We believe in showing you reality, without ever indulging in what some call “disaster porn” (you know those photos of ravaged areas or starving children surrounded by flies). When we first arrived in Haiti nearly 7 years ago, we showed you what we saw as we first drove out to the Mission. When we drove into areas hit hardest by Hurricane Matthew, we showed you the reality of what our staff faced as they tried to distribute the supplies you helped fund. We show you positive photos of our children as they grow and learn because our children are happy and healthy, and it’s all because of your support.
Our newest addition is named Gaelson. He is six. An orphan, he has already endured tuberculosis and malnutrition, and was bouncing from place to place. The photo here shows him at his most dangerous health-wise in August 2016 while first receiving phenomenal care at Espwa Berlancia, a malnutrition clinic where our kids have volunteered their time.
His health remains a challenge, but he’s doing so much better. We love him and will try everything during his trial period to make our place be the last new home of his childhood.
Photos tell thousand-word stories, so they say. We’re sharing these photos because they tell a much shorter one: This is why we do what we do. We must. Thank you for helping us do it.
The Have Faith Haiti school has two treasured traditions to welcome, and wave goodbye, to each school year. An ice cream filled dance party takes place each September before the first day of school, during which students get to select their backpacks, and fill their pencil cases with necessary school basics like pencils, highlighters, and a sharpener.
At the end of the year, the last day of school is also a party. We call it a graduation, but it’s really a celebration of the academic excellence achieved through the year. Students receive certificates and honors and perform skits in French. This academic year, we added an English oral presentation class to the schedule, so the older children also has a chance to display their new skills with oral presentations in English. The assigned topic? Their teachers! They spoke eloquently and very appreciatively about their teachers and how fortunate they are to be getting a high-quality education.
The supplies and backpacks from the beginning of the year are donated annually through the back-to-school wish list from generous sponsors and supporters. We’ll be posting information about the wish list for the 2017-2018 academic year soon.
Our French Spelling Bee, the sister to our English bee held at the end of June, was held on July 5th. We discovered that many of our brilliant English spellers are also very accomplished French spellers!
Chivensky once again took first place for the middle school! Our runner up was Esterline. Congratulations!
Widley once again took first place for French level 5. And Djouna once again was the runner up!
In French level 4, Enolyka and Louvenson battled it out, and it ended in a tie. Enolyka was one of our winners in English and Louvenson was the runner up in that one, but tied for first place in French. Our runner up in French was Cinlove!
Congratulations to all!
Now entering its third year, the bilingual spelling bee series is one of Have Faith Haiti’s most anticipated events on the school calendar and for the community. Held on Thursday, June 22 and attended even by visitors from outside of the Mission, this year’s English Spelling Bee was led by School Director Cara Nesser. (Our French Spelling Bee will be on July 5th.)
The words in both Bees are ones that we use in school all year. The children are not given random, unfamiliar words to memorize. They are expected to be able to read, define, and use the words in context long before the Spelling Bee. Two weeks prior to the competition, each class is given a list of 124 words from their studies in the current school year, and organized from easiest to most difficult. They have two weeks to practice and prepare. Every child in the competing classes takes part. It is a highlight of the school year. Winners receive certificates and prizes related to literacy.
Danois–winner of Beginner Spelling Bee
This year, for the first time, there were four competitions: Beginner Spelling Bee was for our youngest primary students. This is the first year we have extended the Spelling Bee to their level, but as they have been working with challenging vocabulary all year, they were ready! They had to spell words like seismologist, tectonic, crevasse and Caspian Sea. Danois was the winner, spelling Caribbean correctly. Our Runner Up was Josue.
The Junior Spelling Bee was especially exciting. This was also the first time these children had competed. In the last round, Samanza and Enolyka were in a tie for first place that could not be broken, even after words like chlorophyll, apostrophe, phosphorus and cyanobacteria…
Samanza and Enolyka –winners of the Junior Spelling Bee
So Ms. Cara was forced to bring out the word they dreaded—Deoxyribonucleic Acid! (The real name for DNA) Samanza went first, while Enolyka was isolated in the Sound Proof Booth (No, not really; we don’t have one of those! She was kept out of earshot in another room) Samanza spelled the word correctly, and the excitement was palpable as Enolyka was brought back in for her turn. You could hear a pin drop. And then… she spelled it correctly too! The competition ended with a well-deserved tie for first place! Louvenson became our Junior Spelling Bee Runner Up.
The Senior Spelling Bee is for our oldest Primary students. Last year, the Junior Bee ended in a tie between Widley and Djouna. This year, returning champion Widley won it again in the Senior Bee, with the word Mississippian. And the Runner Up was none other than—Djouna! Well done again!
Whidley winner of Senior Spelling Bee
This year we are proud that 6 of our students have reached the middle school level. This means we have a new, even more difficult Spelling Bee for them! The Middle School Spelling Bee includes words like Paedrophyne Amauensis , bioluminescence, Osteichthyes, Cnidarian, Echinoderm, Aurora Borealis… Our winner was Chivensky who correctly spelled the word Cephalochordate. Our Runner Up was Junie Anna!
Chivensky takes a bow of relief after successfully spelling the winning word-Cephalochordate.
Chivensky, winner of the Middle School Bee
Junia Anna, Ms. Cara, Chivensky
Now the children are preparing for the French Bee. Watch this space for the winners!