I thought it would be simple to summarize the past 8 years of HH4HC. Just picking out a few pictures to share was a monumental challenge. We have grown not only in the number of supported children (from 7 to 117), we have also added opportunities that enrich our sponsored children. Many of the firm rules that I set in the beginning have been broken due to the growth we have experienced. For example we originally said we would not invest in cement and mortar structures, but last year we rented 2 rooms -one to store the 100 cases of Vita-mamba that we now order and one as an office to keep records in and hold meetings. The Vita-mamba is a protein and vitamin supplement that keeps our children healthy along with the meal that we provide after school. After a couple of years of paying for public transportation for Serge and Rolin, we raised funds to buy each of them a motorcycle to get around the mountainous town. The growth we have experienced has forced us to invest in ways we had not originally anticipated.
In 2014 when we realized that the parents of a majority of our children are illiterate and could not oversee the homework given to their children. To better support our focus on education we instituted a tutoring program. We have found that this raises the grade point average of the children almost 20%. Last year we put Zacarie in charge of the tutoring for the older students and Migo in charge of the tutoring for the younger students. Migo is also in charge of the preschool program that we added a couple of years ago with the generous support of one of our sponsors. We also added 3 tutors working under them. We also now have several English classes for the older children. Speaking English will improve their ability to obtain jobs when they graduate. We have 2 tutors for that program. Overall the tutoring and English programs have been a resounding success.
HH4HC’s staff in Haiti are the heartbeat of our organization. Our nurse, Joane, has blessed the program tremendously. Her work with the children to insure they are healthy and not suffering from any ailments has further enhanced their ability to succeed. Home visits are made by the staff and Nurse Joane. She accompanies them on doctor and dentist visits. Medical costs are covered by the program and our children stay very healthy. Part of that may be due to the meals we provide for the children between school and tutoring. But the cornerstones of the Haitian staff are Serge and Rolin who continue to do a fantastic job with our sponsored children and with their families. Our organization is blessed to have such dedicated and talented staff.
In the fall of 2016 Jeremie was the epicenter of a hurricane that wiped out a large number of homes. We raised money to rebuild 14 homes and make repairs on another 40. Our staff spent days locating the families whose homes were completely destroyed as the families found shelter all over the town. We provided water filtration devices and extra funds to buy food for the first year after the hurricane.
Our focus remains with keeping children within their family structure, keeping them healthy, and making sure they receive an excellent education at some of the best schools in Jeremie. We give each family unit a monthly stipend to help relieve the economic pressure on the families. God has blessed the program tremendously and we marvel at how each need we encounter is met. Even with all the growth and additional expenses more than 85% of all donations continues to support the children and their families directly!!
The Haitian people are wonderfully resilient and God has blessed all of us who work with the program incredibly .It continues to be a real joy to work with the Haitian people and to benefit from their friendship. We look forward to seeing how God will grown the program in the next eight years.
Click here to see a collage of our 8 years in mission!
Eight years of progress