head haiti

I've never dreamed of being a rock star. Ask anyone who's ever been within ear shot when I'm singing and they'll know why.

But today, my first day in Haiti, I sure felt like one.

We arrived at Pentecostal Holiness School, sponsored in part by Star of Hope, with all 575 students waiting for us to to get there. Never mind that it was after school and that they all had other places to be.

Never mind that they were dressed to the hilt in crisp, colorful school uniforms.

Never mind that they's been waiting for us in the humid, tropical heat. They all seemed genuinely happy to see us.

A delegation of preselected students approached us with warm, open smiles and bright, shining eyes. They each shook our hands with their brown fingers lingering on our white, seldom-seen skin.

"Blanc, blanc (white)," they whispered with enthusiasm that was gaining speed.

"Blanc, blanc."

It became a chant filled with broad smiles and giggles.

"Blanc, blanc."

It was all for us along with hand-made banners and corsages made from red ribbon.

They were clamoring for us, reaching out for us, touching us -- just like a rock star.

It's heady stuff for three Catholics on a simple mission.

star team haiti, jennifer schartz

It seemed like all of the girls, especially the little ones, wanted to hold our hands and stroke our skin.

One little girl asked Jan (Frenzl) to take her home. I, on the other hand, scared a young boy when I took off my sunglasses. I'm sure he had never seen a blanc person with two different colored eyes.

We were paraded through different classes at school and some of the kids were brave enough to ask questions. Do you have children?

What are your parents' names?

Is it hot where you live? (Try explaining snow to a Hatian. It's kind of like trying to tell a blind person about color.)

We had fun at the expense of our host, Tony, who couldn't remember our names. Of course, they all start with the letter J, but we laughed and teased because all middle-aged white women look alike.

It's an odd feeling, being in the minority, but it's also a great one to be acknowledged without even having done anything. Barry Borror, our Star of Hope guide, says it's because they see the possibility in us.

The possibility that we can care enough to help.

The possibility that we'll share our story and that you will care enough to help.

The possibility that God will move us into action that will be beneficial to us all.

There are lots of hopes pinned on us and I am grateful and willing to accept the challenge.

I know with God's help, I can.

After all, I am a rock star. Today anyway.

 

Note, this in one part in a series, if you like read the series here.

Hesse, April 2010 - Star of Hope, Haiti

The Hesse municipality is located in the 5th communal section Grande Colline in Grand Goave, in the Western Department. It has an estimated 10,000 inhabitants.

Hesse is a corner lost between various mountains. Isolated from urban life, it still preserves ancient lifestyle. Situated at 3h 30m driving from Port-au-Prince, a portion of the road is very bumpy and hilly. The residents are very attached to their fields, almost unique economic activity. They have benefited from Star of Hope financial assistance since 1998, the school is still supported today for a total of 363 kids, a door opened towards a better future. The school has been built in 1983 and become so old that it leaks when it rains and need urgent financial aid to be rebuilt soon.

Their mission and vision is to accompany the population on the road of progress, citizen individual and collective development in the city. They focus on a variety of Christian and humanitarian projects that will contribute to the spiritual, intellectual, physical, and material growth of the children and youth. When they become adults they will be able to take over from the promoters of the development of their church, their community, and their family. These programs focus on health, education, environment, energy, road infrastructure, and others.

Hesse school work aims at improving the level of education of underprivileged children, providing them with food, and primary health care, offering them a chance to meet Jesus, and giving them a tool to face life.

 

Earthquake Rebuild Update - April 2011

 

 

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How Myrtha Dor lived the Haiti earthquake of January 12, 2010

This is Myrtha's story in her own words.

"It has been 2 years since January 12 is not seen for me as any common day, but a day that had marked painfully my life for living the 45 seconds of the earthquake that had buried under 4 stories building my dearest friend-sister-in-law and her 2 sons.

I was in Haiti visiting my parents and was in the living room talking with my 83 years old mother while I felt my chair shaking for just a couple of seconds and looked at mom who was bouncing in her rocking chair. We just didn't have time to say anything when that "thing" in a sudden pulse turned our chairs. We stood up trying to grab something that we can stick with, it was impossible everything was moving away from us, we were bouncing back and forth and "that thing" even tried to lift the house at the same time while paintings from the walls, window glasses were flying in all directions. At this moment in an ordering voice I shouted "Mom, it's an earthquake seat down". She started to cry and for some reason I thought it was a tanker shooting in all directions, but Haiti wasn't in war, it's an earthquake! Then, we lose hope and started shouting and talking with God and our voices were blended to those living in the area. I remember my prayer and still tick to it "Oh God! Don't take me without your pardon, please listen!"

