We decided to offer English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) as our inaugural program because we believe that English represents the foundation for and the stepping stone to many of today’s careers. Language barriers serve as a hindrance to opportunities for many qualified young professionals. In the case of Mirebalais and other regions in the country, English proficiency has the potential to enhance workforce capacity and to develop human resource capacity.
Since the earthquake that struck Haiti in 2010, there has been a lot of progress made towards bringing the country back to at least where it was the day before that unfortunate event. However, much more work remains to be done. It is essential that Haitians living in Haiti participate in the global economy and remain competitive, and English proficiency is paramount in achieving this phase. In our opinion, teaching English to students and young professionals living in Haiti is important for the following reasons (among others):
- English is currently the language most used on the Internet (more than half of all websites are in English);
- International commerce uses mostly English;
- A significant portion of important international exchanges are being conducted in English;
- The geographical location of Haiti vis-a-vis the United States and other English-speaking developed economies in this part of the world; and
- Haiti shares the same time zone with a lot of these countries, making it easier for companies that outsource IT jobs –as well as other jobs that can be performed remotely – to employ Haitian professionals living in Haiti.
Therefore, it is critical for young Haitians at the secondary school, university levels, and Haitian professionals living in Haiti to be able to read, write, and speak English proficiently. Proficiency in English will also lead to their ability to participate in the global workforce and share in the world economy, through the acquisition of relevant skills via online and offline education and training.