Update from the director of Matthew 28 Project in Haiti supported by Presbytery of Coastal Carolina’s 2-Cents-A-Meal contributions. June 2016
Dear Friends of Matthew 28,
End of School Year Celebration
Friday was an exciting day. The children of Matthew 28 had long waited for it. Early in the morning they geared up for a day filled with games, a soccer tournament, and academics competition. There were two huge trophies waiting for the winners of the soccer tournament. Prizes for the other categories were waiting as well, all to celebrate the last day of school. For lunch there was a special meal complete with Coca-Cola’s and cookies. All of this nicely organized by the staff of the school under the leadership of the principal Mr. Chesnel.
The children had a great time and were proud of the trophies but I am even more excited about yet another victory. And what a victory this is! A few days ago I asked LaLa, our school director, to summarize the achievements for the first year of school and her answer was: “OUR KIDS ARE READING!!!!”.
Matthew 28 School News
What an enormous step forward. In October last year we started school with only the oldest kids able to read somewhat. The majority of them had no reading abilities and certainly not enough to follow the schoolbooks. Now nine months later the world is standing open for them. They can read the almost 400 Creole books we have in the library, they can follow all the curriculum books in the classes and although they might not realize the most important step towards their education has been set.
This is the first chapter of a dream we have for our children and for Haiti. Of course besides the reading the kids have been learning all kinds of subjects. Math, Science, Writing, Singing, Music, Bible study, Art , Geometry, History, Geography and if you will Home Economics where they learn how to plant a garden, bake bread, cook rice and all kinds of things that will help them in real life. Our new school has quickly earned a reputation in the community from seeing the students walk in a group to the new school campus every day and I’m sure that come August they will be lining up to get their toddlers registered for the first pre-K class.
There will be careful screening to select the children that we want to accept, those with abilities but who lack a chance to ever go to a good school. The children will be tested and home visits will be made to determine whether the parents are really interested in good education or are just looking for a cheap opportunity. We have made the decision to start off with a three year preschool program at first. We know our teachers rock at that!.
We will decide in two years whether to take the next step and only once we know everybody is prepared. To improve the teacher’s level we will, simultaneously with the school, operate a teaching school, during the morning. Interested persons from the community can apply for the teaching school as well. Of course all of this after they have been thoroughly tested.
At the home front we have a great group of people who are supporting the education effort. This includes people that teach education at college level, as well as two new board members for education, Lala and Andrea.
I cannot begin to tell you how proud I am of these people and to be part of an effort of making education in the Bohoc area really great. I want to take this chance to thank everyone who is involved in the school for all their support.
Matthew 28 Orphanage Update
At the orphanage, things are progressing real well.We have hired an additional person, Ms. Elienne, to oversee the spiritual upbringing of the children. In the last few months several projects have been accomplished such as the
- rebuilding of the chapel,
- construction of the playground,
- and the new building that contains a water filtration system which was a donation of Firefly missions.
Work has also started the improve the enclosure of the courtyard. We have also made some changes in the staff in order to improve the care of the children. We are holding regular education classes for the employees, aimed at giving them more abilities to deal with various situations. Liline has been stretched thin but has done a good job holding it all together.
Matthew 28 Feeding Centers
Besides the orphanage she is also responsible for the feeding centers.
- Until this month we had 14 centers but the Matthew 28 board has given approval
- to increase his number to 19
- provided we find the funding.
Severe Hunger Crisis in Haiti
You need to be aware that Haiti is facing the most severe food uncertainty in three decades.
This is the result of severe drought followed by severe rains.
- The United Nations have issued a warning about the severity of malnutrition in certain areas and Bohoc is right in the middle of them.
- In the month of May we have paid evaluation visits to several areas where the situation is dire.
- In one of these villages the leaders told me that on average they have three meals a week.
- Potable water is only available an hour and a half walk away crossing over a mountaintop. Can you imagine having to walk three hours for the 5 gallon bucket of water that will need to serve your entire family?
The situation in Haiti is certainly not getting any better at least not in the unserved area north of us. Thank God we receive additional food donations from two organizations called ” Feed My Starving Children” and” Love a Child”.
Check-Ups for the Children
Thanks to several doctors like Dr. Joe, Dr. Rodney and Dr. Scott, and other medical professionals we have been able to give the children in the feeding centers and our orphans, regular checkups. You will understand how important it is to address diseases before they become a problem.
Mission Partners & Visitors
Thanks to the willingness of almost 50 individuals who come to Haiti with me on a regular basis Matthew 28 continues to become a better place. All of them bring unspeakable joy to the children and adults alike, and help us with the skills such as pastoring, teaching, construction and healthcare to name a few. Know that they look forward to seeing you again. You are part of their family; you are their aunts and uncles.
Thank you to our Supporters
Those of you who support us financially and/or in prayer we owe a lot of thanks to you as well. All of us together form the body of Christ operating to show His love to the least of His children and without you we would fail.
Although the summer seems to be time that things slow down and I’m sure your busy with many of your family activities, this is also the time that we need your support the most.
- Please think of giving so that we can continue this task that God has entrusted to us.
- Praise to God for His many blessings.
In His Service,
Learn more about 2-Cents-Meal at presbycc.org/2014/hungerinfo/
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