As we walk into a new year with renewed resolve and hope we may hold fast to the advice to “leave the past in the past”. But the past has much to teach us and it informs our story. HELP scholar Namdi Deceny puts it this way:
your past is what makes you who you are and to deny it is to destroy a part of yourself.
In July 2013 HTF held our fourth-annual Fet Bondye Bo Lanme (God’s Party by the Sea) summer camp in Jacmel. Camp this year was better than ever with more people involved in the planning and hosting, including four HELP students. In addition to hygiene kits, each child also received their own water bottles that they could fill with filtered water each day.
Mark Twain once said: ‘The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.’ Today I embrace this call to work full-time to bring hope, sustainability, and dignity to the children of Haiti.
A delegation of HTF representatives celebrated the launch of 100 families onto the path to a better life in September 2013. All 100 families are sponsored and supported through HTF. Our presence at the ceremony gave HTF the opportunity to learn about the need for two specialized positions in health and animal husbandry. As of January 1, HTF will move forward in funding these positions to help increase the effectiveness of the CLM program. That’s true grassroots!
Since the summer of 2011 HTF has supported four summer interns in Jacmel. This summer Alex Henning from Lincoln, Nebraska spent eight weeks in Jacmel working closely with Tetkole and helping prepare for our summer camp. This internship program allows college-aged people to contribute their skills while learning more about Haiti and strengthening the bonds between HTF and our partners.
A group from Lincoln, Nebraska hosted optometry clinics in Port au Prince and Jacmel in October. During the clinics more than 400 people were provided with glasses. Seventy five percent of these glasses were new, thanks to a partnership with Shared Vision International. Though the clinic team sought to improve sight for as many people as possible, they also were gifted with new vision about the importance of our partnership in Haiti.
As we reflect on the successes and lessons of 2013 and look forward to doing even more in 2014 we give thanks for your support of HTF. As the Haitian proverb goes, “Little by little the bird builds its nest.” Each member of the HTF community is part of bringing new life for all in a sustainable and dignified way. MESI ANPIL!!!