graduating class was Diandine Émile, who we worked with extensively the past couple years.
When Students Rebuild hit the ground in Haiti, Diandine stepped forward to be an ambassador for her school, girls and Port-au-Prince youth struggling to regain a sense of normalcy following the earthquake. Diandine and the Global Nomads worked together to feature the life of a student excelling in her studies despite all odds and dreaming of learning medicine in the United States, bringing the knowlege back to help her country/wo/men.
Her compelling story caught the radar of a league of doctors based in Chicago, who offered to sponsor her stay in the US while going to school. This was incredible news, but Diandine still had to get permission from her own country and had spent all of last year applying for a student visa. The process isn't easy, and Architecture for Humanity helped where it could (having gained some experience applying for things with the Government of Haiti). Still, as of last May, her status was still up in the air. What news would the Summer bear?
"Diandine's been in and out of the office a couple of times recently. She's enrolled in University here–going to the States didn't work out," Kate Evarts recounts. Kate's been working with Architecture for Humanity in Haiti for over a year and has been able to keep up on Diandine's complicated school application process.
It's difficult news, but evidently even landing a spot in Haitian University was quite the accomplishment this year. "In the paper the other day they had an article about how many people did well in the National Exams in the Spring and they're all applying for college. There must be six or seven thousand students applying for 100 spots, it's incredibly competitive." But Diandine's attending classes, which is great.
"And she was thrilled to get the computer, really delighted." Kate worked with Sandhya, our HQ-based program coordinator, to get a Netbook down to Diandine. Kate made the delivery in July, which no doubt will go to help Diandine's studies.
And what about her housing situation? Has Diandine's family moved out of the tent camp?
"As far as I can tell, her family hasn't found housing yet. She was complaining her family had a hard time when Isaac came through."
We've asked Kate if she could follow up with Diandine for Students Rebuild–as soon as she comes back around (we wouldn't want to interrupt her studies). More to come.
Diandine with Architecutre for Humanity design fellow Stacey McMahan