Christmas in Haiti really doesn’t look that different from other days of the year. There are no decorations or Christmas lights...instead, there are burning tires and gunfire from the continued protest and violence. No wish lists for Santa, as they’re just trying to meet basic needs. And yet, there is still JOY. There is still HOPE. And YOU can help us bring joy this Christmas by supporting our Family Preservation program, as we distribute food and gifts to the families that are participating!
During this Christmas week, a time we typically spend surrounded by our loved ones, we wanted to share three stories of Haitian families who are getting to spend this Christmas together because of your generosity and support.
Leny belongs to a very large family of 12. Through our Family Preservation program, Leny was recently reunited with his family after their living conditions significantly improved with ESPWA's support. We believe the home is the environment where children like Leny can best thrive and dream. And he is thriving and dreaming indeed! Leny loves to swim, tends to two gardens of his own and has ambitions to become a pediatrician someday.
"The child raised in the family is better. Now I have the ability to maintain control over his activities and the friendships he makes. Already, he is a polite child who has respect for others." - Leny's mother
When Lovemaille left the orphanage in August 2019 to be reunited with her family as part of our Family Preservation program, she was a little girl. But surrounded again by a loving family and with additional support from ESPWA, she quickly matured and flourished. Now thanks to an ESPWA scholarship, Lovemaille attends a local school and has made many friends. ESPWA also provided funding for school for Lovemaille’s older sister. As young women, Lovemaille and her sister, along with many young women in Haiti, are exposed to risks such as early pregnancy, STDs and harmful influences on their development. That’s why ESPWA is committed to protecting these girls during their formative years by providing after school programs and training for their parents.
"Even if our situation is not good, her presence at our side allows us to follow her habits and her development. She's a little girl and there's a way to raise a little girl. Lovemaille is an affectionate and enjoyable child."– Lovemaille’s mother
Max (17), Christelle (14) and Marthe Angeline (11) are siblings who previously lived at the orphanage because their parents could not provide shelter, education, nutrition or other basic needs for them. Max had been there since 2006 and his two sisters since 2013. Earlier this year, however, they were reunited with their parents and four other siblings. The Tarius family received a new home where they can all live comfortably together. They also participate in family empowerment workshops at Camp Perrin. All seven of the children are enrolled at a school near their home. Because they depend on agriculture as their source of income, they're also receiving farm support and animals to expand their income capacity.