Hope Health Action

Feb
28

Voices from our Volunteers- Kate Carbone

My Streethearts Family,

This past Christmas I had the opportunity to volunteer with Streethearts for about 3 weeks. My first experience with them was the summer of 2016 when I took a tour of the safehouse, and Linsey explained her work that she was doing there. I immediately fell in love the kids and definitely knew I wanted to come back and help out. So, Linsey and I started talking and everything worked out for me to come back this past winter.

Words cannot describe how excited and grateful I was for this opportunity. I planned on doing basketball clinics and arts and crafts with the kids.

Just saying, Robens was the best moto driver ever. Even though I did not know any Creole and couldn’t communicate with him, we had a fun time for sure. It took me a few days to get used to Haitian time, but he took me everywhere that I needed to go and kept me safe.

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On Christmas Eve, I went with most of the boys to explore a castle. One of the boys was our tour guide and explained the significance of it all. All of them always wanted their pictures taken, so we had a mini photo shoot.

On Christmas Day, we went to a party with some of the other town kids. Jackie was very festive and was definitely in the Christmas spirit. We listened to music, danced, and enjoyed each other’s company.

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During the week, I would play basketball with all the kids every day. Ti-Sony, Ricardo, and a bunch of the older guys and I would have tournaments and play a series of games. The kids also taught me how to play Haitian Casino and Haitian checkers which was very exciting. Even though we couldn’t really communicate, it was very interesting trying to figure out all of the rules. Nonetheless, I had a lot of fun just loving on all the kids.

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Some of the days, I helped Samson do arts and crafts. He does an excellent job creating cards, and I loved being a part of his work. I also participated in Running Club with some of the kids. Running down the boulevard and seeing where these kids came from just broke my heart, but the kids loved running together holding each other’s hands.

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I had around 100 Streethearts T-shirts printed which I was able to hand out to every one of the kids. It was such a joy seeing them get so excited and see their faces light up.

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Towards the end of my stay, I was able to take Ricardo and Julien out to dinner. It was so cute to see the boys get so excited and dress up to go out. They both ordered fried chicken, and I could tell that they definitely enjoyed it.

Ricardo and Julien rode in the car to drop me off back home. Ricardo just held my hand the whole time and kept saying “mwen renmen ou anpil chak jou” which means “I love you so much every day.” Ever since my first trip to Haiti in the summer of 2016, Ricardo became my best friend. He gave me this bracelet which I still wear today, and when I saw him for the second time this past Christmas, he couldn’t believe I still kept them. He considers me his sister and started to cry when I was about to be dropped off. Obviously, this broke my heart and made me cry too. He then wiped away my tears and kept telling me that he loved me. I told both Ricardo and Julien that I love them both, I’ll be praying for them, and that I will see them again soon.

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I love all these boys unconditionally and they will always have a special place in my heart. I am so grateful that God has given me this opportunity to come and serve and show love to all these kids. I will be praying for Linsey and all the work she is doing, for the safety of the staff, and all the kids in the program and the future street kids that will come. I love you all and I cannot wait to see all my boys again soon!! :) <3 Love, Kate Carbone

Aug
18

Voice from Volunteers – My “Cap”tivating Haitian Adventure, Jennifer Roth – Membane, NC – Teacher

As my educational leave comes to an end and my last trip to Haiti..for now is behind me, I have so many thoughts! These two pictures speak volumes about where I began and where I am heading in terms of supporting education in Haiti.

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The “BLAN” (foreigner) teaching the Haitians

The HAITIAN teaching the future generation of HAITIANS!
The HAITIAN teaching the future generation of HAITIANS!

The first picture was taken in June of 2013 on my first trip to Haiti. I worked with elementary school -aged boys and girls that were raised in an orphanage. The second was taken in June of this year, at a safe house for street kids who have essentially raised themselves until coming there.

Why do the two speak volumes? Well, in the first picture you can see me, “the BLAN” teaching these children. In the second picture you see a young Haitian man teaching. This young Haitian man is Josny Joseph, my “Haitian son” who now has a part-time JOB teaching elementary school aged boys at Streethearts!

