Hurricane Matthew and UNOGA

Guest house after the storm
Guest house after the storm

Into our seventh year the university suffered immense losses. After a great start with some very dedicated people and being in the middle of our first semester hurricane Matthew ravaged the university. The campus itself was under 4 feet of water due to the swollen river behind the campus. The relatively new classrooms are not usable at this point since the roofs simply blew off. Our computer lab is a total loss. The yellow building is standing but mud even reached the 2nd floor. The greenhouse is flattened and of course any agricultural programs are decimated. The guest house that accommodated so many of our visiting professors no longer exists. Actually 2 of our professors, one Haitian and one American escaped thanks to the heroic rescue effort of one of our UNOGA students 10 minutes before the house collapsed.

Students cleaning up after the storm
Students cleaning up after the storm

Yet we are not giving up.

We will continue to finish out our courses in temporary classrooms to encourage and support the students so they do not feel abandoned. We also want our 4th year students to finish with their thesis, to finish so they can hopefully find gainful employment and help their families and communities. We will need to re-think how we can be more innovative in instruction and coursework. All that will take some time. But nothing is impossible. We do need funds and are looking to find spaces for some of the students with other universities. Scholarships for our current students will be most helpful, because this is not the time that we can ask them to pay. They have little to no funds, and before the storm hit UNOGA had all of 2000.00 dollars in our account. So if we can get scholarships that will help the students as well as fill the operational budget of the university. A year scholarship is 500.00 Dollars for one student.

Classrooms after the storm
Classrooms after the storm

We will also approach Google at a later time to see if we can refurbish our computer lab. At this point we have not ascertained the loss of laptops. The electrical infrastructure on campus is in total disarray.
We had to house 3 professors in a hotel, and while we got an excellent rate for 55.00 Dollars per person, we will need to pay a debt of $825.00. The hotel owner is not pressuring us but will need the money at some time. We need to pay our ancillary staff who cooked and washed for the professors since the hotel was unable to provide food service. In addition the professors who are finishing courses will also need to be paid at some point.
Since we are without a guest house now, we will eventually need to look for a different place to accommodate the professors.
How much all this will cost is difficult to estimate but an initial $20,000.00 will be necessary just to get the minimum repairs of infrastructure done.

I am telling you all this so that you have a better idea of what the needs are. No donation is too small to be appreciated.

In gratefulness,
Renate Schneider, President Haitian Connection
Vice Rectrice UNOGA


The University of the Nouvelle Grand’Anse (UNOGA) has a three part mission:
Teaching – Educating students and providing continuing education
Research – Scientific and technological research
Service – Dissemination of cultural, scientific and technological information; participation in regional development Learn More…


UNOGA’s Contribution to the Grand’Anse

UNOGA contributes to the development of the Grand’Anse in several ways. First by enhancing the competitiveness of the region by developing human resources through the creation and transmission of knowledge, best practices and technologies. Secondly, UNOGA looks to increase awareness of the region and what it has to offer, and to support the long term economic and environmental interests of the Grand’Anse. Lastly, UNOGA serves as a clearing house and exchange for different groups engaged in development and research.

UNOGA provides the community with:

  1. Qualified technical personal to support regional development
  2. Local resources to support decentralization
  3. Graduates who will serve their community aware of the reality of Haitian culture and the principles of justice, and who will meet the challenges of globalization UNOGA strives to support integrated and sustainable regional development.


UNOGA’s Programs

All students begin their university studies at UNOGA with a year of General Studies. Courses taught during that year cover a variety of fields from psychology, anthropology, mathematics, chemistry and physics, literature, history and economics. An introduction to English and Spanish as well as computer literacy is also part of the first year curriculum. The goal of the General Studies curriculum is to widen the student’s horizons and expose them to knowledge and ideas they might not otherwise encounter.
Time for the bus
After the introductory year of General Studies, students then have the choice between agricultural sciences and business/management. They will study in their chosen field for 3 years. The culmination of their 4 years of university study is a final project, a thesis. The University of the Nouvelle Grand’Anse expects all students to finish all graduation requirements within 4 years, including their thesis.

What is unique about UNOGA?
  1. Two internships. The first internship takes place after the 2nd year of studies. This is an internship which will take place locally. The second internship takes place after the third year of studies. At this point students will be placed with organizations outside of the local area in order to see how other regions of Haiti function.
  2. UNOGA has 75 chromebooks on campus, allowing the students to access the internet, and do research. An introductory course is given to all students in computer literacy.
  3. Emphasis is put on language studies. All students get a chance to learn English and Spanish. It is expected that at the end of their 4 year course they will be able to read scientific articles in English and Spanish.
  4. UNOGA also offers a course in Divergent Thinking, i.e. thinking outside the box. Two UNOGA graduates and two UNOGA staff have in been trained in teaching this course.
  5. Reading program. UNOGA students will be given 10 readings during the semester. The readings are given with objectives and the students will need to respond to those objectives. This course is done online.
  6. Relationship with students from the University of Illinois and UNOGA students. This is a collaborative venture, which has resulted in projects like the construction of a green house made out of plastic bottles.
  7. An online course in economic history and development.
  8. Students need to complete 100 hours of community service per year.
  9. The students in the first graduating class (2014) all have found gainful employment.



UNOGA Avis de Recrutement (Word file)

UNOGA Fiche inscription (Word file – save, complete and email to