Tony and Myrtha Star of Hope Haiti

Tony Boursiquot and Myrtha Dor

In a heavy dust covering the country, I heard people crying with their heart... oh! It was painful. No hospital to receive the injured and morgue for the dead. No radio or TV to tell us what to do, the phones were not working and no electricity. I grabbed a bed sheet and a pillow following other survivals and find me a place in the street to spend the night among of hundreds laid down. But, it was a deep dark night without sleep because I was thinking to other family members that I don't know how it went for them and listening to thousands of people who haven't stopped crying and hundreds of small groups doing their prayers.

The next morning people were in search of water either to drink, for cooking or to bath. My mother's house has a big reservoir; we opened the gate and let people coming to get water. Here is this man came for a gallon of water and starting to relate that he has been to his best friend house whose family owned a 4 stories house taking down to the ground by a university building while collapsing. Curiously someone asked him: "which family" and he replied "The Lochard's!" I touched my ears to feel if they were still there, if really I heard right. I walked in front of him and told him: "Shut up!" He kept on talking and saying more about the family, I told him again "shut up" and he continued talking like no one wants to listen to him and he will finish talking until he said everything... I closed my hands in a strong feast, pressed on my feet and shouted to him "you are talking about my family; my sister-in-law, SHUT UP!" I grabbed 2 cousins and found my way to that house. I couldn't believe to see by my own the picture this man was painting. I felt on my knees and started to cry and calling her name. Even in front of that devastating situation, I had hope under the rubber of 4 stories building she and her 2 sons can be alive.

The first mission team from SOH Sweden had contacted the rescue team sent by the Swedish government testing the area for survivals to check on my sister-in-law's house. They checked and said "no survival". Even in front of that devastating news, I had hope believing that the rescue team can be mistaken. I went 2 times a day on site; after my cup of coffee in the morning and before dark just to know if the persons who are digging find anyone alive. On day 4, I started to lose hope and on day 6 in the morning they had found her 1st son body, in the afternoon her body and on day 7 her 2nd son body. I know the meaning of "disappear". They disappeared on my sight and life, but they are always living in a special place they built in my heart.

I have told myself to accept the situation because in every home and family in Haiti there was a lost that this earthquake had caused. But it wasn't like so and so easy to forget until knowing how to live with it as part of your life. The first Psycho Recovery Team sent by SOH US came and started working with hundreds of children and adults. By translating for a young boy about the lost of his mom during the earthquake to the psychologist, I started crying together with the boy and telling him my lost. From that point I was no longer a translator, and found myself among those who came for therapy.

Two months ago I was cleaning my drawer and found my sister-in-law's picture. I talked to her through the picture and said loudly "you came into the world like a thunderstorm and disappear like so" and heard myself saying "oh no! It is still painful" and I cried all my tears...

Second year from January 12th earthquake is nearby. I still can't cope with the noise of big trucks and clacking doors. It still makes having the fear of that day hunting my life. If I had the Lord power, I would of take January 12 out of the year calendar for ever and all Haitians survivals would forget and be cured for ever from their pain and sorrow that that day had brought into their life. But the Lord plan is marked since creation. He wants me to face that reality and that he is really the Lord. He gave and took as his convenience. He wants me to appreciate life and especially what he had given me to please him in doing how he says.

I'm so happy that finally I can write today the pain and sorrow that I live with for 2 years. I feel cured!"

Myrtha Dor
Star of Hope Haiti Foundation
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Jeanton is a small farming village located in the countryside about 97 km north of the capital, Port Au Prince in Haiti. As in most rural villages there are no city services. They live without electricity, running water, health clinics and no government schools. The people who live here survive by working their small farms that have been passed down from generation to generation. Beans and plantains are their primary crops. They try to keep goats and chickens as collateral for extra money in case of an emergency Star of Hope has operated a school in Jeanton since 1989. Jeanton was not directly affected by the 2010 earthquake but its population has increased because of displacement from Port-au-Prince and thusly it has placed a strain on the tiny village.

Currently, there are 160 children between the ages of 4 – 16 who attend school every day; first and foremost to obtain an education. They recognize that an education is the most direct path to a better life for the individuals and hope for the village. Hot lunches are served daily. That one, simple meal has become even more important since food prices in the country have multiplied and make is nearly impossible for many parents to purchase the basic food items like, rice, beans and cooking oil. While there is no clinic or medical personal in attendance the children learn to manage their personal hygiene, which in turn helps prevent many diseases and leads to better health in general.