When I set out on this Haitian adventure, I had no idea what to expect, how I would serve, or how I might make a difference. These two pictures validate that I made some headway. My goal was not to go in and “fix” a broken system. My goal was to share my skills with Haitians who could in turn share those same skills with other Haitians and “pay it forward” in a sense. It took me four years to make this happen, but this summer trip was definitely a turning point.

My Summer Agenda at Streethearts:

  • Supervising the English as a Second Language program
  • Supervising Elementary school advancement
  • Educational Evaluator of students who have not previously attended school
  • Leading field trips for advanced education
  • Advancing French for the boys currently in their 2nd+ year of school
  • Leading budget/economic advancement classes for workforce boys and staff using the Ramsey Method



English Class

The older boys at Streethearts were fortunate to have English class twice a week this summer with Marckendy Joseph, another young man I can call my “Haitian son”. He is part of the Workforce Development program at Streethearts, teaching English. I helped him to plan lessons and provided teaching techniques. The boys were eager to share what they learned with Linsey, the Founder of Streethearts (and more importantly, their “Manman” aka “Mom”) as well as to speak English to American visitors.

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Health, Hygiene, and Devotions with the “Smalls”:
(Elementary school program focused on those that will be educated for the first time this year)

Streethearts has seen a recent influx of younger boys ages 5-10 that need a special kind of attention. Fortunately, I suggested a young man that has a passion for working with young kids and had been doing so at his church in Saint Louis du Nord. Josny Joseph, who I mentioned at the beginning of this post was just the right man for the job. He was responsible for ensuring that the “smalls” brushed teeth, bathed, and cleaned their rooms properly. He also provided a devotional lesson and taught English and French skills. He, like Marckendy, is also part of the Workforce program.

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The “Bon Bagay” (good things in Creole) AKA, Everything Else:

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Home Visits

Home Visits
Home Visits

French Basic Skills Assessments of boys recently off the street
French – skills assessments of boys recently off the street

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Budgeting Class with the Workforce boys and staff

Budgeting Class with the Work Force Boys
Budgeting Class with the Workforce boys and staff

Field trip to a local Museum
Field Trip to Local Museum

Field trip to a local Museum
Field Trip to Local Museum

Field trip to a local Museum
Field Trip to Local Museum

Beach Time!
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Final Thoughts:

As I look back on this incredible experience I thank God and everyone in my life that made this experience possible. I went to share my skills as a teacher, mother, and friend. I walked away with so much more. I spent a month with boys that have survived unimaginable circumstances and risen above them. They have hope, determination, and a sense of faith I cannot find words to describe. They tested me, taught me, loved me, and accepted me as a “regular” that they know they will see again soon. Thanks for rocking my world, Streethearts! Until next time…

Jul
29

Voices from Volunteers – Emily Davis, Graduate School – George Washington University

Emily Davis, Graduate School – George Washington University
Intern with Streethearts – 4 years

It has been two years since I have visited the Streethearts program in Cap-Haitien. I have always assisted while I have been state-side, but it is a totally different experience in-country. There has been a lot of growth since I last visited — a new house, more staff, more kids and new “phases” to the program (Phase I: shelter for children to sleep in at night, Phase II: kids who have left the streets and attend school and Phase III: kids with jobs who live in their own apartments).

I was so excited to see the new house! The boys now have room to play outside, watch soccer games, study, do crafts, eat and hang out. Walking through it for the first time I was speechless – there really is no comparison between where they were before and where they are now. One of the best parts of this new house is the addition of the night shelter, where boys who are not yet ready to leave the streets can at least have a safe place to sleep at night. Many nights during my trip were spent driving through the ghettos in the evening to pick up kids and bring them to the shelter. Many boys that we picked up knew about our program but there were some who were brought to the shelter for the first time. I loved the night “pickups” for exactly this reason- without them so many boys would not have the opportunity to know Streethearts and potentially leave the street life behind.

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My first few days were spent getting re-acquainted with my boys, who had grown an INSANE amount since my last visit. We have so many new minis/littles, middles, and big guys it took a couple days to meet all of them. I love exploring the unique personalities of each boy. My days would be split into 30 minutes of work blocks- then a break to hang with kids- 30 more minutes of work- another break because kids are begging for lollipops at the office door- and then another attempt to get some more work done. I finally figured out if I brought my work outside of the office with me I could get more done because the boys were free to approach and realized the work I was doing was actually kind of boring for them.

