Education and ReunificationRich Stigall
By Trip Manager Stephanie Mutert
I met this young fellow in March of 2014 on my very first weekend after moving to Haiti. It was one of those unexplainable, supernatural connections in the first moments of stepping off of the bus. He was a scrawny, little guy and very shy, but there was just something about him that quickly drew him deep into my heart.
It must have been mutual because from that point forward, he could be found on my back, sitting with me, or in my arms as we roamed the vast compound at Leogane. This went on until summer when I arrived to a chorus of ‘Li ale! Li ale!’ from my other Leogane friends. Confused as to why he went away, I grabbed a translator and talked with Pastor Claude. Due to a high employment rate and other extreme factors in Haiti, many kids in the care of the local church are economic orphans when their parents cannot provide basic needs for them. However, when a family is able to get back on their feet, then pastors are able to reunify these children with their families. In this family’s situation, his mother had come for him even though she could not provide money for school. Pastor Claude was able to offer a scholarship through the GO Project’s school partnership at Leogane to help this little boy receive an education while being reunified with his family.
Many emotions surfaced, but the most dominant was joy in celebrating that he was able to go back to his family. I have missed seeing my friend, but relish the moments I can greet him after school. He gets a big smile on his face and then gets super shy while hiding against my leg. He is still in school and continues to be one of the smartest, most hard working students in his class, and it will be exciting to see how he does in the next few years. He is healthy, well-fed, and growing. Best of all, he is at home with his family.
Learn more about education and school sponsorships in Haiti in this video: