Mark and Melissa Kauk serve in Haiti full-time, working with Many Hands’ Love in Action programs. Mark serves as the U.S. Lead for Leadership and Melissa as the U.S. Lead for the First 1,000 Days Program. You can read their previous updates here.
Today is goat day! Parents of Group C who have successfully completed our three year First 1,000 Days Program will receive a pregnant goat today! This will help pay school tuition at the Many Hands’ School of Light that their child qualified to attend. They have had several classes learning how to take care of the goats and Many Hands’ expectations.
Pictured above: 25 goats are tied up on campus to bless the mamas!
Pictured above: Meseye Kelly, Mr. Kelly, is our Many Hands Goat expert and is responsible for monthly health checks for each goat.
Pictured above: Class day to educate the parents about the goat program.
Each day the parents have the opportunity to earn points in the First 1,000 Days Program. The top 25 parents in Group C have earned a place in the school. This is equivalent to U.S. preschool for 3-year-olds, 4-year-olds, and Kindergarten.
Pictured above: Some of the mothers and fathers who received a pregnant goat.
Pictured above: Lovlie (sitting), a Many Hands’ staff, completes a form for each parent.
The goat program is a partnership with the parents to help them establish a school fund so that the parents can fully pay tuition starting in 1st grade and onward. The parents can keep breeding the goat and selling new goats, and then put all or 1/2 of the funds in an Education Saving Plan.
I have known Fridena (above) for 3 years. Her heart is for Jesus and she works hard to provide for her family.
Fidentzley (above) steals my heart every time I see him. He has been a joy to teach in the Group C Children activities. His mom is blessed he can attend the School of Light.
Many Hands is impressed this year by the successful Group C parents and are thankful to partner with them as they become self sufficient in paying for their child’s schooling after kindergarten.
Rosemane (pictured above) told me ‘mesi’, (thank you) several times as she smiled and held on tight to her goat!
Claudin, head of our Agriculture department, has a heart for families and always blesses the parents with good teaching and providing an encouraging environment for the parents to learn.
It is humbling to think of the challenges that children, teenagers, and adults in Haiti encounter to get a basic education. They must overcome many obstacles. Haiti, in many ways, is an oral society where information, songs, and Bible stories are passed on by the spoken word. But learning to read and write can empower people and open up a whole new world to them. Imagine being an adult who can neither read or write the language you speak where you sign your name with an “x.” (Pictured below)
MH4H has re-launched a literacy class prompted by the action plan of preschool teacher Juna Jean (first photo below) and assistant Patricia Souverin (second photo below) from the leadership class to provide this opportunity for parents in the School of Light and the First 1000 Day Program.
The class has been using Bible League materials for the last 4 1/2 months to complete a pilot class of 32 lessons, meeting twice a week. Nineteen adults, made up of 15 women, and 2 husband/wife couples persevered to finish the first half of this course. God blessed the many decisions that were made at the outset of the class for all the details of time and place to come together.
Challenges just to attend the class from 1:00 to 2:30 twice a week included finding family members to care for children, bringing children to class because of great distances to walk, caring for sick children, ailing parents, or spouses, weekly health challenges including burns from cashew nuts, sprained ankles, foot infections, fevers, headaches, and the ever-present heat and humidity. We praise God that each person that started persevered to reach this milestone. Although absences occurred, we were encouraged that when lessons were missed, they worked on their own or with other classmates to make up their lesson.
Every person who attends has a story that we have the privilege of getting to know. Our goal has been to build strong relationships with these people to affirm to them that God loves them and we love them and accept them where they are at. It can be humiliating to admit that one cannot read or write so the step of coming to this class is an act of faith and courage.
Juliciana, on the left, a mother and grandmother, spent many days staying at a Haitian hospital with her ailing husband who passed away during part of the time the class was held. Yet she returned to continue her journey to read and write after this difficult time. Ely, on the right, one of the First 1,000 Days program dads, was one of two men who were part of the class. His perfect attendance was interrupted only by a foot infection which limited his ability to walk to class. These are stories that inspire us to consider our own resolve to become who God wants us to be.
Craig Gabhart, our Lead of Operations in Haiti, made a surprise appearance to the class the last week. He announced he was giving them a “test” of their reading skills. He is pictured above with one of the sentences the class joined in to read out loud! Mwen kontan wè ou. (I’m happy to see you!). Thank you, Craig!
One of the final activities of the class was to copy an expression of thanks created by teacher Juna onto a notecard using their newly acquired skills. This one was penned by Tania, the only student who had perfect attendance and who signed up for the class with an “x”.
A second group activity at the last class was to play some Haitian Bingo. Can you find some of the words or phrases? Bèf (Cow), Lekòl (School), Sa k pase? (What’s happening?), Ki laj ou? (What age are you?) , E ou menm? (And you?). Congratulations! You just scored a win in Haitian Bingo! Welcome to Lekòl Alfa ( Literacy school)