All hope Is not lost for Haiti. Pranzel, which means “take flight” in Haitian Creole is a social enterprise with a bold mission: To revolutionize education access across the entire nation of Haiti. The level of success Pranzel is already seeing on the ground is proof that Haiti is ready…to take off, as the company name suggests.
Unsurprisingly, most of us are too familiar with the fact that the Caribbean nation is always making headlines, sadly, for all the wrong reasons. From deadly viruses to natural disasters and high inflation, Haiti continues to experience the worst of circumstances one can imagine. Today, violent protests around the country due to starvation have worsened the situation. This results in schools not being able to open their doors for weeks at a time, leading thousands of students to drop out of schools altogether.
Let’s take this school year for example: Haiti has already lost its first month of schooling this Fall. It now has already entered its second month with no sign that school will ever open before the end of year. When the former Haitian President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated back in July 7th, 2021, Junior Bernard, the founder of Pranzel (an edtech platform), knew then he had to make a decision to contribute to the change his country needs. That decision, as we speak, which turned out to be Pranzel, has already proven to be one of the best decisions for the country.
“Last year, looking at the country’s state,” Junior recalled, “with so many young people out of school and now joining gangs, it scared me to think about what the future may look like a decade from now. To call it a tragedy in the making would be an understatement. That’s why I dropped everything to build Pranzel.”
Joining with a group of Haitian professionals, Junior founded Pranzel with a grand vision: to put educational technology in every school in Haiti. In detail, the platform is assisting schools in managing their administrative data, tracking students’ performance and, most importantly, allowing students to gain unlimited access to online classes via devices, such a smart phone or computer regardless of their location.
This offers a novel approach of solving a real need in the Haitian society away from conventional approaches that have always failed the country’s youth for decades.
Pranzel’s arrival could not have been at a better time: Today over 65% of the Haitian population have access to the internet. Unsurprisingly, Haitians now spend hours surfing the internet, especially platforms like YouTube and Facebook.
Pranzel’s Early Success
While the internet is available in most areas of the country, education still remains next to impossible to access without a physical classroom. It’s no surprise that the youth as well as school leaders all over the country welcomed Pranzel with open arms.
“Where have you guys been all this time? We’ve been dying to get access to this type of technology for years. Thank you. Thank you.” A school’s principals on the outskirts of Port au Prince commented.
What’s even more admirable about Pranzel’s work is that the platform is free of charge for all Haitian (K-12) students. According to the founder, Junior, it is so in an effort to reduce the high cost of education in a country where most are unemployed and struggling to meet their basic needs. Pranzel aims to partner with companies, organizations, and individuals willing to sponsor schools or provide financial contributions to help keep the platform free for those it serves in Haiti.
Pranzel’s dream for Haiti exceeds empowering schools and providing students with unlimited access to education. Its goal is to turn Haitian citizens into problem-solvers that turn Haiti’s vast resources into opportunities that can help to transform the country sooner than later.
In Junior’s own words, “Haiti already has all the resources it needs to feed its people and create the jobs they need. It also has the infrastructure necessary for the youth to take advantage of the internet to learn new skills and thrive. What Haiti needs is some guidance and inspiration. Through Pranzel, we will provide both and more.”
Pranzel believes that its new technology platform will revolutionize education in Haiti and help it achieve its goal of becoming a developed nation.
Could Pranzel really help Haiti rise? The truth remains to be seen. But one thing we can attest for sure is…everyone involved, from the company’s advisory board to the team on the ground, is extremely passionate and taking massive action for Haiti in a way we haven’t seen before.
If you share Pranzel’s vision for Haiti, don’t watch from the sideline. Show your support by spreading the word and making a financial contribution.