Monday, October 26, 2015
Pilgrimage to the Holy Land with Father Marc Boisvert
May 16 to 26, 2016
Dube Travel will be making a $100 donation to Free the Kids for every person that signs on to this incredible journey.
Some of the daily itinerary includes: a journey to Bethlehem to celebrate Mass at Shepherds Field and then off to visit the site of the Birth of Jesus and the Franciscan Family Center; traveling to Mount Tabor and visit the site of the Baptism of Jesus. Participants will have the opportunity to renew their own Baptismal Promises; and visit the Temple Mount St. Anne’s Church where the Blessed Virgin Mary was born.
For more information contact Teena at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-800-879-3823
On October 25th Haitians across the country participated in the first round of presidential elections, casting their vote for one of over 50 candidates running for president and several candidates for local office.
According to news reports, there were some arrests made for disrupting the voting process, but overall it was relatively peaceful. Haitian's current president, President Michel Martelly, is unable to run for re-election this year, leaving the field open for a new leader. Election results are predicted in the next ten days to a month, and a run-off presidential election for the top candidates will likely take place on December 27th.
As Haitians exercise their important democratic right to vote, we ask for your prayers that this election season is one of peace and stability and hope for a bright future for Haiti.
Thursday, October 22, 2015
It was exactly 17 years ago this month that an abandoned building became the home for 15 kids who coined the name Pwoje Espwa, Creole for Project Hope. And this is how Free the Kids began.
That first building was quickly filled to capacity with homeless children and after a few years and a lot of hard work, 125 acres of land was purchased about 20 minutes from the city of Les Cayes. Over 400 children now live there and are supported by Free the Kids.
“As I look back on our humble beginnings and see how far we have come in responding to the needs of the most vulnerable children in southern Haiti,I am in awe at what can be done when the Holy Spirit is present,” said Father Marc Boisvert, founder of Free the Kids.
“Pwoje Espwa Sud is able to house, feed and educate poor children, thereby giving them the opportunity to one day become independent, contributing members of Haitian society," he said.
"I look at what we have accomplished since we began in a small rented house in Camp-Perrin and I am filled with gratitude for our many friends who have made this possible. But there remains much to do and many more destitute children who need our assistance. Food, medical care, shelter and education are essential to these children in order for them to survive. But we need to move forward by giving them the tools to not just survive, but to succeed in life. Those tools are vocational training and opportunities for higher education along with a moral/ethical/spiritual formation,” Father Marc said.
“May God continue to bless us with faithful supporters as we accompany these children towards a brighter future,” Father Marc said.
In an attempt to teach our older kids new skills, gardens are being created in both the boys' and girls' villages. A few months ago, agriculture employees helped to create a compost in the girls' village, which wasn't without some very enthusiastic helpers!
Now that the soil is ready, there is a plethora of fruits and vegetables being planted. The gardens will include quenepes, tomatoes, carrots, sweet peppers, spinach, eggplant, and cabbage. An elevated structure was built to hold the plants in order to protect them from our curious and energetic toddlers.
Monday, October 19, 2015
Judelande is one of the over 60 girls who live at Espwa. She is ten years old and has lived at Espwa for five years. She is originally from Port-au-Prince and has five brothers (two live at Espwa). Her favorite game to play with the other kids is hide-and-seek and she likes to play soccer with visitors. She hopes that visitors will come and teach her how to play volleyball. Her favorite subjects are math and French, and she wants to become a nurse when she grows up! She wants visitors to know that she is happy at Espwa because besides being able to live with her friends, she is fed and sent to school. To support a girl like Judelande, please visit Army of Angels.
Thursday, October 15, 2015
We are happy to say that after a few months in Washington, Placide is doing wonderfully! This past summer he took English classes at Clark College with a focus in reading, writing, and oral communication and earned a 3.5 GPA! This semester he is taking a composition course, as well as math and public speaking.
In addition to his academic endeavors, he has also joined the school's soccer team and is loving every minute of it!
Espwa is grateful for Placide's incredibly loving and supportive host family and to everyone who is helping Placide with this new chapter in his life.
Monday, October 12, 2015
Anyone who has visited Espwa will probably remember our very enthused and skilled soccer players. Espwa's passion for the game can be clearly seen by the high frequency of games and practices. The most recent game was between staff and the agriculture department. This game ended with a tie of 2-2, which means a rematch has to be in the near future!
Thursday, October 8, 2015
Just like schools in the United States, Espwa's schools provide each student with "textbooks" on various subjects from math to history to grammar. Each student has their own books, but they often are passed down from student to student.
Check out Stanley's school books below! He is in 8th grade and has classes in geometry, algebra, biology, Spanish, English, geography, history, grammar, Creole. By having their own books, students are able to study for tests, review material, and complete homework after the school day is over.
Tuesday, October 6, 2015
This is John Pierre. He is one of the many children at Espwa with his own unique story. He is 12 years old and is able to see his family about once a month. Besides learning math in school, he likes when visitors come and sing with all the kids. One of his hobbies is landscaping and agriculture. When he grows up he wants to become an agronomist, and said beans are his favorite plant to grow. Below he is shown with some of his plants! To sponsor a child like John Pierre, visit Army of Angels.
Saturday, October 3, 2015
Ever had an itch you can't stop scratching? Imagine that feeling over your entire body and knowing that there are mites comfortably living and laying eggs under your skin. Sounds pretty gross, right? Like the rest of the world, Haiti is not immune to scabies. Furthermore, because all the children live together it is difficult to eradicate the disease from Espwa. However, that has not stopped staff from trying.
Ms. Guilloux is in charge of Espwa's new scabies program. Scabies has always been an issue and was tackled by various medical professionals who have visited Espwa. Based off their recommendations, we have undertaken our own scabies program. The first round of treatment began this past August and included over 50 kids. For a month they were given an oral medication once a day and topical treatments twice a day. They were also given a special body wash. We are happy to report this group is currently scabies free. Along with this success, Ms. Guilloux began treatment for a second group, which also included over 50 kids.
Ms. Guilloux said the hardest part is catching the disease in kids when they come back from vacation. This is especially difficult because scabies symptoms can lay dormant for up to two months, even though infected individuals are still contagious. While away from Espwa, children may be exposed to a variety of diseases, and housemothers and nurses must actively monitor the kids for various symptoms.
We are hopeful that someday we can say Espwa is scabies free. Thank you to all the medical professionals who have visited and helped us treat scabies and other illnesses!