|Claudy at the H.E.R.O. Education Program for Street Children|
It is 12:11 AM on Monday morning, the 22nd of November. Today is the day that H.E.R.O. will welcome our first two children - - Melissa and Wiseley - - into our Transition Home. I cannot tell a lie, the past 2 months have been filled with extremely hard work. Special thanks goes out to Michele Deardorff our Secretary, Dan Kasnick our Country Director, Brice our driver/Creole teacher/get it done/take care of business/all around great guy, Marlene our Director of Kids, Rea Dol the Director of SOPUDEP, Kathleen Chant our Garden Coordinator, and all the donors, contributors, and supporters of H.E.R.O. I realize that this is just the beginning, but it does start a new chapter in our H.E.R.O. life.
|Rea Dol, Director of SOPUDEP|
While I am supposed to be finishing up a paper right now due by midnight tonight, I am instead reflecting on the past 2 months in Haiti. We acquired the residence in PAP at a very reasonable rental rate, but there were many repairs to be made. It has taken us 2 solid months to repair the plumbing and electrical, install a gas stove, have bunk beds hand-made and delivered, purchase mattresses that we had to cut to 26 horizontal inches (who knew you could do this and they would still look good!), bring in sheets and clothes from the US, install chlorinators for our water, and repair almost every doorknob in the house (Thanks Dan!). Did I mention the generator we had to buy because city power “trickles” into our house!? This is the reality of Haiti, one where everything takes longer than expected, everyone is patient about the process, and eventually everything gets done. I didn’t move to Haiti expecting anything else, and I am thus truly pleased that it ONLY took us 2 months to get the Transition Home ready!
|Education is the Key to Success|
And I have to admit, while the paper sits in front of me half finished, it has proven to be helpful for our Education Program for Street Children. We are in the process of taking a loosely developed school program for street children and turning it into a center of academic excellence. Currently H.E.R.O. funds the teacher salaries (read: Dan and Michele pay $200 (total) every month to pay 5 teachers to work 5 days a week from 1:30 PM to 4:30 PM for an entire school year) - - if anyone wants to help fund the teacher salaries, let me know! Dan and Michele have enabled the 5 teachers to continue working with the 25 children that are currently enrolled, and the many more that are yet to come. Because of my assignment I was able to find reading and math assessments in Creole that we will be able to utilize to personalize the education for our students (some are 18 years old and doing schoolwork on a first grade level). We can make a difference! Additionally, we are beginning a sponsorship program for our street children that can be accessed beginning Tuesday at http://www.haitihero.org/. This will help us to provide daily meals for the children, buy uniforms and school supplies.
|Michele Teaching English in the Afternoons (After her other job!)|
OK! I need to wrap this up; I have 5 more pages to write! Thank you everyone for all that you have done! I will surely write more about our first day with Melissa and Wiseley, all of our lives are about to change! God Bless.
To learn more about H.E.R.O. In Haiti visit http://www.haitihero.org/