It is quite unusual in Haiti to find educated individuals that make the active choice to return to their hometown to start a residence for orphans instead of trying to climb the career ladder of “success”. Meet Cenat Esperandieu, a 34-year-old inspirational individual who has done just that.
Born in the mountains of the famous rice growing region of Artibonite, Cenat lived a 7 hour walk from the nearest town with electricity. After completing primary school, his family could not afford to send him to secondary school. If it wasn’t for his aunt, who paid for his secondary schooling, Cenat would not be where he is today. On January 12th, 2010 Cenat was studying business at a university in Port-au-Prince, when the earthquake struck. He was on the second floor of his building, which collapsed onto the first floor, killing many of his friends. Somehow, his life was spared. During this time of crisis Cenat was offered a scholarship to attend Sienna College in New York. It was here that he earned his degree in Business Management and started fundraising to build a residence for orphans in his hometown.
Today Cenat operates a residence for orphans in Petite Riviere de Artibonite, providing for 10 orphans from the region. Take a moment to read this article from the Times Union about how Cenat went from living in poverty to becoming a savior for the orphans of Haiti.
Steven M. Kirby, Ed.D