I recognize that even in the most developed nations, schools aren’t perfect. After all, they are a reflection of the society that they’re a part of and are heavily influenced by the political ideologies and trends of the day, but imagine having to sneak your child into school to give them a chance at an education of any sort.
Started in 1983 by George and Jean DeTellis, New Missions has established 35 churches and schools in Haiti and the Dominican Republic that provide approximately 10 000 children with education, a wholesome meal each day, and medical care. Tim DeTellis, George and Jean’s son, grew up on the mission field in Haiti and now serves as president of New Missions. Yesterday Tim posted a video update on his Facebook page that touched my heart and today I want to share his plea with you.
In the video (which I was unfortunately unable to post here) Tim speaks of the fact that parents were going out and finding school uniforms and putting them on their children so that they could slip into class to receive the benefit of education as well as the gift of food and medical care. “Why? Because these children and their families are that desperate,” says Tim. When these unregistered children came to the attention of the school personnel, rather than turning them away, they welcomed them. “Now we’ve registered them and in the last six months, to our astonishment, we have increased our enrolment by 1000 children!” he goes on to say.
We all know that education is not free. Here in Canada and in many other developed countries, public schooling is paid for almost entirely by our taxes, but what of countries like Haiti, the poorest country in the western hemisphere? Who will provide the resources to educate the 1000 new enrolees in New Mission schools? Perhaps you can help.
How? It’s simple. Go to newmissions.org, click on Donate, and give to the Life of a Child fund to help unsponsored children or if you’re willing to make a more long term investment, link up with an individual child through child sponsorship. For just $33 a month you can provide one of these desperate children with an education, a hot meal each day, and regular medical care.
We started sponsoring Marie Kethsia in 2004 when she was nine years old. This spring, in a country where only 2% of the children finish high school (Haitian schools have 13 grades), she graduated! Now she’s enrolled in a 3 year lab tech program which will equip her to be a self-supporting contributor to her family and her community. We couldn’t be prouder!
Over the years, we enjoyed exchanging letters and watching Marie grow into the beautiful young woman that she is today. Imagine my delight about a year and a half ago when I received a Facebook friend request from her! Though her English is weak and my Haitian Creole is non-existent, we manage to communicate on a regular basis without the benefit of the New Missions staff who translated our many letters over the years.
We took on our second New Missions child early last year when I decided to give Richard a boy for his birthday!
Rodolson had his ninth birthday earlier this month and is in Grade 3. In his last letter to us, he wrote “I like school and I always study my lesson.”
For approximately $1 a day, you too could give the gift of school to one desperate child!