The Haiti Orphan Project tries to bring stories to you that show some of the terrific struggles many families in Haiti face. These are some pictures from our visit to the salt flats in Gonaives last week. We were given a tour by Dakoun whose story is the inspiration for Tuition for Transformation our education sponsorship program.
Dakoun is a widow with 5 children who also took in 3 of her brother’s children and a grandchild when he passed over a year ago. Dakoun’s aging mother lives with her as well. For over 10 years Dakoun has been harvesting salt to provide for her family. It is a physically demanding job with low wages, but she is proud of it and was excited to show us how it’s done.
By the time we had spent a couple of hours walking around the salt flats in the heat we were beat and most of us took a nap that afternoon. It drove home to us the resilience and strength of this woman who has managed to take care of her family of 11 people with this work.
We are so grateful to have the opportunity to support economically vulnerable families such as Dakoun’s. We are grateful for women like her who are willing to take on the added burden of orphaned children when she is already stretched to take care of her own.
And we are so thankful for those of you who support our sponsorship program. You have helped relieve some of the financial stress on Dakoun by taking on the education costs for her family. If you are NOT yet one of our monthly sponsors consider clicking on the RED DONATE NOW button at the top right of this page. People like you make helping Dakoun and others possible.
The Haiti Orphan Project (HOPE) currently has twenty children in Tuition for Transformation, our education sponsorship program, and our plan is to double that number by September. Tuition for Transformation is central to our plan to work with economically vulnerable families. During our time in Haiti, we have continually watched as families overwhelmed by the costs associated with school struggle to pay these costs, as well as, feed and clothe their children. We have seen over and over that it is this ongoing struggle which contributes to the decision families make to send some of their children to an orphanage. As we sit with families we see that as much as 70%-80% of their income goes toward school costs.
We deeply desire to be part of an alternative solution; a solution that keeps kids in school and families together and as such we began a pilot project last year with 20 children from 7 families in our community, including several orphans. Along with paying for tuition, we created a twice monthly kids program where Volcy teaches from the Bible. we play, sing, dance and share a meal together. Incidentally, several of the moms earn some income helping with the food preparation for the kids program. This provides us the opportunity to spend time with the children and their parents. In all we do, our desire is to surround and support families. As part of the program, families have access to Hope Klinik, providing them with affordable health care and health education. Finally, our economic development program has begun with the addition of our latest staff member, Holden Meyers. Holden is working to set up an egg co-op, which will begin providing several of the families we work with supplemental monthly income later this year.
We are thrilled with the results so far, as we see kids thriving in school and families working together to meet program expectations. Our current sponsorship cost is $40.00 a month, which keeps one child in school and contributes to the running of our twice monthly kids program. We our so grateful to all our supporters for partnering with us to make this program a success. If you have not already signed up to sponsor a child please sign up here. Help us reach our goal of doubling to 40 children the program beginning September 2016.
Click the video to check out our Kids Program in action
Renaldine St. Juste
Background: Renaldine is 9 years old and is in 2nd grade. She has four brothers and two sisters. Renaldine lives with her mom and some of her older siblings just outside of our home in Paradise Village. Her dad passed away over two years ago, which left her family struggling to get by. Renaldine loves school and is grateful that the Tuition for Transformation has helped her continue school without getting any farther behind.
Interests: Renaldine’s favorite subjects in school are writing, spelling and math. When she is not in school she enjoys doing her homework and reading—every teachers dream! She also really enjoys the Kid’s Program because it gives her the opportunity to play with lots of kids.
How can you pray for Renaldine: She wants people to pray that God would bless her and her family and help her to be kind.
Background: Davidson is 17, but only in 4th grade. He grew up outside of Gonaives in a subsistence farming village with no school close by. He has eight brothers and sisters and twenty-four nieces and nephews most of whom live with his parents. His parents have struggled a lot as farmers and our currently facing their second year of losing all of their crops to drought. As such, several years ago, Davidson moved into Gonaives with an elderly friend of the family and several other boys so that he could be close to school
Interests: Davidson’s favorite subjects in school are creole and Mathematics, but when he is not in school he loves to play games on his phone, football and loves to dance.
How you can pray for Davidson: He would love to know that people are praying that he might find some way to succeed so that he can help others the way the Tuition for Transformation program is helping him.
We are still in need of sponsors for other children in the Tuition for Transformation program. Click HERE to make recurring or one-time donations. $40/month or $480/year.