Saturday, September 19, 2009

Haiti School of Nursing, France Pictures, Trip Colorado & Cap-Haitien, No Internet Lakay

Bonjou tout moun! Hello Everyone!

And welcome back from France, Sister Rosemary and Rosenie! This photo of them was taken at the base of the Eiffel Tower.

And Great News! Last night Auguste, Starthrower's director of education at Lakay Fondasyon, in Cap-Haitien, emailed with wonderful news!

Brunie, Gaby, Wisly and Alland, the four new grads that Starthrower had sent to register and write entrance exams for a Leogane, Haiti, nursing schooll were ALL bon (accepted)! Congratulations, to you all!!

How I wish I could have been at the kay for the cheers that must have resounded! All of us can be very proud of them.

This relatively-new School of Nursing, begun by Haitian-American Hilda Alcindor, has a demanding curriculum, and as we have been disappointed before, we didn't have high hopes for their success.

However, now that all four students have been accepted (you know what is coming!), we now need to find the money to pay for their tuition! I spoke with Auguste briefly this afternoon about the fees for the nursing school.

The total annual cost for each nursing student in residence is $2,000 USD. Comparatively speaking, this is such a small amount needed to do so much good!

Add that to the money needed for our other students in post-secondary: Vincent is still waiting to find out if he will be able to enter third year of the agriculture degree program; Plenitude was accepted at the private university in Port-au-Prince for a degree in electronics, and Casimyr and Osman were accepted at Teacher's College.

These young people are breaking all stereotypes, beating all odds (see Haiti exam results). I often refer to these students as "our kids'. Not mine, but ours. That is because they are children of the universe -- yours and mine. If we don't support them, who will?

There are many wonderful people who contact us, and offer support in whatever way they are able. They are the foundation of our Starthrower community. Blessings to all of you!

UN May 2002
Here's part of a May 2002 presentation to UN General Assembly Special Session on Children by Children's Forum members Gabriela Azurduy Arrieta, then 13, from Bolivia, and Audrey Cheynut, then 17, from Monaco. I re-read it often.

The statement opened as follows:
"We are the World's Children; We are the victims of exploitation and abuse. We are street children; we are the Children of War; We are the victims and orphans of HIV/AIDS. We're denied good quality education and health care. We are the victims of political, economic, cultural, religious and environmental discrimination."

And closed as follows:
"We are not the sources of problems, we are the resources that are needed to solve them. We are not expenses, we are investments. We are not just young people, we are people and citizens of the world. You call us the Future, but we are also the Present."
And even today, in the Toronto Star, Faith reporter Leslie Scrivener wrote a feature on the value in educating girls in developing countries. But in our opinion, all young people deserve an education. See full article here.

Trip to France ~ More Pictures

Here are more pictures that Sister Rosemary took of Rosenie and Nadeg when she accompanied these young Cap-Haitien Haiti students on the trip to the conference in France.

It's still hard to believe that one of our kids from the poorest of Haiti had the opportunity to travel to France!

Thank you, Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto!

And in this photo from a ceremony at the start of the conference, Rosenie and Nadege are adding soil from Haiti to the pot.

When soil from every participating country had been added, all soils were mixed together, and seeds were planted.

By closing day of the two week long peace conference, new plants had sprouted.

What a beautiful lesson: One family, one earth. We all have the same basic needs and same basic mandate.

Boulder Colorado Trip
I returned safely from Boulder, Colorado on Sunday night, after a whirlwind weekend of new faces and experiences at the UN committee fund raiser to support our Potable Water Distribution Program in Haiiti.

Many thanks to Jan and Tom, Ann and Oliver who went out of their way to make certain I arrived and departed all activities on time. (Jan, thanks also for a lovely evening with the board!).

To Nancy and the UNA committee: Thank you again for selecting Starthrower Foundation for this program, and for following through with a beautifully orchestrated event.

Our condolences go out to Starthrower Jackie on the death of her mother, Eleanor. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Trip to Haiti End of September
I am making a trip to Cap-Haitien prior to my next surgery, scheduled for October 20. I will leave Toronto on Monday, September 28 and return on Monday, October 5. And yes, I realize that this is almost the exact date that I was airlifted out of Haiti last fall.

Starthrower's friend, and mine, Mme Marjorie, a retired nurse, will travel with me to Cap-Haitien and stay at the house. I know it's a short visit, but this is better than no visit at all. I really want to see staff and students and reassure them that I am very much with them.

Internet Cap-Haitien Down
We've lost internet contact at Lakay in Cap-Haitien. Auguste says that the 'NetGear' component (router) of our internet set up is kase (broken). Hopefully we can get the internet back up and running while I'm there. It appears that it will need services of a technician or a replacement. We really miss it as cell phone international calls are a lot more expensive.

Congratulations once more to all to our students in Haiti who worked so hard to pass their exams, both high school and entrance to post secondary.

To alll Starthrowers, please keep these young people in your thoughts and prayers and pass along their desire to attend post secondary programs to anyone who might be able to help. A little goes a long way ... a lot of 'littles' go even further!

Beni w


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