By Kelly Loeffelholz
“Being a disciple means being constantly ready to bring the love of Jesus to others…” ~Pope Francis
Jonique is a beautiful young woman who stands out a bit in the village of Ducrabon. Very poised, professional, dressed for city life, and always smiling (although that is quite universal there).
For a bit of background: She completed both primary and secondary school in Ducrabon. She paid for her own tuition by working in the Brothers’ house while attending secondary school. After graduating, she stayed and taught pre-school to save money for further education. She then moved to Port au Prince, working for three years to save money to go to the Maison Menagere Anne-Marie Desvarieux to study fashion. After graduation she decided to return to the village once a week to share her skills with local women.
In the years since, we have visited her every year. She shows us her classroom (a room in the lower level of the convent) and introduces us to her students. She teaches them sewing, knitting, embroidery, and business skills – mentoring them to become successful on their own. They sew by hand and on a treadle sewing machine which she keeps in working order. She has a mission to give these women the skills to be self-sufficient. She usually invites our mission team to a sale in which the students sell their creations. One year she put on a wonderful fashion show. Each student had made a scarf, blouse, and skirt, perfectly tailored to fit their own bodies, and modeled them, runway “walk”, music and all. It was the days’ entertainment for us and many of the villagers.
I do not think Jonique gets paid for teaching. It is her calling, to help her community. She is living as a disciple, loving her neighbors by helping them.
Jonique is also an artist in her couture work. I wish you all could see some of her creations. She has her own business designing and making wedding dresses, wedding suits for men as well as beautiful clothing.
When I think about Jonique, I think of a disciple of Jesus, teaching love and kindness by her actions – every day! Improving the lives of those around her – every day! She is someone I strive to emulate. And I pray for her success.
Please help the schools in our sister parish develop more young Haitians like Jonique. It is her faith and her education that have allowed her to become the person she is today.
Please Give Generously To Our 2022 Haiti Lenten Fundraiser
Renmen Bondye, Sèvi Lòt Moun, Fòm Disip
Love God, Serve Others, Form Disciples.