I begin sponsoring Christian Pierre’s schooling through Haitian Roots about one year ago. I had received his photo and a short letter from him so I knew a little about him and his life. As I prepared to go to Haiti this year in June 2014, I knew I really wanted to meet Christian. After arriving in Haiti there were difficulties in contacting his mother, and it was uncertain that arrangements could be made. However at nearly the last moment an appointment to meet him at a relative’s home in Port-au-Prince was secured.
Christian, his mother, and two sisters were waiting when our group made it to the home. The moment I saw Christian there was an immediate connection to him on my part! As a white person – with white hair – I must have presented an unusual sight for him. He knew my age but had never seen a picture of me. Knowing the value of education in my own life, and that there is no government sponsored education in Haiti; I immediately sensed that education for Christian had the potential of dramatically improving his life! I immediately recognized Christian from his photo. As I first saw him, silently, to myself, in my mind, I pumped my fist and exclaimed “Yes!”
It is difficult to put into words my feelings at meeting Christian! There were feelings of gratitude at finally meeting him and his family. , his mother and his two sisters. I sensed in him a caring and good person for someone his age (10). There was a certain amount of pride at helping him. But, most of all, it was an absolute KNOWING – deep down inside me – that helping Christian was not only the right thing to do, but education would make a difference in his life! I felt connected to Christian a young person I had just met in ways that cannot be described – and I had just met him! It was as though he now became part of my extended family. What more is there to say?
I was able to present Christian with a soccer ball and World Cup tee shirt at our visit. That was important, but not nearly as important as assisting him with his education. I am anxious to sponsor at least one more young Haitian in the near future!