The students learn reading, writing, arithmetic, history, French and religion. They stay in school under the sponsorship program until they are 16 years old. Currently there is no further formal education program to offer them. There is now, however, a sewing class available to village citizens. 80%of the group is either housewives or single mothers. Most of them also sell produce in the public market to help their family. They have stated that they are tired of that miserable life and are looking forward to the day they graduate and can then form their own business get out of the harsh environment of the marketplace.

Hope to the hopeless and/or discouraged. Star of Hope is privileged to sponsor and participate in the life-changing programs of Jeanton.

Hesse is a small village located high in the mountains, about 3.5 hours' drive from the capital Port-au-Prince. The school is run by a village council with representatives from all parts of the village. Star of Hope has supported the school since 1998. There are about 360 children from kindergarten up to grade six attending the school. In Haiti, it is not uncommon for children to start school until they are ten or eleven years old, which means that the school's students are up to 19 years old. The children stay in our sponsorship program until they leave school.

A good start in life

The goal of the school is to provide children in Hesse and surrounding villages, new perspectives, and better opportunities. At school, children follow the curriculum for Haiti. They learn to rad and write, math, history, French, and religion. They also learn to think independently, learn about values and human rights. The school also gives children a place where they have time to play and rest. The school has committed and trained teachers and additional staff that take care of facilities, management and cooking.

Education, food, and health

Besides education, the school serves school lunch that will prevent the children from suffering from malnutrition, which is common in Haiti, especially in rural areas.

It is also offered basic health assessment, which prevents the exclusion of diseases that can be easy to cure. The children also learn to manage their personal hygiene, which in turn helps prevent disease and lead to better health for children. The school also gives parents a safe place to leave their children during the day while they are working and getting a much-needed income for themselves and their families.

Earthquake in January 2010

 

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Hesse was very close to the epicenter and the whole area had severe injuries. The school building from 1983 was demolished in total as well as a large proportion of the dwellings in the village. Many children also lost their parents, as many of those were in Port-au-Prince working during the time of the earthquake.

Today there is hope despite the tragedy, a new, much better school have been built and was inaugurated in the fall of 2011. To have a functioning school in the middle of the village means that there is a future for the village.

Poor farm village with confidence

The village of Hesse is located in Haiti in the underdeveloped countryside of Haiti. In the area lives around 10 000 inhabitants, most of them live in simple houses, built of dried mud with a tin roof. The people who live her survive, thanks to their small farms. They grow mainly maize, beans, milo (a legume) and yam. Many also raise chickens and goats, which is used for food and security when needed extra money, such as for medications.

The village has no electricity, running water and health clinics. In addition to Star of Hope School, there are two schools in the area, the two others offer neither food nor health assessment and charge high school fees as a proportion of the population cannot afford to pay.

Thanks to Star of Hope school, there is still a sense of optimism and hope for the future in the village. Children will get an education - and thus better prospects.


Located just East Port -au- Prince, the capital of Haiti. The school and church was built by Star of Hope in 1998, managed by a local board of directors, founded by Reverend Jean Samson Pierre. Currently there are 491 children from Preschool through Ninth grade, all studying in 9 classrooms. Star of Hope employs 19 teachers throughout the school year.

 

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Established over 20 years ago by Pastor and Mrs. Joel Juene, The Love of Jesus Boy's Home (also known as: The Love of Jesus Residential Center), in Carrefour, Haiti, provides a home for orphaned and abandoned boys. Currently, 31 boys are receiving a secure home, Christian love , nourishing food, clothing, education and a growing faith in Jesus that will enable them to someday help themselves and their country.

Evangelical Child and Family Service, Salfordville, Pa. in partnership with Star of Hope seek sponsors for individual boys. Your sponsorship provides for the basic needs of your boy. You may correspond with your boy or even visit with one of our work teams that maintain the orphanage and interact with the boys.

If your looking to make a difference to someone in the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, this is the place.

201701_HA_Dano_school_supply_4.jpg

 

Dano is a community located in the communal section Grand-Goave. It is Located in the southern part of the country. It is 41 miles (65 km) southeast from the capital. Its hilly landscape is often dry. It has an estimated of 15,000 inhabitants. Their main resources come from agriculture (corn, bean, watermelon, etc...).

