By Kelly Loeffelholz
There are so many moments when I lose faith that we can help Haiti. With the seemingly endless political turmoil, presidential assassination, more earthquakes, kidnappings, hurricanes…the list goes on. What can we really do to change any of that?
Then I see the faces of the Haitians I have met. And I hear Father Jack’s word resonating in my mind – BE RADICAL! Respect Life truly means EVERY life. Even Especially the ones that seem hopeless. If we are all created in God’s image, how can any one of us be worth more than any other. I am not helping Haiti, I am helping Haitians, little ones, innocent ones, desperate ones.
Then I KNOW to keep working to foster change in the next generation. Those that inherit this mess and will be responsible for understanding it, evaluating it, studying it, and planning to CHANGE IT! We cannot expect any of that to happen without education. For too long those in power have kept that power by keeping the population ignorant/illiterate. Teaching in French when only 10% of the population is fluent in French. The lack of support for public education has made the need for private education essential. It has meant the need for teachers in rural communities like our village chapel schools is essential. And education of those teachers is essential.
Imagine going to the most impoverished communities in the United States and seeing that the teachers in their schools have a 6th grade education and were the stars in their classes. But then they could not afford to go further so they were asked to teach the next generation (really their own generation) and not get paid for that. What is the education level of the students that would come out of this school? Would they be able to inform change in the community in which they live? Would they be able to read and understand the laws, the constitution?
What if the laws were written in a language they could not fully understand? Would they be able to confront the leaders to affect change? Not likely. They would continue to riot, join gangs, and burn tires as the only forms of protest they know.
It is time to think of our Haitian brothers and sisters as our own. To do everything we can to help them change their presumed fate to remain poor and illiterate. When I think about that, I KNOW I can help. I have seen it. I have seen the children in our sister parish chapel schools, soaking up every word, every picture, every lesson. And the teachers’ love and determination for those students – to change their lives.
BE RADICAL – PRAY – GIVE – AND PRAY SOME MORE!
Your donation of $150, or whatever you can offer, helps give the children of Notre Dame du Lourdes a future.
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Renmen Bondye, Sèvi Lòt Moun, Fòm Disip
Love God, Serve Others, Form Disciples.