The Haitians have an expression which carries many levels of meaning:
"Woch nan dlo pa konnen doulé woch nan soléy"
(The rock in the water doesn't know the pain of the rock in the sun)
I hear from so many people who are 'rocks in the water (those who have water for every need) who believe charity is the only solution for the 'rocks in the sun' (the poor of the world). Starthrower Foundation believes in social justice, not charity. My message on the home page and our Mission Statement explain this philosophy in more detail.
We have now taken on 6 more students from Sen Rafayel who had been on our wait list and who have been directly affected by recent flood damage. There was enough money to back pay entrance fees (frais) and fees for their 1st trimest. Hopefully, more funds will come in by February, so we can pay tuition, etc. for the balance of the year.
1) Illiomene J'F (b.18.05.85; photo) :: Both her parents died when she was young, and an uncle who had taken her in died 6 yrs ago. She's been staying with a family in Sen Rafayel who have now lost everything in the flood that occurred the week before Christmas.
2) Philomise D. (b.30.05.85) :: Her mother is dead and the flood took away her father's garden (jaden) and pig (cochon).
3)Shounoune J. (b.15.02.90) :: Father is dead, and since the flood when mother's small wooden house (bwa kay) was destroyed, they have been sleeping in a ditch beside the ruins.
4) Raphael M. (b.24.10.89) :: Both his mother and father are dead, and he's been staying with an aunt who has now lost all her chickens goats in the flood.
5) Berline P. (b.27.03.90) :: Both her mother and father are dead. Her brother has been trying to send her to school, but now has lost all his garden.
6) Ganel D. (b.26.10.89) :: Both parents are alive but ill, and their garden and chickens are now all lost.
So many more people suffered serious losses in this recent flood, which apparently didn't rate a mention in the national press, or due to holiday schedules, went unreported. Please help us help them.
Modeline J. needs a tumor removed. I had returned earlier than planned to try to arrange the surgery. She will have the surgery in Milot but is not yet strong enough, so we are prepping her with protein powder donated by Mme Lucie, and Vitamin C donated by Mme Cindy, and multivitamins donated by Mme Jan. That these donations that are vital for the life of one young Haitian came from donors in North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Colorado shows what we can accomplish when we work together. Thank you, all! We are setting up infirmary rooms for Modeline's post-op in our 2 attached outbuildings. Anyone who has seen our video has seen where Modeline lives. She would die of post-op infection if she had to do her post-op there.
Dieugrand came in this morning (Sunday ) after church. He is absolutely devastated because someone stole his bike while he was at church. He worked so hard to save the money to buy it.
On a lighter note, Abel, Jacques and I travelled to Labadee on January 2, where we met with Mme. Cindy and her family. They had brought us 7 backpacks loaded with donations including the much needed Vitamin C. Cindy also brought pictures of her and Paula and their families and friends, showing them all packing Christmas boxes for our students. Those pictures are now displayed on the door to our office, so now everyone here can 'put faces to some of the names' of those who have been working so hard to help them.
We need to make preparations for our 2 young men who will finish Philo this year and want to study medicine in Cuba. If anyone can research the teaching hospital in Havana, Cuba, and send the contact name and email address, I would appreciate it.
I am told a lap top with wireless capability will allow me to send photos from a digital camera and will not require an account with internet supplier. I can use 2 locations here that have wireless coverage for patrons, so we just need the lap top. I will price them when I go to Ft. Lauderdale in February. We have so many wonderful photos saved on our new camera that I would love to send you all.
I leave you with another Haitian expression ::
Ti Poule pa mande plim li mande lavi.
(The little chick doesn't ask for fancy feathers; He just asks for life)
New Years blessings!