Woldison John and his twin brother were just babies when their mother died from malaria. Devastated and unable to support his family alone, their father attempted to illegally immigrate to the Bahamas. He had hoped to find stable employment, but instead he met with misfortune. The overcrowded boat sank in the middle of the voyage, and Woldison’s father drowned. Orphaned by the time they were a year old, Woldison and his brother were taken in by their extended family. They joined the nine other family members already living in a tiny, two-room shack made of mud bricks and topped with a tin roof. Rain and rodents entered the small structure at will, while the adults took turns sleeping outside on the porch because there was simply not enough room inside for all of the bodies. It was difficult enough finding money for food and clean drinking water, there was certainly not enough to afford school tuition, books, and uniforms. Everyone had to do their part for the family to survive. Woldison helped out by gathering firewood, collecting water, and washing dishes.
At the age of 7, Woldison came to live at the H.E.R.O. Residence for Orphans. Now, he sleeps well in a comfortable bed with a full belly. He no longer has to worry about the rain or rats disturbing his sleep. Woldison is excited to start first grade in the fall and looks forward to learning how to read. During his free time, Woldison can often be found playing catch with his brother or constructing houses and cars with Legos. Someday Woldison would like to become an engineer and build strong houses for the people of Haiti.