We took the boys on many field trips since they were out of school. Linsey began calling my trip the boys’ month long vacation because there was always some sort of fun activity planned. Once a week we would choose a small group of boys to take to the pool. There are many stories that came from this, my favorite being the time I was the “rope” in a game of human tug of war. The pool we went to had a shallow section of water- the perfect depth for sunbathing – that separated the deeper pool into two sections. Thinking I could get a little color on my back, I laid down in the “sunbathing” section… Worst idea ever! Soon enough, one group of kids was pulling on my legs, another my arms. I have no idea how I survived 15 preteens pulling on my limbs without a shoulder coming out of the socket, but I still laugh thinking about how absurd that must’ve looked to everyone else at the pool.

On another pool outing, we brought all the minis- about 12 in total- of which about half could swim well. Why we thought two people could handle all these minis in a pool that strangely had no shallow end, is beyond me. I had boys hanging off of every part of my body and although none of them could swim well – that didn’t stop them from jumping right in. Somehow we kept it under control and even gave them a mini swimming lesson… it’s amazing how fast they learn!

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One of the best field trips- although a more laborious one for the older boys- was community service for Sibille at Hope Help Action hospital (known in Haiti as HHA hospital). The hospital recieved a container filled with X-ray machines and hospital beds. Our boys were challenged with unloading it. In Haiti, everything seems to take 2-5 hours longer then normal so although we arrived an hour after the “expected” delivery time- the container arrived 2 hours after us! The delay was such a blessing (God’s time – not OURS!) because we had time to tour the gym used for physical therapy patients and the Maison, a hospital for children with disabilities. Our boys jumped at the chance to play wheelchair basketball against the rehab patients. Jacquelin especially loved the gym and is going to start volunteering there! The Maison can be A LOT for people. It can be a bit heart-braking upon entering, seeing such small children/babies with disabilities. I had a hard time staying there for too long but our boys were AMAZING! They were so gentle and attentive which is such a contradiction to their normal crazy and aggressive behavior. A few of our boys now want to go and volunteer there regularly. Neither of these volunteer opportunities would’ve happened without that delivery delay! When the container finally arrived our boys worked HARD to get it unloaded VERY quickly. We were all covered in sweat at the end, but that still didn’t stop the boys from wanting to play another game of wheelchair basketball afterward.

My favorite moments were the unplanned ones. The games of monkey in the middle with the minis that quickly turned into tackle football. The chalk people we would make after tracing a boy’s outline onto the cement. The boys’ faces when they first tried macaroni and cheese (they were IN LOVE). The boys’ faces when they first had “funfetti” cake (they were also IN LOVE). The evening Sorry (board game) tournaments we would have with bets for things like – running club with no shoes on and having to scale a fish on the beach under Linsey’s house. I will never forget the time it down-poured at the safehouse and all the minis (kids under 10) running around the courtyard in their underwear. Natural bath! Lol!

The boys were extremely concerned over my well-being because of my mosquito bite covered legs! (For some reason mosquito’s love me! Seriously – it became a game and a relief! When they would pop certain bites! I know it’s gross, but I love them for that!) There was also a time when John, Jackie, Julio and others tried to move into Linsey and I’s (very small) apartment for a week. They explained that they were on vacation, and when kids go on vacation – they visit their Mom and Sister! They also invited many others which turned in to 9 kids playing board games and making cupcakes with us. (The vacation ended rather quickly when Linsey sent them home!)
One night, we invited all the kids over for a movie on a projector at our apartment. We have a HUGE terrace area and a big wall to display the movie – with popcorn, juice and pizza for everyone! Being the age I am I noticed a few older boys sitting back on the ledge of the terrace. Of course, I started spying on them as they attempted to talk to girls. This was a failed attempt as the mini’s came out and shielded my eyes whenever a girl walked past! Who could forget running around with a chalkboard eraser and hunting down any boys that were napping during the day to cover them in chalk dust! One of my biggest laughs was during Vacation Bible School when the boys had to create a family of those the love. Almost all of them had drawings of the staff, myself and Linsey. All of Linsey’s had a “angry face” and my faces were all smiles. Lolll!!! We asked them why and they all said “Linsey gives us chores but you give us candy.”

