Communication with Haiti is fraught with difficulty. At last I was successful in making contact with my friend this week. (at 12 minutes past 12, on 12-12-12!) It was so good to hear his voice through the noise of children at recreation time. I am so filled with relief. We haven’t seen each other since last April. My friend Jean Ruben will now be able to pay for his school’s license and for a small Christmas bonus to each staff member.
Imagine working day and night for zero pay, supervising 10 teachers who often are not paid, with 250 students many of whose families cannot pay to feed them. Jean Ruben is talented, educated (though unemployed) and committed. He has a heart of gold. It is not about a building (which is made with tarps) but about the children. A few ‘classrooms’ even have chalk boards, benches and desks. Kids who have no opportunities at all will learn some basics: reading, writing, a bit of math. That’s a big jump from what their parents can offer them. In the past we brought some materials to share with the children and teachers: books, games, craft materials, soccer balls and frisbees. Jean Ruben held their first school party ever. Why is it so difficult to help them help themselves? So many road blocks.
I am relieved and happy, for now. I can breathe again.