Back to school? It is not always a given to a Haitian. We know, because as is gets closer to September and the start of the school year (or maybe October if the government chooses), we are seeing the anguish that this time of the year can give a Haitian family. They are coming to the child care office, they are even coming to our home nearly every day. Maybe it is just the mother who comes, report cards of her children in hand, maybe it is the mother with her children in tow, dressed up as much as possible. “I am here to see the blan (whites) to see if they can help me.” Often it is the child himself, “I am fatherless and my mother can’t pay. You are my last chance.” We cannot sponsor everyone…we would love to. We can listen to them, pray with them and tell them God knows their need.
Inflation is sharply increasing in Haiti, salaries are not. Families have to decide whether to send their children to school or to eat. If they go to school, they still might not have the money to buy school books. Schools are now charging entrance fees rather than monthly fees and it is a struggle to pay them. “Please help, please sponsor my child!” Families may have to decide which child to send to school, perhaps the brightest one. How would that make you feel if you were not chosen?
This is a true story. One day a mother came into the child care office with her youngest two daughters. One of our friends had decided to sponsor the 14-year old and she was very happy. Sitting next to her was her younger sister, age 12. Her mother brought her in her Sunday dress, hoping something could be done for her too. What grade was she in? First.”She is too big,” was what the receptionist said. How would you feel toward your sister who is bright and gets a sponsor and you are too old to receive a 2nd grade education? What is your future going to be? This is the reality of “back to school” to some in Haiti.
Sometimes we are out at night during the school year and this is what we notice: kids sitting under the few street lights they have. Lights high up on poles. They are studying. There is no electricity at your house and the test is tomorrow. You find a way to deal with it. Everyone is in the same boat.
Thank you to everyone who already sponsors a child or two. We know, we see the letters your child sends to you. To anyone else who has a heart for Haiti, you can also sponsor a child this “back to school” season. Check out the info. at: http://www.acworldrelief.org/sponsorships/ Either call, email or write to the address listed online and a child waiting for a sponsor will be forever grateful.
Here is an example of a letter that passed across our desk last week. Some of it is typical, but one simple sentence really stood out!
“I greet you in the name of Jesus the Savior. Today I am very glad to write you this letter in order to thank you for everything that you do and will continue doing for me. I am in 8th grade. I ask you to help me pray so I can go to the higher level (9th grade). Without you, I would not have been able to know how to write a letter. So I always pray God for you and for all your family and your friends too. I wish you a good summer. May God bless you my brother.”
Your sponsorship of a child’s education WILL give hope and change one life at a time. Can you do us a favor? Pass this along to a friend or two! (See the “share this” options below.) Thanks and God bless.