The community organization's vision and mission consist in promoting, enhancing, and developing the spiritual, intellectual, social, and economic development of the children, youth, and adults in the community by implementing a variety of development programs. Such programs aim at reinforcing the capacity of the citizens, which will allow them to overcome the difficulties they are facing daily.

Star of hope has been supporting the development work in Dano for more than 10 years. This support has primarily been in the sector of education, agriculture, water, and health. The school supported by Star of Hope "Ecole Chrétienne de Dano", was built in 1998, and is a symbol of pride for the community. It welcomes around 650 children and 34 staff members. Diverse SOH development work in Dano has been running under the control of a committee formed with teachers and parents.

They offer basic education in preschool, primary, secondary and trade school.

 

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Star of Hope has been working in Paillant since 1989 in cooperation with Mission Pentecostal Umbrella. Paillant has about 26,000 inhabitants with an average family size of 7. Its main economic activities are commerce and farming. Corn, beans, yam, fruits, and vegetables are some of the big crops grown there. Paillant is about 150 km from Port-au-Prince. Star of Hope helps provide educational assistance and food distribution.

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Haiti Love and Faith Ministries was incorporated in 1984 by a small group in Kansas. Since that time, people have joined together across the United States in prayer, sponsorships and donations for the God ordained purpose of helping Rev. Joel and Doris Jeune care for orphaned girls. Two houses were soon outgrown. A new 8,800 square foot home was completed in 1991 which can house up to 65 girls. Meeting the expenses in a home of this magnitude is a constant challenge. Each girl needs a place to sleep, good food and water, ways to keep clean, clothing, medical, dental and eye care, and general supervision. Providing each girl with a Christian education is very high on our list of priorities. These needs are met through our sponsorship program.

We encourage the girls, from our Home, who graduate from high school to further their education by attending a trade school or a college. In this way, they will be better equipped to work in Pastor Jeune's ministry or in a vocation that will support them. The Lord has graciously provided the funds necessary for post-secondary education through faithful donors.

After the Earthquake:

The Haiti Love and Faith Girls Home suffered great damage to the buildings.  The Guest home on the property completely collapsed, half of the church building also collapsed.  The girls are all safe and accounted for, although scared to enter buildings.  It has been recently told to us by Dr. Mica that some of the children are getting skin infections and perhaps getting run down.

Star of Hope - Marigot, Haiti

Star of Hope has been in Marigot since 1998 working with Ecole Evangelique du Nazareen de Marigot. Marigot is located in the southeast part of Haiti, about 3 hours from Port -au-Prince sponsored by Star of Hope. The town is a coastal one with a reputation for growing bananas and fishing. Star of Hope helps provide educational opportunities and food distribution.

 

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Approximately 90 km from Port Au Prince lies the village of Boyer, in the underdeveloped countryside. As in most rural villages, there are no city services. They live without electricity, running water, health clinics, and no government schools. The people who live here survive by working their small farms that have been passed down from generation to generation. Beans and plantains are their primary crops. They try to keep goats and chickens as collateral for extra money in case of an emergency Star of Hope has operated a school in Boyer since 1994. In Boyer, a few houses collapsed but most of the village was untouched.

Currently, there are 500 children between the ages of 4 – 16 who attend school every day; first and foremost to obtain an education. They recognize that an education is the most direct path to a better life for the individuals and hope for the village. Hot lunches are served daily. That one, simple meal has become even more important since food prices in the country have multiplied and make is nearly impossible for many parents to purchase the basic food items like, rice, beans and cooking oil. While there is no clinic or medical staff in attendance the children learn to manage their personal hygiene, which in turn helps prevent many diseases and leads to better health in general.

The students learn reading, writing, arithmetic, history, French, and religion. They stay in school under the sponsorship program until they are 16 years old. Currently, there is no further formal education program to offer them. Thirty-three students graduated from a new sewing class last year. At the time of graduation already 3 students had jobs lined up. When the funding is in place, Star of Hope will sponsor a second class.

A water cache was completed in June 2011. It can be treated and thus assuring that the children will have potable water and help avoid diseases such as cholera and other diarrheal diseases. The construction of new pre-school classrooms is also in the finishing stages.

Hope to the hopeless and/or discouraged. Star of Hope is privileged to sponsor and participate in the life-changing programs of Boyer.

