Posted by: universallearningcentreblog | January 18, 2011

A Peek by Dana M. Jean

A First Look
The First Library in Pilate, Haiti 

I decided the first post on the new Blog should not be chronologically “in order” but rather, in perhaps a more suspenseful order, although to insiders, the whole process has been suspenseful enough to last us a lifetime!  This photo is of a local by who was intrigued by the happenings going on at the first library in his hometown of Pilate, Haiti.  There’s no way this little guy went away dissatisfied!

In October, 2010, a team of volunteers, sponsored by Harvard University, accompanied ULC founder, Jacques Jean to Pilate, Haiti where they received the long anticipated delivery of 25,000+ books donated from the Parliament Foundation of Quebec.  Once it was received, the load had to be unpacked, organized and shelved, and to our simultaneous dismay and delight, the library was too small to hold them all.

Ad hoc planning led the team to decide that local schools who had expressed their support for ULC would be the first beneficiaries of some of the overflow and 4,000 books immediately went into circulation as the schools took charge of caring for and using our newly received treasure.  The students, teachers and staff were overwhelmed and filled to the brim with gratitude.

More pictures to follow as I hope to give you a virtual tour of the library which we’ve quickly and effectively outgrown.  Coming up this year, we will also be documenting the process of breaking ground for our new facility which will be built on land donated to ULC by Jacques’ loving family who has owned land in the beautiful town of Pilate for generations.  I also hope to share with you photos that will give you an alternative image to the horrifying shanty towns in the news, although Pilate is not exempt from the poverty that is rampant in the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere.  But our photos will perhaps give you some perspective so you might begin to understand why foreigners fall in love with Haiti and the Haitian people.


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