By Sara Dessieux
Life is such a whirlwind sometimes! It's already been two weeks since my family and I returned from a two-week trip to Haiti. It was a marvelous trip and we'd love to tell you all about it, but let me share a couple of the highlights:
We were able to attend two soccer games put on by Play It Forward. Since we don’t have a soccer field at Haitian Christian Mission, all the games are held at Love a Child, a Christian organization down the road from the mission. Calling it a field is quite a stretch. With only a few patches of grass and a mix of dirt, sand and gravel, the ball bounces unpredictably when it lands. Unlike the grass fields we enjoy, the hard surface does not slow the ball. The young players skid around on the rocks while we spectators cringe knowing injury or at least a torn up leg is a real possibility. And yet, the athletes give it all they've got simply for the love of the game. All ages come out to watch, standing all around the field.
I know that Sarah Comstock, Guesly and I were all envisioning how awesome it will be when they play on a turf field. A safer environment will not only improve players’ skills and increase participation, but also express how much Play It Forward values each life. With your help, we will provide a soccer field for these hard-working athletes, and for the little children who were playing thumb wars and London Bridge with my kids on the sidelines.
JOB SKILL TRAINING
Sarah Comstock and I spent a couple hours talking with students in the Project Living Hope trade school. The students are being trained in auto mechanics, culinary arts and artisanry. We were touched by how serious some of the students are about their programs, and by how grateful they are to all of us (you!), who are making this training possible for them.
For example, Roudine was in Philo (Haiti's 13th and final grade) last year but she didn't pass the national exam. Her family cannot afford for her to repeat the year of school so she is studying on her own and hopes to pass next time. The culinary class is giving her something else to work toward during this time. If she can get a job as a cook, she wants to go to college to be a nurse or a teacher.
In addition, Danul has long wanted to become an auto mechanic, but he never imagined he would learn the trade at the same time as he was completing his last two years of high school. He appreciates his knowledgeable trade school teacher. Sarah and I left our conversation with him determined to supply his class with more tools and more engines to work on.
Roudine and Danul represent a small sampling of the numerous inspiring stories being written through the trade school. With your help, we will keep this education opportunity available, improve it every year, and secure additional classroom space.