Education prevents blisters on your hands!
The photo at left was taken in early 2003 just after the orphanage/ school opened with 46 children. Today, 36 youngsters live there. Is this good news or bad? Mostly good. In the past women had many more children . A mother’s death often meant too great a burden for relatives or community to carry. There is real improvement. A guess might be that families are 30% smaller than 20 years ago in Grison-Garde. Education, education, education.
The directors have also come to realize that graduating from the orphanage to live in the community creates a continued burden of financial support for meals and education. The orphanage is the “family” for these orphaned children. Life is indeed often very difficult in Haiti; because that is expected, there may be less compassion for the plight of abandonment. As they say, it is “pa senp” (not simple, complicated).
Institute Maranatha is a high-quality school and by far the largest in the entire area (1,250 students). The need for education at a primary and — even more so — a secondary level, is seen as the greatest good for the community. It seems that will be the direction in the future and rightly so.
The Future Is Female
Slightly more than half of our students at all levels are girls. Thanks to the distribution of feminine hygiene kits, they are now able to attend school full time, just like the guys. About time! We can give away all the kits that we can ship or carry. You can direct a donation for that project to us, just as you can for the midwife (matrone) project.
Dr. Eugene’s New Hope hospital is now delivering infants regularly. In a land where maternal/infant mortality remains abysmal, this is a real blessing. See past newsletters for more details and photos of New Hope.
A reminder: the Robert Ford Haitian Foundation owns nothing in Haiti. Our funds over all these years have been managed by the directors of Institute Maranatha. Although we are obliged to monitor progress and expenses closely (and we do), we are dedicated to the idea that they have complete ownership and responsibility for all aspects of their project. As always, we thank you for your contributions to their efforts to improve their community.
Here are some additional projects we would like to fund (with your help!):
- Build a school at Maroquee
- Build a library and media room at Institute Maranatha
- Provide additional hygiene kits for girls
- Expand our midwife program
For more updates from the Ford Foundation, including pictures from our visits to Haiti, be sure to like us on Facebook.