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Liancourt is near the center of Haiti, about a 2 hour and 30 minute drive to the North of the Star of Hope office.  It's one of the rarest sites in Haiti, where they grow rice. Liancourt is also highly famous for voodoo. The local population is estimated to be over 36,000 people with an average family size of 6 members.  The main economic activities in Liancourt are commerce and fishing.  Farming is also popular.  Corn, beans, milo, rice, and vegetables are the biggest crops grown in the area.  The school supported by Star of Hope has over 300 kids, in nine grades. 

Star of Hope started work in Liancourt in 1993 and works through a cooperation program with Mission Evangelique Melshisedeck, established in 1981.  Your contributions provide funding for school projects, water projects, and food distribution.  In addition, school fees are also offset by donor contributions. 

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Enjoy this slideshow, updated 26 January 2011 Photos by Dennis Thern

Boyer is a small village located in the central part of Haiti. From the capitol it is 2.5 hours drive to Boyer on 56 km rocky bumpy road. The school was founded in 1992 and soon after Star of Hope began cooperation in education and in community development activities in Boyer. Several projects had been financed in the past with SIDA and private funds and some portions remain unfinished because of limited funds. Star of Hope also provides seeds and agricultural tools as well as school personnel training programs. Today this school is administrated, under Pentecostal Mission supervision, by a local committee.

The school provides an education for 519 children from preschool to grade school and provides an income to 36 staff. The development committee, including the parents, teachers and different stakeholders, have good experience in growing and learning on an organizational level.

 

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boyer sewing students

This project provides students with sewing kits and lessons on how to become a seamstress or tailor.  The originator of the idea for this project, Myrtha Dor.  She studied to be a professional seamstress for 3 years in Haiti. Myrtha was not able to travel to France for the final exam BUT she has retained the knowledge and wants to share it with her fellow countrymen/women. She submitted her idea last August and when it was approved she submitted her curriculum, for this innovative pilot project.

The original plan called for only a few sewing machines on which the women could learn the skills. As more people learned of the project and participated in a serious discussion it was decided that if we had intentions to make a difference in the lives of these people each student must have a machine of their own. The details were hammered out while Myrtha was in the U.S. last August and upon her return to Haiti she informed the Boyer school committee of the decision to move forward with the project.  On the following Sunday, the sewing project was announced in church inviting ladies and students in the community to register.  The first classes then started on October 6, 2010.

Each student is provided with fabric, rams of drawing paper for patterns, and other necessary tools for sewing projects.  The students learn how to embroider, draw patterns, sewing the patterns made, and how to make alterations.  The classes meet once a week for 9 months.  Most of the students are 7-11 graders, with some adults.  Assignments for the students increase each week.  The ultimate goal is for students to come out of the class with a profession that can help them provide money to their families.  An average salary for a seamstress or tailor is about $2,400 per year working alone and upwards to $9,600 per year working in a company compared with $100 per month for a teacher in the countryside.

 

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Projects in Haiti

Living like a rock star

star team haiti, jennifer schartz
I've never dreamed of being a rock star. Ask anyone who's ever been within ear shot when…

Two years since the earthquake in Haiti

Tony and Myrtha Star of Hope Haiti
How Myrtha Dor lived the Haiti earthquake of January 12, 2010 This is Myrtha's story in…

Hesse Project Haiti

hess_church.jpg
Hesse is a small village located high in the mountains, about 3.5 hours' drive from the…

Haiti Faith and Works

faith and works

Haiti community involved

ya ba da ba do

Haiti Blog

Haiti blog

Impact in Haiti

Impact in Haiti

Rigaud

Located just East Port -au- Prince, the capital of Haiti. The school and church was built…

Dano

201701_HA_Dano_school_supply_4.jpg
Dano is a community located in the communal section Grand-Goave. It is Located in the…

Haiti Love & Faith Girls Home

Haiti Love and Faith Ministries was incorporated in 1984 by a small group in Kansas.…

Haiti Updates

Facts: Haiti
map_of_haiti250.jpg

Population: 9,923,000 (2009)
Government: Republic
Area: 210,712 Sq Mi
Capital: Port-au-Prince
Per Capita Income:  $790 USD (2009)
Currency: Gourde
Language(s): French and Creole are the official languages.
Primary Exports: Clothing, shoes, mango,cocoa and coffee
Religion: Catholic

Did you know that...

18 landerStar of Hope has projects in 15 countries around the world?


30000 barn

Also every day, more than 12,000 children receive education and care through Star of Hope? Also, we touch over 30,000 children each day with services!

 

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