Today we were taken by Revd Marco Depestre, Secretary of Conference and Superintendent of the Port-au-Prince Circuit, to New College Bird in the centre of the city. The Methodist Church in Britain's World Church Fund has provided emergency funding for this and other schools, including for temporary classrooms and teachers' salaries.
Some of the classrooms of this Methodist school were also destroyed and we witnessed work being done to remove the debris. The government have provided some temporary classrooms, although a small number of classes still take place under tarpaulin.
Elsewhere in the city the Methodist College de Freres has been largely spared serious damage but the playground remains the home for a large number of people living in tents although school life goes on around it.
The 100 Methodist run schools have faced major financial challenges since the earthquake. Previously 70% of costs were met by the Church, often relying on overseas donors,
One school that has faced massive challenges is run by
On the Sunday after the earthquake the congregation gathered to give thanks for the lives that had been spared. They now meet every week under a tarpaulin although earlier in the morning than normal when it is cooler. Likewise the school has tried to open again on the cleared area, but lessons for the 300 children have to be finished by rather than to avoid the worst of the heat.
We met Mike Willis who co-ordinates the United Methodist Volunteers in
As we left St Martins with heavy rain flooding the road, we realised how easy it will be for infection to spread through the rubbish and rubble strewn streets as well as the camps that have limited sanitation.