Friday, February 6, 2015

Our staff - it's about Service

While leaving Haiti is necessary from the perspective of fundraising, medical and dental support and touching base with the amazing volunteers who keep everything going while I am here, bottom line - the most wrenching aspect of this journey is not the poverty, the dangers, the frustrations - it is the leaving.
But I leave everything in good hands. To whom do those good hands belong? Here is a celebration of and perhaps introduction to our Haitian staff. With the exception of Mme Joceline, they all come from the ranks of our students, graduates who have chosen to stay and pass on what they have learned.

Auguste is the person in charge of everything, the director of all programming. He looks after staff, supplies, deliveries, purchases, program content and delivery - you name it, he is in charge of it. Auguste had struggled since age 11 to put himself through high school (see web comic by Daniel Lafrance) when he arrived on our doorstep in the summer of 2005 seeking support to finish the final year of high school, and began as part time yard help. His many skills unfolded and he moved into the office within 3 months. He is now called the Director or Direk in Kreyol.
Sept 2005 - student and part time staff Auguste
gives computer lessons to Jhennie and Dieugrand.
Jan. 2015 - Director (Direk) Auguste explains student
contract to new admission Wanchine.
Everyone reports directly to Auguste, but part time student staff report to branch coordinators. Our Cap Haitian branch is managed by Lusnot, who came to us as a student in Gr. 9 along with brother Gaby.
Jan. 2006  Gr. 9 student Lusnot
reads in the library
Jan. 2015 - Cap-Haitien coordinator Lusnot
gives homework help to Building Engineer student Rosema.
Sen Rafayel coordinator Edeline had dreams of becoming a medical technician. Her parents were dead, she had no siblings but had an aunt in Cap who offered her floor space to sleep while she went to school. The year Edeline completed high school, her aunt contracted Cholera and died, along with Edeline's dreams of post secondary education.
2006 - orphaned high school student Edeline (Sen Rafayel)
Jan 2015 - (standing)  preparing and distributing kasav to students at
Lakay Jasmine in Sen Rafayel.
Operating 2 drop in centers means that security is a major job. Dieugrand has been our coordinator of security for both locations since finishing high school 2 years ago. Dieugrand was one of the first students I met in 1998 (he was in Primary then) and has been with the foundation ever since. Looking after security means he travels up Granjil mountain every week in an open tap tap. He works 2 nights and one day in the office while there. The other day is spent at the Cap Haitian office, working the grounds and office, as needed.
Dieugrand working in Cap, interviewing prospective
admission. Jan 2015
Jan 2015 Dieugrand cleaning out the garbage pit.
Mme Joceline came to us via our friend Sister Rosemary, who was operating a nutrition program for malnourished infants. Joceline was a widow with 7 children. She had never been to school, never worked. She began doing laundry for us in 2004. Our cook, Mme Carmene taught her a great deal and when she left after the death of her second son (Frandzy) Joceline took over.
Jan 2006 Joceline with our first cook Carmene
Jan 2015 Joceline now cooks and cleans
and keeps everyone in line, even the dogs.

Saint-Luc and Adelaine round out the full time staff in Sen Rafayel. Saint-Luc works security with Dieugrand and Adelaine does everything in the office with Edeline.
Adelaine and Edeline sort and prepare backpacks
for distribution - by school and grade.
Saint-Luc also helps students over their fear of dogs.
He sat with our beloved Tigger when he was dying.

Saint-Luc and Adelaine sort text books for distribution.
Sometime job descriptions have blurry lines. If one is available....
Part time student staff are necessary to keep both centers active 7 days a week. In Cap-Haitien, Rosema works weekend doing everything to keep the yard and the dogs in shape. He would make a great vet, although his heart is set on a career in the construction industry.

Because the Sen Rafayel center has no courtyard, we have student dog walkers who give us a half hour a day to exercise TiKe and Granjil.

Saint-Luc walks with the dogwalkers

Junior and Isaac - dog walkers extrordinaire
Angelene and Sabine work weekends and Furmancia steps in if someone is sick or writing exams. So I leave knowing everything is in experienced, caring hands.

 Sen Rafayel Staff - Jan.2015

Cap-Haitien Staff - Feb 2015

And this week the number of those caring hands grew again as we added a registered nurse to run our clinic in Sen Rafayel. Gaby D. who arrived on our doorstep from Sen Rafayel along with his brother Lusnot (Cap-Haitien coordinator) in late 2005. In 2009 Gaby entered the university in Leogane registered in the 5 year nursing program. He excelled and was first in his class every year. In late December he wrote State licensing exams (along with Brunie, Wisly and Alland) and will have results in March. We are so fortunate that he is going to spearhead our clinic. He began work Wednesday, preparing a dossier sheet and setting up a file system. Tomorrow as I fly out, he heads to Sen Rafayel with Auguste to do an inventory of supplies on hand/needed.

Gaby in scrubs - year 4
Gaby this week - Welcome back!

So you see the blessings -- talk to you from Canada.


Related Posts with Thumbnails