Mère Louise students currently range from 6 years of age to 16, and they are studying 1st to 6th grade. Like the students of the other 2 girls' schools on site, Rosalie Javouhey and the evening school, Mère Louise students are among the most disadvantaged children of downtown Port-au-Prince. Most of the girls were extremely traumatised by the 2010 earthquake, suffering injuries, anxiety and stress, and losing relatives and homes. The school offers them a unique opportunity to develop their minds and recover from the trauma in a safe oasis of woody land in the heart of Port-au-Prince.
Mère Louise used to be based 2km away in the city centre. However, after the disaster, it lost land tenure there and had to be relocated to Centre Rosalie Javouhey, the site for which we have developed a masterplan for increased density permanent reconstruction. This means that some students had to travel further to get to school, and in the months after the earthquake, they had to come to school in the afternoon instead of the morning, in order to share tent space with the students of Rosalie Javouhey.
With increased classroom space, Mère Louise will take on kindergarden students, and host 2 of each class group. This means it will be able to expand from the 9 class groups it currently accommodates to 16 class groups after construction. This will greatly improve access to education in the Fort National, Centre Ville and St. Antoine areas of Port-au-Prince, all of which are suffering from a dearth of school space and population booms.