I can’t write without mentioning John Caesar, my amazing little brother. He has continued to thrive since I last saw him. He now works in our Big Brother program. This program partners with the local police authorities giving the older boys responsibility, in which they turn in reports to the officials. (The local police have made a huge impact on the program and helped design some of the programs). Like any teenager though, he makes mistakes and goofs around at times. I took him out to dinner with Francis, our Director of Workforce Development, to talk about how every kid in the house looks up to him. In the US this is somewhat of common knowledge. I’m the oldest child and as annoying as it is being the “example” from time to time, I know it is part of the job description. John though has never had this traditional family dynamic. As Francis and I explained to him when he goofs off, the younger boys are going to think it is okay for them to do the same, he stared at us in disbelief. He had absolutely no idea anyone was watching him. He had no idea anyone cared what he did or the impact he makes on all the children. It was a God moment to have this conversation with him. It led to a realization for him- that all of the boys are going to follow his lead. It was also a realization for us as staff- what may be obvious to us (and American culture) is not so obvious for our kids. After our talk John was more aware of the example he was setting and made a point to be a positive role model for the boys.

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My boys are NOT street kids anymore. I know it. Foreigners and Haitians don’t believe it when we tell them that these kids doing community service with them and eating dinner at their restaurants used to live on the street. Most importantly all my boys know it and are PROUD of themselves. (It is not an easy challenge for these boys – they are finally, really PROUD of themselves!) My heart was full seeing them all dressed up when they attended a music concert with us (all the kids celebrating the music of Haiti one afternoon) and when the older boys showed up in their BEST clothes for my goodbye dinner. Seeing them this way, it is so very easy to forget where they came from.

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My biggest reality check was when I went to the Streethearts “street kid” church. I took Jackie and Ti-Ton. We sat there with twenty other boys who have not yet chosen to leave the streets and my heart literally burst. First, my two were sitting completely still and listening intently to what the Pastor had to say while the other boys punched each other and joked around. The Pastor eventually finished and let us pass out snacks. (These Pastors have a HARD job – pray for their patience!) I put my sunglasses on and prayed that no one would see my tears. My boys, Jackie and Ti-Ton were helping the Pastor fill up drinks and pass out sandwiches and all of the boys began calling them by name. As time went on, my two boys (Jackie and Ti-Ton) started joking around and catching up with the street kids attending church.

Here’s the thing…I know full well this is where my boys started. I have seen many of them at the “street kid” Phase I level. However, when you see them on the opposite end of the spectrum, it’s a different level of love and appreciation. Jackie, who is first in his class and running an online store for his Artisian products and Ti-Ton, who is soft spoken and follows me around always wanting to hang out. It is easy to forget that life could was and could still be very different for them. Even more so, it is easy to forget that they still have friends on the streets.
My boys now have the opportunity to lead by example and show their peers there is a way out and they are living proof things can get better! This realization occurred many times throughout my trip- a sign of how far our boys have come.

I could go on forever but I have to end somewhere. I have to thank Linsey for hosting me and the great memories despite the many ordeals we faced including: the heat wave that almost killed us, the club opening up down the hill that blasted music which vibrated the whole house until 5am, the bacteria infection we both faced due to unknown mouse poop on all our dishes, the white cloud of mosquito-killing spray that engulfed the house making us believe this is truly the end, and of course my need for ice cream every night.

As my trip was coming to an end, more and more boys started to pray that something would happen to make me stay longer- if only they knew how badly I wish I could stay. A group came to do a Vacation Bible School with my boys and they were told to write something they were thankful for. There were many notes of “Thank you God for not letting Emily leave on Wednesday”. Ironically, my flight out of Haiti was almost canceled due to mechanical problems. I cannot wait to see their accomplishments and how much they grow in the next few months and to be able to come back and celebrate Christmas with them (a first for me)!! I love you boys!!! Thank you for allowing me to make an impact on your lives, and making a larger impact on mine.

