"You cannot eat okra with one finger." A proverb meaning (obviously) we must cooperate and work together to get things done. We have been home a few weeks after one of our tri-monthly medical team visits to the Grison-Garde area (www.thehaitimission.org). As usual “it’s always the same, there’s something different” on every visit to that amazing country.
The miserable inflation rate of now nearly 50% continues, but rural Haiti goes on; a land of families and relationships that allows them to meet the next day just as they always have done.
As you may know, our Foundation has provided funds donated for more than 40 water wells in the surrounding countryside. There is a great deal more to this than mere convenience. The rate of infantile diarrhea and its potentially devastating results has plummeted so greatly that we often see no child so affected in an entire week while caring for thousands. One small country church in Virginia has paid for 3 wells this year alone (that's $2,500 per well)!
This impoverished area has a very high rate of immunization provided by WHO and
USAID (through the Haitian Health Dept.), which has virtually eliminated childhood meningitis of all types, measles, polio and pneumococcal disease. A blessing indeed.
Institute Maranatha, through this (your) Foundation, now provides free education to:
- 585 primary students ages 4 to 12
- 500 secondary students ages 13 to adults
- 65 vocational students
- 357 primary students at Maroquee school
- 80 primary students at nearby Beau Joint School
A significant problem area for the project, however, has been finding a way to support orphans who have been living at Maranatha since childhood, yet have now reached young adulthood. Since they often have no other family, a place to live in the community must be found as they complete their education. This was an issue not addressed when the orphanage was founded in 2002. All of us involved are working for a solution. Since only optimists are allowed to work with this foundation, we are certain that a good solution will arrive somehow.
This photo of students at our Maroquee community school (not created by the Institute Maranatha founders, but maintained by our Foundation) illustrates something truly remarkable and quite moving. In this land of governmental corruption, peace reigns in the countryside. The children buzz around as healthy children do, but school is taken seriously.
One wears her/his uniform, and had better toe the line for there is no other place to go. And do they ever sing their welcome songs to us! Come join us, folks!