|Children gather for Kindergarten graduation|
Photo Courtesy: Christian School of New Vision in Haiti
Floods and Hurricane Sandy have brought recent deaths to Haiti, the heavily impoverished island nation still recovering from a major earthquake in 2010. Deforestation and dysfunction have long been hallmarks of Haiti. Yet, many residents are finding hope.
The Christian School of New Vision in La Jeune educates 800 poor children, feeds them one meal a day, and provides around 100 jobs for the local community. It sets itself apart from many missions because its founder, teachers and supplies are almost all local.
The son of a Haitian sugar cane farmer, Ludner St. Amour, started learning English when he played with the missionary kids who'd come to his town. His calling, he eventually felt, was to improve the plight of other Haitian children. St. Amour said, "The goal is to give them skills so they can be independent and self sustaining in the future." Children may learn through the equivalent of US high school graduation.
In a country where most people can't read and government-sponsored schools are too expensive for most families, CSNV offers a free resource for children in greatest need. 25 of the students are orphans left behind in Port-au-Prince's earthquake devastation. St. Amour and his wife, already parents to six children, recently adopted two orphaned children themselves.
|Ludner St. Amour,|
Principal at Christian School of New Vision
"The kids love to go to school," shared St. Amour proudly. This volunteer school principal who still farms sugar cane for a living has modest goals for the future. The school would like to provide breakfast as well as the simple lunch they serve students. They'd like for each child to have a textbook. Only a portion of the 800 children are sponsored, meaning someone from the United States sends $30 per month to meet some basic needs.
Tomorrow: what frugal US citizens are saying about money sent to this Haiti program...
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