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Mar
31

Voices from Volunteers – Darrell Fowler, Chik-Fil-A Franchisee, Atlanta, GA

Dignitaries

Impressions from a Lifeshape Mission Trip to Cap Haitien, Haiti, March 13-18, 2016

A dignitary is defined as a person of high rank or importance, such as a church or government official. A missionary is defined as someone sent on a religious mission to promote Christianity in another country. Both dignitaries and missionaries are sent. Dignitaries are typically sent by a government, with an entourage, to promote relations and advocate for their home country. The fringe benefits for the dignitary are privileged status, the best accommodations and favor with almost everyone. Dignitaries are usually provided a hedge of protection, just in case. Missionaries are sent by a church or non-profit. Their entourage is simply others just like themselves with hopefully one or two mentors who provide guidance and perspective. Missionaries promote relations with Jesus Christ. The fringe benefits are delayed flights, motels with unreliable electricity and water, and food that tries to kill you. And whereas dignitaries have “eye protection,” a barrier from the unpleasantries that is the human experience, missionaries face the human condition first person, at street level. Missionaries pray for a hedge of protection over themselves and their constituents.

I submit a new definition for Dignitary: “One who offers others unconditional dignity.” There is unconditional love, of course. That describes how you feel about your parents, children. Mothers are locked onto unconditional love like a bear to a hug. But unconditional dignity means you lock eyes with a stranger, see desperation, offer love, and close the deal by transferring dignity to them. This commits you, making it really personal. Dignity runs deep. It changes lives and glorifies God.

I’d like to propose three Dignitaries. They profess no power of their own. They have been chosen by God for a purpose. They have privileged status. Their currency is human capital. Traditional dignitaries have privileged status. God’s dignitaries have been chosen to fulfill a vision that often presents unbearable difficulties. Haiti has an expression: ‘TIH.’ ‘This is Haiti’ means roll with it, this place has its own unique set of rules. Haiti actually is…people- its own and those who keep coming back.

When I see the name Linsey, I see ‘Love.’ My first dignitary is Linsey Jorgenson. She founded Streethearts Haiti just a few years ago. She didn’t mean to rescue a handful of boys living in Cap Haitien, a town on the northern shore of Haiti, and the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere. On a business trip she went out one evening for a jog. A young boy started running with her. That led to a few more, and before long she was like Rocky. The steps she climbed at the end of her run were steep though. She had burned on her heart a burden to help these street kids. She built from this initial experience a ministry- a family- of boys moving from the streets through a process to teach them self-worth and how to channel their energies through athletics. This vision meant resigning from her marketing career in Washington, D.C., and moving to Cap Haitien. Streethearts Haiti offers a sanctuary that is home to 75 boys. Boys go in, and men of consequence come out. They leave behind lives of poverty, violence-even prostitution- for a chance at something better. Linsey and her staff offer love and dignity to every boy. They teach that every life matters. They teach that rules and consequences matter. Like a conventional dignitary, Linsey travels with security. Not everyone is a fan. She’s been threatened, assaulted, had her house burned to the ground, and called to the hospital on more than one occasion. Haojin is a Chinese motorcycle company that flourishes in Cap Haitien. Their ‘motos’ are ubiquitous on the streets and alleys and are the preferred ‘taxi’ in the Cap. But a collision with another vehicle is deadly. Traffic in the Cap is high speed and very dangerous. Linsey was called into the local hospital at midnight the week of our visit. Blood and urine covered the floor in the ‘Haojin’ room, a place where the victims of moto accidents are basically discarded. She was called because one of her older boys was in an accident. He came out okay, but they both witnessed a brutal reality: the disposable nature of her adopted country’s healthcare system. People are not faceless to her. “Break our hearts for what breaks His.” She goes through this constantly. And there’s little rest. One minute Linsey is breaking up a fight at the soccer field; the next she’s on a plane to the states for fund-raising. This is God at work in the world. This is the Gospel reaching the four corners of the earth. This is dignity.

