Jean Baptiste Accenat – Teacher. Board with Gash. Domont Schoolhouse, near Peligre, Haiti
Teacher. Board with Gash. (Jean Baptiste Accenat) Domont Schoolhouse, near Peligre, Haiti
Zanmi Lasante (ZL) has established over 50 schools in the mountains that surround Cange. At the time of my visit in January, 2008, this one in the remote settlement of Domont was just a battered-zinc roof with chalkboards that functioned as classroom dividers. At times I thought the dust-laden wind would pulverize the boards because they were so worn out. A handful of dedicated teachers, who were brought in each day by ZL transport along bone-crunching dirt roads, worked with about 50 children.
Today, the school has breeze-block walls, with proper doors and windows and a thriving program. Along with this, the area is slowly becoming agriculturally productive, and access to potable water is sustained and spreading. Education, nutrition, economics and water – keys to community and capacity development.
I’ll always have the top image in my mente – Jean Baptiste Accenat’s fervor, and almost gravity-defying gestures symbolize the best of what I think a teacher should aspire to be. Education and aspiration. Per ardua ad astra.
Leica M6, 35mm Summilux lens, Ilford HP 5 processed in Pyro PMK