Breaking the Cycle

It's 9:45 am and we just finished hosting a beautiful spaghetti breakfast for our employees and their children.  This little event brought on that overwhelming feeling of thankfulness once again. We had 31 employee's children attend our breakfast. Of the employees that live in surrounding villages, only two children were missing from the breakfast. But they are also enrolled in school. There are another 8 employee children that live in Cap Haitian so bringing them out to the land, (a 30-45 minute drive) on a school morning, was not feasible. So in total that's 41 children that are enrolled in school, or should I say, that's 41 children you helped enroll in school by supporting an organization that invests in parents. How cool is that? This is why we are overwhelmed with thankfulness, because kids in school is pure amazing.

There are two priorities in Haiti. Feeding your family and doing your very best to put your children in school. But life in Haiti is expensive and even when parents are fortunate enough to have salaried employment, minimum wage is $6.25 per day. (Note- we do not believe in paying "just minimum wage"). Sadly, the people who earn that much in a day are considered to be the "lucky ones." Life is expensive and opportunities are limited. It's tough to be a parent in Haiti.  

When Amy and I started this ministry we knew our first priority needed to be on our employees after which we would focus on the moms and children that would come through our facility because of malnutrition. We didn't want to be an organization focused on quantity. Sure if we wanted we could have tried to raise money for all the kids in the surrounding villages to go to school. But I guarantee we wouldn't have been able to pay for everything. We might have been able to give $25 towards each child's school tuition (if we are attempting to pay for over 400 kids to attend school). But that wouldn't have been very sustainable. Those children would have had to drop out anyways because of the lack of funds for school. Or maybe we would have been able to pay for tuition but not uniforms or books. The child may then go half the year without a book which puts kids at a very low percentage for passing their end of the year exit exam. Not to mention, if a child doesn't have an uniform or if their uniform is dirty/ripped they are sent home. Even if we were able to put that kind of money toward a school tuition program, we wouldn't be able to invest in our moms efficiently and effectively. So we didn't do that, we didn't attempt to raise funds for the all the kids in the surrounding villages. 

Instead, by focusing on parents who are in turn focused on their children, there are 41 kids that we know have their tuition paid, their uniforms made, and their books purchased. And don't forget the backpacks (arguably the most important back-to-school accessory for kiddos irrespective of country)! In a sense we are able to "keep an eye on" these kids, doing everything possible to keep them in school, by standing behind their parents. We can make sure they have no sicknesses and illnesses preventing them from attending school., by giving their parents a medical stipend. We may even be able to give these kids a chance to have breakfast at the land a couple times a month (today was just that fun). Or maybe, we will  open our facility for these kids to come do their homework since their parents work day doesn't end 'til 4 in the afternoon and school ends much earlier. My personal dream is that we could even offer tutoring sessions in the future. Like I said, we love these parents so this is 41 kids we are going to make sure succeed in their school related aspirations.  

We will be keeping these 41 kids in our prayers. We are praying for them to finish school and have limitless opportunities. We are praying for these future "men and women" to be able to financially support their future families. We are praying for these kids to experience hope and to break the cycle.

Thank you for allowing us to do so.

all photos were taken by our dear friend, Elektra Carras
who sacrificed her morning to join us with her snazzy camera and her beautiful heart for young people.