Stay informed, stay involved: here's one way of keeping up with what's happening in southern Haiti. Please consider supporting our mission to save orphans and vulnerable children from desperate poverty; contributions can be sent to our partners at Free the Kids - www.freethekids.org. Thank you for your help.
It is often said that to know another language is to hold the key to wisdom and the world.
Students in the Secondary school at Pwoje Espwa have the opportunity to expand their minds and future job opportunities through language classes. Our curriculum offers instruction in four different languages: Spanish, English, French and Haitian Creole.
To offer more opportunities of learning a language in our after-school program, staff members who specialize in certain language offer tutoring and extra classes in English.
Expanding language develops stronger minds.
Compared to other Latin American and Caribbean developing countries, Haiti has a very low literacy rate. About 61% of Haiti’s population is literate, compared to the 92% average for Latin American and Caribbean countries (CIA Factbook 2015)
Formally learning a language in school is critical for cognitive development in children. It is shown that people who speak more than one language have improved memory, problem-solving and critical-thinking skills, enhanced concentration, ability to multitask and better listening skills. Not only is learning languages opening cross-cultural communication for students, but it develops stronger minds!
By teaching students multiple languages, we encourage critical thinking and developmental growth, and hope to give them the key to active, valuable participation in the wider job market.
YOUR SUPPORT IS NEEDED TO CONTINUE OUR EDUCATION AND AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAMS!
Education will be the key to these children’s success.
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
-The Lorax (Dr. Seuss)
In preparation for May 1st, Labor and Agriculture Day, the kids began planting trees – “pyebwa” in Haitian Creole – around campus last Friday!
Throughout the month of April, the kids at Pwoje Espwa will be learning to care for the environment and the importance of agriculture through various other activities across campus. Community school children are invited to participate so all can learn about the significance and broader influence of caring “a whole awful lot”!
Assisting with these activities alongside other PES staff members is Romain Fanfan (pictured wearing a hat). Romain started working for Espwa prior to Hurricane Matthew in 2016 and has been an instrumental hand in the replanting of trees and other plants throughout campus over the last 2 years.
Romain lives in the local community and is a strong advocate for families in desperate need. When he is not working at Pwoje Espwa, he helps a local community church maintain an after-school program for community children that assists them with their education. Pwoje Espwa supports this mission with food so that students who attend other schools without a lunch program will have at least one hot meal that day.
In a country that has suffered from mass deforestation and whose economy is carried predominantly by farmers, teaching children about the benefits of planting even a single tree is a lesson that will influences future generations and the healthy future of the earth.
Walking through the community surrounding Pwoje Espwa in the
weeks following Hurricane Matthew, you could see makeshift shelters of tin,
tarp, and scraps standing next to collapsed homes. You could find Bernard
Olivier and his wife, Lolia, sweeping the ground in front of their own shelter.
Their children, Bertholet (age 7) and Lonia (age 5) ran around them barefoot.
Hurricane Matthew destroyed the Olivier home and blew away
their farm, goats, and chickens. Seeking shelter in the following days, the
family stayed in any safe place they could find until they were able to scrap
enough tin together to construct a semblance of a home on their property. With most
of their possessions destroyed along with their livelihood, the Olivier family was
living day to day.
As the new school year approached the following year, Bernard
and Lolia were discouraged about their ability to enroll their children,
Bertholet and Lonia. Hurricane Matthew had destroyed their birth certificates, nor
did they have the money to cover the high costs of tuition and school supplies.
Espwa reached out.
Espwa supported the Olivier family with food distributions
while they recovered their farm. Bertholet and Lonia were provided clothing and
were enrolled in school at PES with a scholarship so their days could be filled
with learning and growth.
Two years later as you walk through the community, you can
find Lolia and Bernard tending to their small farm outside of their new home, which
they welcome you into with big smiles and open arms. Two years later, the family
has been able to recover and stay together,
with YOUR assistance.
This is what Family Preservation is all about.
You can make Lent a time for faith, hope and love for families like the Olivier family.