Sunday, November 9, 2008

Visit to RoseEvelyn

This beautiful little girl was under my care the minute I stepped off the place back in August 2007. She had just come to HCH and had to be brought down to Pat in Port as she was doing poorly. It didn't take long for her to get back on her feet and be a happy little girl!

While I was gone after I cut my thumb, her dad(who was not really in the picture) decided that he would not agree to have his daughter signed over to an orphange. So, in Ferbruary she went home with her dad as her mom was very ill at the time. Recently we discovered that her dad ran off to the DR and left RoseEvelyn with her mother and 3 other children to care for on her own.

While we were there, RoseEvelyn's mom told me that Rose always calls me her "Maren" which is Creole for godmother. She then asked if I would like to be Rose's Maren. In Haiti, this is a significant thing, and so I was happy to be asked. Rose's mom also shared with me that she was having a hard time financially supporting all her kids, especially in regards to school. She had sent her 3 oldest to school, but two were sent home after a couple weeks as she could only afford to pay for one to stay in school. So, at this time only the oldest boy is in school. In Haiti, everyone has to pay to go to school, and when kids are younger it costs $100-$200 in addition to uniforms and meals. This is a big deal for the majority of Haitian families, when you think that the average annual income is $350USD. Some families are able to find extra funds to cover these costs, but there are still hundreds of children unable to go to school. There are a small number of schools that are supported by churches or other organizations where children can attend school free of charge, but they are few and far between, and the criteria for being admitted to these schools is necessarily rigorous. In Haiti, children start school when they are well able to sing and talk...which for most kids is about 3 years old. They are required to have three years of kindergarten and be able to read before they can graduate from kindergarten and start grade one. Some children in the free church school here are 12 and 14 years old and just starting school! Such a late though welcome opportunity!
Anyway, I've been thinking a lot since our visit with RoseEvelyn. About how difficult it is to access so many things here, and how easy it is for us at home in North America. I sometimes feel so overwhelmed on the behalf of the people here, especially when I really stop to think about how much they struggle for just the simple things of life.
I am blessed.
The children in this home are blessed.
And I hope that during my time here I can in turn be a blessing to the people of this country with my time, my heart, my funds, and my Jesus.