The end of this school year here in Haiti ended on June 24th for all the seven school projects we support. The kids are certainly missing their friends and the nurturing school environment but are undoubtedly enjoying their free time during the summer months.
Please, accept a heartfelt thanks from our staff here at Star of Hope Haiti. Especially thanks to you from all the 3,500 children we serve, and all the schoolteachers and administrators. We certainly could not have done it without your generous support.
We would be amiss if we did not acknowledge the fact that the current global outlook is grim and worrisome: Covid has left its imprint on all of us, the worldwide energy and food crisis will be felt by all, and war is, unfortunately, raging in Europe again, the global economic outlook is not too rosy, etc. We have taken note of all of that, and we are praying for better days ahead. We hope and pray that your family and loved ones will weather the storm. Only with true love, compassion, and a general sense of care and decency for one another can we conquer all of this and retain our humanity in the end. Let the spirit of love shine in all of us! We pray for peace over the world!
Here in Haiti, the school year was relatively stable as the schools' programs we support are all in somewhat rural parts of the country.
Despite very tough economic conditions in the middle of very chaotic security and political crisis here, over 85% of the children have been promoted to the next grade level. Those who have not received passing grades will be going to summer school.
For about three years, we have been hopeful that better days are ahead for Haiti because we always believed that the situation here could never get any worse. Oh! Were we all so wrong? In all, running the program on a national level has been more challenging than ever before. However, we have developed new ways to get the work done without jeopardizing the safety and welfare of our staff and the schoolteachers and administrators. At the end of the day, we don't have a choice: It's our calling. It's a labor of love to deliver hope and a better tomorrow for children. Without your support, we could never get any of this done.
Although it has gotten increasingly impossible to travel the country safely, we were able to accomplish the following projects without any significant issues:
A). Built a new secondary school building of three classrooms, an office, a guest room, and a bathroom at the Bois Negresse School.
B). Built a new rainwater collection reservoir of 20,000 gallons capacity for the Bois Negresse community.
C). Repaired two solar-powered (pump) water kiosks that were out of order for years in the La Vallee Community.
D). Distributed Christmas gifts in the form of food kits to more than 4,000 families in eight villages.
E). Completed two humanitarian food aid and children's school materials distribution to 600 families – all victims of the earthquake that hit southern Haiti (Cavaillon) in August 2021.
F). Completed special food distribution to 300 families in Bois Negresse as a gift for Mothers' Day at the beginning of June.
G). Distribution of several hundred special birthday gifts from donors to children and families.
H). Executed with maximum efficiency, our school support programs to 3,500 children in seven villages: School lunch, school materials, and supplies, teachers' salaries, school uniforms, basic health care, school furniture, school building maintenance, community development project, etc.
I). Expended religious education in many of our schools due partly to the amazing support from AWANA.
J). Ongoing construction of five new home projects for victims of the earthquake of August 2021 in the south in partnership with local group architects. Additional support and contribution are needed to build more homes.
Please keep the children here in your thoughts and prayers, as the global economic outlook will make an already terrible situation here even worse for them. We will all continue to pray for you and your family. We hope that God will continue to bless you until your cup overflows because of your generosity and care for the children here.
Make it a point to enjoy your summer with your loved ones as best as you can.