To most of the world, January 1st marks the beginning of a New Year. In Haiti, it is an anniversary, marking and remembering Independence Day, Jan. 1, 1804.
The struggle for independence was long and bloody. But to anyone who knows and loves the country and it's people, giving up was never an option. This century we have been engaged in a battle with an enemy that constantly changes, targeting those who have no weapons with which to do battle. The enemy is absolute poverty. In the last 3 months of 2016 Haiti 'weathered' Hurricane Matthew in the south and disastrous floods in the north.
Like the mythical Phoenix, she is again renewing and growing. The small middle class and the prosperous 1% upper class have the means to come through these challenges in relative comfort. But for the poor, there is no comfort, physical or mental.
Starthrower Foundation exists in Haiti to provide educational opportunities for teens and young adults whose parents have died.
As part of the contract we offer young people who are admitted to our program we ask permission to make a home visit. If we remained in our drop in centers providing food, text books and tutoring, we would be missing the point. We are in this together. They suffer more than malnutrition and with out the visits, we would miss what is really important -- how we can go the extra mile.
After first term exams we visited the first 12 new admissions in Cap-Haitien and this week we made the first 23 visits in Sen Rafayel. Every visit is special because we come away with new information. AS every visit has significance here are the first 3 on the first day and one from next morning which will resonate with me for a long time.