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by Yan Mathison September 15, 2019 4 min read

     There has been so much distress in the news about all the political and economic turmoil in Haiti that ,often times , it becomes noise in the background of our lives , especially so for those of us here in the US.  At Hope Village, we are acutely aware of the plight of the average Haitian living life in survival mode. It is a survival mode that most of us cannot imagine . We are also acutely aware of the affects of the prevailing abject poverty on the most helpless of those in this situation, the children. Hunger, adequate shelter, safe drinking water, education and safety from child sex trafficking are all on the top of the list of concerns they face. 

Too often, these children are abandoned at the door of an orphanage, school or church. Not because they are not loved and adored, but BECAUSE they are loved and adored. When food is scarce and conditions are dangerous, a mother will do anything to give her child a chance to live, even if that means getting them to safety and walking away. THIS is why we do what we do. Poverty creates this orphan cycle, and we truly believe the solution lies in education, vocational training and entrepreneurial opportunities that create income , one person at a time, one community at a time. While that income helps them meet their basic needs, it does so much more. It creates an environment of personal growth that is contagious. It opens up an excitement for the future that is so often missing in their lives. Haitians need HOPE and we believe hope is alive and well through these endeavors. 

So today,  we want to set aside the heaviness of what you may see on the news and give you a brief peek into what our year has looked like , because  it's been incredible and worth celebrating ! Hope is rising one child , one school, one community at a time!

     The  first half of 2019 was one miracle after another . Our big wins were related to our medical assistance goals. Without going into all the details, we were able to arrange life saving surgery for a beautiful little girl we will call Sophie . Sophie is from a rural village near Les Cayes.  She was born with severe spina Bifida and suffered from a growing  encephalocele on her head that was putting so much pressure on her brain and optic nerve , that she was losing her sight. We are grateful for the team of neurosurgeons who flew in and performed the surgery and for Sam Darguin at Haitian American Caucus, who took on her aftercare without blinking an eye. It truly takes a village. She can now see without any obvious issues and is sitting up on her own !!. Her future is brighter than it was before, so to the donors involved in her care, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. 

We were also able to be involved in getting one of our own beloved local interpreters a new hip! He lost the upper portion of his femur and the ball of his hip joint to bone cancer last year. After surviving treatments in Cuba and enduring a long slow recovery, he found himself unable to walk on his own and thus unable to keep steady work to provide for his family. After hitting several dead ends, we were able to match him up with a team of visiting orthopedic surgeons, willing and capable of taking on this complicated case. We are thrilled to announce he has set those crutches down for good and is walking normally with minimal stiffness and no pain. He has his life back ! Again, it takes a village and we are so grateful for those who donated to assist in making this happen! We can't wait to keep him busy on our next medical trip! 

While these medical victories were happening, our support of Aunt Lucy's school and orphanage went uninterrupted ! This last school year has been one for the books!  We were able to provide a long overdue  increase in teacher salaries, purchase curriculum , new desks, provide food for the year , clean water and address other issues making it difficult to keep serving the community they are in. None of this would be possible without our donors! We are so grateful for every one of you! 

Now for the BIG NEWS happening RIGHT NOW!! Construction of 6 NEW classrooms on a new second level of the building has resumed!  Currently, the orphans who live there have to push aside the desks at night to make room to sleep on the floor. Adding this designated school space gives the children living there more much needed living space !  It also gives us space to roll out the vocational programs we have planned for the older students, staff, parents and anyone in the community!! This will be life changing for many people! 

And lastly, we will be installing commercial sized kitchen equipment to accommodate cooking a mid day meal for all the students from the surrounding community . For kids that go home after school, this is probably the only real meal they will get each day. With our donors' help, we are confident we can provide full tummies along with a good education! 

So as you can see, we have been busy!! We invite you to celebrate hope with us as we continue our efforts . For more information on how you can get involved in Hope Village, contact Yan or Marianne at info.hopevillage@gmail.com . You can also donate here or  simply shop our online store the next time you need a gift! Our products are Haitian made and directly impact those we serve. 

If you are interested in offering your time and talents, Hope Village operates 100% on a volunteer basis and would love your help either on a humanitarian trip or any number of projects right from your home town ! It really doesn't take much to change a life when we join forces to create change! Join our village and find out for yourself how YOUR life will be changed as you help improve the lives of others. It's pure joy! 





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