The name David, biblically speaking, means ‘integrity.’ My second dignitary is David Daniels. A veteran Chick-fil-A operator, husband, and father of 3, David has been coming to Haiti since the earthquake in 2010. He’s made dozens of humanitarian trips all over the world, making a real difference to the lonely and lost. Americans like me, at the least, say we will pray for the marginalized, and at the most, take a week long mission trip to a third world country every few years. David makes a trip several times a year, and closes the margin, or the gap, so as to bring real change, now. David, through the dignity of Christ, honors others. Lifeshape, the organization he serves as a volunteer mentor, lands in parts of the world where hope seems to have been destroyed, just like the infrastructure. Port-Au-Prince, Haiti was completely devastated by a 7.0 Mw earthquake in 2010. Nearly 200,000 people died, and only half right away. 100,000 died from injury and disease in the weeks following, many of them children. Due to its heavy voodoo influence some say Haiti deserved it. Has God condemned Haiti? Not if David and his network is any indication. David would tell you God has commissioned Haiti. Haiti is privileged and has purpose. Dignitaries pour into local business leaders and invest in them emotionally. David always concluded a coaching session with the request to pray over the mentee’s business. All agreed. And what he prays is spot on: he gives all credit for what’s happening to the Lord; he gives thanks for the business and for Haiti; and he asks for a “hedge of protection” over the individual and his or her family. Old Testament speaks of God removing his hand of favor or protection at certain times. This could be seen as condemnation. I think we Christians believe wholeheartedly that the Lord listens. He provides. But we must ask! Haiti may have lost their way of asking for His Holy favor. David helps them find their voice. This is dignity.

The coolest Skype id I have ever seen is ‘maximonovsky.’ My third dignitary is Maxime Pierre, and he is one unique cat. Serving as our guide and interpreter for one week, this young man represented himself and Partners Worldwide, his employer, very well. Maxime is easy-going, soft-spoken, infinitely patient and has a killer laugh. This laid-back veneer hides the arsenal of 5 fluent languages- English, Spanish, French, Creole and Arabic. He is also trained in mixed martial arts. He talks softly, in multiple languages, and carries a big stick. Maxime was shaped by experiences stretching from assistant to a Jordanian ambassador to pulling himself away from a voodoo curse. He credits his journey from Muslim back to Christianity to a quite literal brush with death. After hearing his story, I think God really did fight for his soul, and won! He spends his days now, at age 27, working for Partners all over Haiti. In his down time he and his wife Vanessa prepare for baby due in a couple of months. Maxime gives dignity through respect. His demeanor and professionalism are both unflappable, despite the headaches he gets after translating all day. Back and forth, we send him, from English to Creole-with the occasional French thrown in. He has laughed and declared this mental stress as ‘voices in his head.’ He elevates those of us around him through mutual respect and a deep sense of duty to his people. This too is dignity.

Every time Linsey, David & Maxime met- and I was caught in the middle 5 times that week- sparks flew! God winked. Business people, aid communities and governments are finding ways to draw God’s favor back to Haiti. These believers pray- with gusto- multiple times a day for God to move them in His divine direction. They give God glory, thanks and praise as they ask for constant instruction. “Lead us, Lord.” And they follow. And the wake they create pulls others along at an alarming speed and focus. We worked 12 hours a day in Cap Haitien, mentoring and coaching small businesspeople. We asked that they seek excellence and grow. Partners goal is to add 100,000 jobs in Haiti by 2020. That is a tall order with 88% unemployment. Yet the time will never come to give up on Haiti. We must give up on allowing economic, political and environmental ills to discourage us, and them. If we listen with the ears of the Holy Spirit, instruction, preparation and implementation will come.

TIH,

Darrell Fowler

Mar
1

Voices from Volunteers – Jennifer Roth, Mebane, NC

On January 1, 2016 I began my six month educational leave from teaching French in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The main purpose of the leave was to spend more time volunteering in a country that has captured my heart. I came up with a plan and connected with Linsey Jorgenson, Founder of Streethearts – a safe haven for street kids in Cap-Haitien, Haiti. I was going to volunteer my time with a focus on educational support in French. I booked a flight and my five week adventure began.

My initial focus was to acclimate to local culture. The pace of life, process for buying groceries, getting around town, and simply managing daily living were the tasks at hand. I hired a local moto driver through Streethearts, Robens Leclerc, who turned out to be my right hand man throughout the trip!

