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.
It was a joy to share the books that the Sunday School children donated from our church Living Water Community Church in Orange City, Iowa! In October of last year, a book campaign, ‘Books for Haiti’, was introduced to the Sunday School children. They could buy locally, donate from home, or use the QR code on the flyer to order Haitian Books off the internet. The children responded with books of all shapes and sizes and languages! Because of our delay in returning, I was able to introduce the books this month to the Sylvain Campus Group C Children ages 2-3.
The books will also be shared with the other 7 baby and toddler groups. Immediate joy was seen as the children explored books that teach them about God’s creation!
With the addition of these books we have implemented a program called “Liv Li Lendi” (Read it on Mondays). The staff will lay books out across the tables before manje midi, (noon lunch) and encourage all mammas to read to their children. For those parents that can’t read we have encouraged them to point at pictures and name objects, colors, and numbers. The 258 families we serve do not typically have any books at home. The Haitian culture does not promote early childhood education until the child is 3 when they can enter the Haitian School system. Giving the opportunity to read a book is a special occasion in any culture, but especially so when there are no resources at home! A Big Shout out to our church and to two ladies who help pull this off- Sue Dykstra and Brittany Foreman! This would have never happened without their love of missions and QR-savvy abilities!
At the end of the Level 1 leadership class, an opportunity is given for participants to propose an action plan to further pursue an interest in a leadership project of their own. Juna Jean and Patricia Souverin, the teacher and assistant for the school’s preschool level 3, wrote up a plan to teach a beginning reading and writing class for parents at the school. As we solicited interest, mothers in the PMJ program were also informed of the potential new class called Lekòl Alfa and a total of 17 women and 2 men are participating in the school and PMJ program.
The class meets twice a week for an hour and a half and uses sequential material from the Bible League to learn how to read and write Kreyòl which they already speak. Each class starts with prayer, singing, and scripture and is followed by a session of repetition and recitation of the new words and sounds. These adult students learn to write letters and recognize them within short words and sentences.
Practice time is provided to complete reading and writing exercises in a workbook and to get individual help during and after the class. A number of students are unable to even write their name, so it will be exciting to see their progress in doing this. Other goals include helping their children with homework, reading and signing a document, making a food list, reading short Bible stories, and counting out money.
The class is an exciting mix of building community and learning to read and write through various activities including writing letters in the air (see videos below)! We pray that God will bless this effort to empower families further to reach their full potential in Christ.