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Hope Story – Roselene Duclai, St. Jean Baptiste School, Savanette, Haiti

(Roselene is in the photo above; Her sister in photo on below in front of their house.)

Roselene is a hopeful young girl at St. Jean Baptiste School in Savanette, Haiti. She started at SJBS when she was 7. She performed well and is now in fourth grade. Her favorite subject is math, and she dreams of one day becoming an engineer. She wants to build a house; she currently lives in her thatched-roof home (damaged by Hurricane Matthew in 2016) with five family members.

Always willing to help, she brings water for her family and does her chores. Education is important to her, as well, and she always does her homework. Beyond this, she cares for the goat that she received from SJBS’s goat program in February (the goat program offers orphans and poor families a chance to improve their finances).

Her life is not easy, as she and her household struggle to eat and maintain their shelter. However, Roselene has a cheerful smile and great optimism for her future. The education, daily meal, and goat that she receives from SJBS has given her the chance to improve her family’s finances and to dream of a bright future as an engineer.

A Reflection about Nikuze Hannah Blessing, a child of Jean Bosco Ntakirutimana and Providence Nzayisenga.

As a newly married couple, my wife Providence and I were highly looking forward to a bright future with expectations of being parents. Consequently, this expectation was shattered within a day. On Friday, May 13, 2011, my wife gave birth to premature triplets. During delivery, we lost a son and a daughter, but Blessing was taken into an incubator for survival. We were in a dilemma and wondering where God had turned. Having two funerals for our two babies was a pain beyond bearing, yet we also thought another funeral for our third child was on the way. However, after many prayers, on June 22, Blessing no longer had to be in an incubator. She came home.

After three months at home, we realized she had eye problems. After doctor visits and communication with friends both in Rwanda and abroad, we were told that her eyes would likely not be repaired. This was another frustration, but we trusted God and He finally provided the means to get to CCBRT hospital in Tanzania. We spent a month there for blood transfusions before attempting the eye operation. Afterward, doctors said that the operation may not be successful and they didn’t think there was any hospital in the world that could restore Blessing’s eyesight.

As a Christian and Theologian with an MA in Theology, I felt that I needed to do something to help ministers of the Gospel who have no Biblical knowledge and also to help vulnerable communities, the blind in particular. I formed a religious based organization, Hillside Hope, in 2013 and it was officially registered in 2015. Friends in Canada provided some of the educational material to help the school begin. Michele Dudley, a board member of Education Equals Hope, provided the money to rent the school. Education Equals Hope helps us meet some of the operational costs of the school. Blessing School for the Visually Impaired (BSVI) opened on January 26, 2015.

God turned our family’s situation with Blessing into a blessing to the other children who live with blindness without hope. They are now at the school learning. BVSI still has many needs, and we have fewer children than we’d like because of financial limitation, but thus far we thank God for what He is doing in our lives. Blessing is now in P1 in our newly born school. Her life has inspired us to give hope to other children with visual impairments like our daughter. We are striving to expand Blessing School for the Visually Impaired so that more children can receive an education tailored to their needs.

Les Cayes, Haiti
Haiti is the poorest country in the Americas and one of the poorest in the world. This is the story of one of the citizens, Jimmy Brutus. He was given hope in a desperate and difficult situation. When Jimmy was six, his mother died. Never having met his father, Jimmy and his brother were sent to live with their aunt, uncle, and three cousins. Unfortunately, grief followed him. Nine years later, his uncle died. As Jimmy said,

“darkness started and the bridge of hope collapsed.”

His aunt, with five children in the home, didn’t have money to buy food or to send the children to school. Jimmy was lost in grief and found himself without hope. He was out of school from September until the end of April.

One day, when playing soccer on a playground, a priest asked him why he wasn’t in school. Jimmy told the priest that his aunt didn’t have money to buy a uniform or books for him to go to school. The priest invited Jimmy to St. Saviour School the next day to talk with him. When Jimmy went to see the priest, he was told that there were only two months remaining in the school year, but if he studied hard and passed the year end exams, he could receive a scholarship for the next year. It seemed impossible to learn the entire year’s worth of learning, but Jimmy was given hope for his situation. He passed that year and was given a scholarship the following year. Jimmy continued to study hard and was given much hope until he finished University studies at BTI, the Business Technical Institute in Les Cayes. Jimmy is now the Onsite Coordinator in Les Cayes, Haiti for Education Equals Hope.

Jimmy’s philosophy is: “Trust in God, and he will find a way. Tomorrow the sun will shine.”

This is the story of two boys living in the countryside near Cavaillon, Haiti: Jimmy and Samuel Jajoute. The two boys lost their parents in the same year – their father died in the earthquake on January 12, 2010 (7 years ago today) at Port-au-Prince and their mother from a head trauma shortly thereafter. After the death of their parents, they went to live with their aunt. Their aunt has three children plus Jimmy and Samuel, so six people live in a house with two rooms. Their aunt has no job and must take care of five children. Jimmy and Samuel attend the St Esprit School and the food program at this school is a big support for them and their family. During Hurricane Matthew they lost all they had, so their situation after the hurricane is even more critical. However, they maintain hope because they continue to go to school to receive the best weapon to fight against their misery: an education. They say thank you to all of you who support them in their education and to E=H.
At E=H’s program in Cavaillon, donations pay the teachers’ salaries, provide children with food, and purchase textbooks. The school educates 280 children. Thanks to generous donors, supporters, and ambassadors, many children, including Jimmy and Samuel, have hope for a brighter future.

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