I walk down the dusty gravel road, kids hold my hand like I’m an older brother, or a father or maybe a family friend. Yet, I’m just a stranger from another country. I see their smiles, I hear their laughter, I feel their pain. As I walk through JP-1, otherwise known as the largest tent city in Haiti with approximately 50,000 people, I can’t help but feel frustrated and angry, yet I’m still so hopeful and grateful.
This tension seems to linger constantly. Pain, hope, suffering, light…
These people have suffered, yet they still continue to live, work, attend church, smile and fight for daily survival. I ask myself, “What can I do?” H.E.L.P. is still a small organization. We’ve tackled some big projects and I don’t know how much more we can handle. I feel tense, like I’ve let down Pastor St. Cyr. Just after the earthquake, he planted a church right in the middle of this tent-city, and now, close to 1000 people come to his make-shift church under a large tent. Light shines in the darkness, and hope is on the horizon.
Soon, because of the help from our partners at Soma Austin, we will be launching a work-program where adults can learn marketable skills and, in turn, support their families. We are grateful for them as this is deeply needed.
When I asked Pastor St. Cyr in November to share his dream with me, he told me that he wanted to start a school so that kids living in the tent city could still pursue a good education. The children there have various backgrounds. Some have families, others are orphans because of losses they suffered in the earthquake, and still others are street kids who were abandoned by their families. We can’t get them all their own homes, we can’t figure everything out, but we can offer them support and help in such a time as this.
Now for the good news: Pastor St. Cyr did start that school. Currently, 110 kids attend school daily. This offers a glimpse of hope and some possibilities of normalcy returning. Yes, these kids go back home to a tent, if they’re lucky. But a good education is a starting place, a foundation for them and their future, and the future of their country!
Pastor St. Cyr asked if we could help him raise $3300 for each of these 110 kids to have school uniforms. So, I’m asking you, the HELP tribe, to help us provide uniforms for these kids as we partner with Pastor St Cyr.
It takes $30 to provide three uniforms for each child. Click here to donate towards these school uniforms.
Please help us spread the word and let’s knock this out and get these kids some uniforms!
Pastor St Cyr