How to Build a School in Haiti tells the story of one American charity’s problematic attempt to build a new school in rural Haiti. The film follows one development project from beginning to end spanning five years, revealing the challenges and pitfalls of charity across cultures.

After the 2010 earthquake, half of all American households donated to relief efforts. In reporting it’s aftermath, two National Public Radio journalists unearth the harmful effects of donated rice to the rural, impoverished communities in Haiti that grow rice to survive. One of these communities was Villard, where journalists were shocked to see an ad hoc school inside of a church. 

This film is the story of Tim Myers, a well-intentioned construction manager and his attempt to completely fund and build a new school in Villard, questioning his own intentions and development itself along the way. The documentary is a case study in international development, a portrait of the impact this kind of work has on the recipients and agents of international aid programs.



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