For those of us that travel via plane (frequently or not), it is not uncommon to still be flabbergasted that just a short time ago, we were literally on the other side of the world! The technology that has allowed us to span the earth has essentially now made the phrase "what a small world" so true.
Last week, I was in Haiti and the smiles, successes and sweet stories are still so fresh - I catch myself pondering how I was just there!
We were on our way to a family's house where we got the opportunity to build a roof. This family of 8 had been living in a tarp tent since the 2010 earthquake. Another group had helped build the walls to the house a few years prior, but they still lacked the resources or partnership to put the final piece of the structure together. Ten students from Valor Christian School International, along with an equal number of students from the Maranatha House, made their way along the dusty streets to the house.
I was bringing up the rear, and the site in front of me brought tears to my eyes. Tears of joy that is.
For the past 7 years, as I've gotten to know the children and young adults who have lived at the Maranatha House Orphanage, I have seen the effects poverty and broken families have played. To be a child of an orphanage in Haiti, you are there because either your parents are no longer alive or are unable to care for you in the ways you need. For most of the living parents, sending a child to an orphanage is an act of desperate love! While they believe they are giving their child the best opportunity (and in many cases they are), the lack of physical, tangible, communal love with their parents has a deep impact on them.
Some of the children still have living family members visit them - and we know this is a valuable and important part of their story. We never wish to take that away, and if ever possible, our goal is for reunification of children with their families. However, we know that for the youth we serve to truly be successful, their need for consistent parental love and support is essential. It is for this reason that we are continually motivated to provide the best services and people support for these incredible young people.
What I saw last week, walking in front of me, was a true example of love and support for the young people of Haiti. I saw a mother's love.
Kekette was linked arm in arm with one of the young women in our Transitions program, and one from the Maranatha House.
Kekette is our female Transitions Coordinator. Her role consists of working with the older youth who have transitioned out of life in the orphanage to life on their own. She is there to guide, support and hold them accountable to their goals and dreams. Additionally, she works with the youth still living at the orphanage, helping to prepare them for the inevitable transition into adulthood. This could be just a job for Kekette, but for her it is SO MUCH MORE.
As a mother of 11, Kekette knows a thing or two about raising children. Many of her own children have gone on to have successful careers, are in college, and are following their dreams. She also worked for a number of years doing this same work for another organization. It goes without saying that she is qualified for the position.
But what makes her extraordinary, is the way she cares for each young person she encounters. She loves them as if they were her own. She sees in each of them their unique God-given purpose. She wants the BEST for the youth she works with, and works long hours and has long conversations in order to push each of them to do their best, be their best, and pursue their best.
While my Creole is still rusty, I could clearly understand the LOVE that was clearly understood in the way that she and the youth spoke with each other. She can be tough and have high standards, but it was evident that her love for them was never questioned.
Kekette, along with our male Transitions Coordinator, Achemetre, are essential to the overall success of this program and it's ability to support youth as they transition from orphanage life to a THRIVING adult life.
When you sponsor a young person in our Transitions Program, you are providing exceptional role models and influencers like Kekette for them. Your sponsorship is giving them the guidance and the love that they need to be their best selves and face adulthood with courage. Through Kekette and the rest of the team, you are meeting this deep need to be known and loved. To be valued and supported.
Traveling to Haiti isn't the only way to impact the future there!
Become a sponsor today!
When fully sponsored, our Transitions Program will provide each youth with:
Each one of our youth in the Transitions Program needs 7 sponsors providing $35/mo to provide them with all of these essential services and support.
Sponsors are radically impacting the future of Haiti by investing in the lives of an individual - an individual who has the God-given potential to be the leader their community so desperately needs!
Please consider becoming a sponsor today!
Ncompass is striving to become a leader in impacting and building up today’s youth for the Kingdom of God. We are committed to taking a bold, innovative and strategic business approach to inspire global action.