View a detailed history and current status of the the Deschapelles Library Project.
On January 8, 2016, SCEH celebrated the opening of the Deschapelles library with the people of Deschapelles, our collaborative partner – ODES, and the library’s Haitian supporters – FOKAL and Digicel. Many people in the community are now able to take full advantage of this completely new opportunity in Haiti’s Artibonite Valley.
The library is approximately 3,000 square feet with many windows leading to the outside grounds where children can safely play or adults can find a quiet spot to read. There are close to 2,500 books in French, Haitian Kreyol or English. In addition, computers, DVD’s, educational toys and puzzles for children, and new benches, tables and chairs are all there for use by the community. Most importantly, there is electricity which is a rarity in Deschapelles. Students now have a well-lit building in which to study at night. There are frequent cultural and educational presentations for the community.
ODES, through its Conseil (Library Board), has taken responsibility for the library’s operations including hiring staff, enlisting volunteers, setting policies (including the hours of operation, book lending systems, use of the building by community members and groups), establishing rules and regulations, and setting a budget. The Conseil works closely with the SCEH Library Committee.
- Children’s reading club
- Adult reading and discussion groups
- English and French language conversation groups
- How to use the computer and internet sessions
Talks on many subjects including medical subjects led by doctors from Hospital Albert Schweitzer and nature subjects such as astronomy and birds of Haiti.
The Library has a robust robotics program. From its humble beginnings as a lego project, it developed into a full fledge robotics programs thanks to a group of students from Valley Regional High School and their parents who visited Deschapelles in the summer of 2017. Click here. Six months later, the newly formed Club Robotic de Deschapelles won Second Prize in the country-wide robotics competition in Cap Haitien. Congratulations to all! For more information about the competition, please click here.
The Library Compound
The 3,000 square foot library is constructed of cement and iron. The cupola on top of the library is important for passive solar ventilation. The roof is insulated against the heat of the sun and the windows are fitted with screens to ward off mosquitoes and the diseases they can carry such as malaria and dengue fever. A wall encompasses the entire two-acre property. more…
How We Did It
The creation of a library in Deschapelles was the first project initiated by Sister Cities Essex Haiti and ODES. It all began in 2010. more…