An Important Note - Sept 21, 2010
Dear Friends of Haitian Roots,
We are so grateful to all of you who have been so supportive of Haiti—especially the outpouring of generosity after the earthquake. At this time we are writing not to pester but simply to send a gentle reminder to those of you who have been intending to sponsor (or responsor) your child/ren but have been busy with other things. Many of us are undergoing our own economic struggles at this time and the funds that we once had to help others may be gone. Please know that we understand and are grateful for what you have done in the past and hope that things get better for you. But we feel we’d be remiss if we didn’t keep you abreast of the situation in Haiti and the dire conditions that not only still exist but continue to worsen.
Just yesterday the Global Campaign for Education launched their report, ‘Back to School?’ of the worst places to be a school child in 2010. Somalia and HAITI have topped their list. One of the most powerful statements from the report is extremely simple: “THERE IS UNAMBIGUOUS EVIDENCE THAT EDUCATION BEATS POVERTY”*. To read the whole report, click here: http://www.campaignforeducation.org/docs/reports/1goal/1Goal%20School%20Report.pdf
Haitian Roots currently has two separate projects with separate funds designated to each. The village/school project and our sponsorship program. We currently have over 130 children enrolled in our original program. In the past we have received not only sponsorships sent for specific children but also enough general donations to make sure that ALL of the children in our program were able to attend school. This fall has been much more difficult. We had received some news that the Haitian government might step in to subsidize the schooling of many children. We hoped that would help lighten our load. Regrettably, they are only helping the state-run schools. These schools only account for 10-20% of the schools in Haiti. The children in our program have not been admitted to any of these state-run schools. We received the following email yesterday from one of our dear coordinators, Harry Mardy:
“I’m hoping everybody is doing well. I would like to let you know what is the situation here in Haiti. After the shaking (the earthquake) the economic situation is getting worst for the people even if there are so many organizations in this country. I’m very worried for our kids in this program, I don’t know how they are going to go to school this year if you don’t supported them. Because the government will not give nothing to them. The government will help only the people who is working in the public office but, not all the children in this country. I have been grow up in this country I had never receive nothing from the government to help me to go to school. Every body is waiting what will you send for them to have their children to go to school. Please think about that and see what we should do for our kids.”
At the time of this email, many of the children in our program have not been responsored for this year. There are also many children with out assigned sponsors who will not be able to go to school this year if we do not help them.
We are very excited about the building of our school and know that in the future we are going to be able to provide a much higher quality education to a greater number of children for much less money per child than we are spending now on the children in our sponsorship program. Nevertheless, we have made a commitment to these children and we are making them a priority.
Thank you so much for your help and support. If you have been intending to send the funds to responsor your child/ren, we would like to encourage you to do so as soon as possible. If you know of anybody who has been considering sponsorship or might be interested in helping a child, please forward this information to them. If you normally sponsor your child at a different time of year and if you have the means, would you possibly consider responsoring your child now? If you would like a more detailed explanation of how it works when children are sponsored mid-year, we are happy to provide that.
If you are unable to responsor your child this year, please know that we understand the struggles that are happening in the economy in our own country. We do have one special request and that is that you would email us to let us know if you will be unable to continue sponsorship so that we can update our website and have a realistic showing of which children are still in need of sponsors.
Thank you again for all that you do to help the beautiful children of Haiti have hope for the future. We hope that your life is blessed from your generosity and efforts.
The Haitian Roots Team
* “A life without education is a life half-lived. When people cannot read or write, they do not have the skills and abilities that a good quality education offers, they are condemned to a life of poverty, ill-health and social exclusion. This disadvantage gets handed down through generations. The children of illiterate parents are more vulnerable to a range of serious threats and problems that can scar their lives forever. And it is not only individuals who suffer- nations as a whole are affected: lack of quality education holds back economic growth and hampers democratic participation. Indeed the impacts are even felt beyond borders. Research shows that education deprivation contributes to conflict and population growth – and thus to environmental pressure and climate change – issues of pressing concern to the global community.
The other side of the story is that children who do go to school and learn are healthier, better-nourished, and live longer and more prosperous lives than those who are excluded. When children attend school they become aware of their own potential in the world, and are equipped with the life skills necessary to make informed choices and live well in society. Education also promotes tolerance and understanding between people – both individually and on a national level. Ultimately this leads to greater political participation, stability and transparency, strengthened democratic systems and a reduction in corruption. Across the world, 171 million people could be lifted out of poverty if all children left school with basic reading skills.”
Global Campaign for Education Report, Sept. 20, 2010