Masons Fund School Rebuilding Project
Following the Haiti earthquake in January 2010, the masonic community rallied together to provide emergency funding, including an immediate £30,000 donation by the Grand Charity. A Relief Chest was opened by the Council of the Grand Charity in response to requests from within the Craft to formulate a collaborative response.
Donations to the Chest, which is now closed, totalled £93,000 and a decision has been taken to fund the rebuilding of a school, via the aid organisation Save the Children.
In Haiti, hundreds of schools remain closed, affecting approximately 500,000 children aged 5-14 years. Before the earthquake only 51% of children attended school, primary school teachers completed only one year of secondary education and, on average, children only completed four years of schooling.
Urgent support of the education system is desperately needed. Without assistance, children’s chances of obtaining a decent education – and Haiti’s ability to recover – will be seriously affected.
Save the Children has been assisting children and families in Haiti for more than three decades. Their hope is to rebuild those schools that are structurally feasible, ensuring that as many children as possible have a safe building in which to continue their education. The donation from the Relief Chest will fund the rebuilding of a community school in the city of Léogâne, which was the epicentre of the earthquake.
The donation will enable 400 children to attend school each year. It will also pay for the training of eight new teachers to ensure the children receive quality education. Work is due to begin in early 2011.
£25,000 For Cholera Aid
The Freemasons’ Grand Charity has also donated £25,000 to the British Red Cross, funding supplies to combat the cholera epidemic in Haiti. The UN has said that over 28,000 people in Haiti are now being treated for cholera symptoms and it is estimated that close to 2,000 people have already died, and the death toll is expected to rise.