Robens, left, me, Marckendy on right

Shopping for food was quite an adventure and I did not anticipate the amount of time it would take to merely pick up the basics! There is no such thing as a one stop shop like Wal-Mart or Target. I watched and learned the art of negotiating and discovered some new foods along the way.

I spent one morning with Emmanuel Joseph, Director of Education for the Streethearts program. We toured multiple school partners. These visits were helpful in providing a glimpse of how Education worked in Haiti. The varying schools were very different. One, very structured with a well-disciplined student body, one in the midst of renovations and the third which seemed crowded and very needy, harder to manage, student population.

I went to the safe house to meet the kids and observe how the learn during study time. I monitored individual students and watched as they recited from textbooks. On Fridays I came up with some fun, bonding activities to help them feel more at ease with me.

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As the week progressed I discussed the idea of 3 weekend field trips. The Streethearts staff would help me divide them into small groups and offer a fun weekend experience for all the boys.

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As a veteran teacher, visiting local schools in Cap-Haitien was a must for me. Emmanuel was extremely helpful. I initially felt overwhelmed by the number of students, the noise level and simply trying to process the learning taking place at the schools. After several meetings with Emmanuel and some of the Principals I requested to spend some more time at Institut de Grandeur de Dieu. I was extremely impressed by the respect and classroom management skills of the teachers who had 30-45+ students in multi-aged classes. It was also clear that the teachers had a very supportive Principal, Jemme Joseph. He took time to meet with me to discuss the Haitian approach to teaching as well as spent time in the classes where I observed. Because my experience is with Elementary school aged students, I requested to spend some more time in one classroom to see if there would be a possibility for some American/Haitian teaching collaboration. I met with Anne-Rose, who teaches the Kindergarten class including over thirty 3-5 year olds. I was impressed with her energy as well as her ability to keep students engaged. What I did notice not only in her class but also in all other classes where I observed was that there was an incredible amount of memorization and repetition. After class I met with Jemme and Anne-Rose to thank them for allowing me to observe and asked if there was any way that I may be able to support them professionally. Anne-Rose agreed to team teach with me and shared that week’s learning objectives. The experience was unforgettable!

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I feel so incredibly fortunate to have spent five incredible weeks with what I consider to be my extended family at Streethearts. I plan to return later this Spring and Summer. I will continue to work with teachers at Institut de Grandeur de Dieu to provide some staff development support. I will also share this opportunity with the tutors at Streethearts so that these incredible boys that came from inexplicable circumstances can be provided with the very best educational support that they deserve.

– Jennifer Roth
Elementary School Teacher, Mebane, North Carolina

Dec
17

Evil Abuse Leads One Women to Rescue Haiti’s Boys

Each morning Linsey Jorgenson wonders if the street children of Cap Haitian will choose the refuge she offers or try to survive on their own. “The first thing I do is pray because you need God to do this job,” Jorgenson said. Jorgenson is the founder of Streethearts, an organization born from a bond with the kids who captured her heart… (read more).

Nov
6

Streethearts Quarterly Update – Nov 2015

Dear Streethearts Supporters! We finally opened our newest shelter! There are 2 really cool parts to this. First, thank you to David Daniels for fundraising to buy our own tap-tap (Haitian taxi truck). This has given 2 of our older boys daily work, and the ability to move into our PHASE III program (in an apartment – supporting themselves under supervision). If all goes as planned – they will be part of our first class of graduates in June 2016… (read more).

Aug
28

We had a visit from Rand Paul

No big deal… we just had a surprise visit from Rand Paul! He is in Haiti doing eye surgery and decided to stop by and give our boys some soccer balls… and by “some” we mean about 20!!! The boys were SOOOO excited for the balls, they were completely unaware of the fact that the “nice guy” is a Senator running for President :) So cute. And we couldn’t be more proud of how polite and respectful our kids were to the visitors.

Click here to read all about it!

May
5

Streethearts Quarterly Update – April 2015

We are THRILL to FINALLY announce we are in the new house – our dream home! First of all, thank you for all the prayers and financial support thus far! I speak for all the staff when I say it has been a long and challenging process. I appreciate everyone’s patience. I have not been as responsive to emails, all my focus has been centered around the BIG move! Specifically, I would like to… (read more).