Bringing Hope Where There Was No Hope
While continuing the clinic, and assisting with WASH, HHC is moving into its second year of existence by adding the following:
Haitians are an intelligent, resourceful people, but extreme poverty has made regular school attendance rare. Fewer than 30% ever reach 6th grade, yielding a shortage of skilled labor and an overabundance of unskilled labor. And o, the poverty extremes persist. Today, 59% of the population exists on less than $2 per day. In Colminy a random sampling indicates that entire families, averaging 5 people each, exist on just $2 per day.
This year, with the Lord’s help, HHC will begin resolving this problem in Colminy – changing the economic outlook for eager young men and women by linking with Extollo, at organization that provides training in the skilled labor trades. This will equip them for a lifetime of employment, forever improving their lives and that of their families and community!
At Extollo, each day begins with Biblical character training. When parting with his first welding class, a leader named Craig asked graduates what they had learned at Extollo that they didn’t know before. One raised his hand, “I learned to forgive.” Wow! …not what Craig had expected. Another followed, “I learned to work as a team.” And still the trend continued. One after another, each graduate cited a life-changing attribute they had learned. Still Craig felt compelled to ask “Didn’t you learn anything about welding?” “Oh, yeah!” They all laughed, “We learned how to weld too.” Praise God! Here young men and women are being equipped not only to make a decent living building to earthquake and hurricane standards, but to live godly lives too!
To truly achieve WASH and self-sustainability, Colminy needs a gathering place to train adults in basic hygiene, nutrition, and profit-creating skills; also to build a sense of community for all through worship, socialization, recreation, self-governance and more. Currently, their few gatherings occur in a tight, block-structure building that retains Haiti’s scorching heat. This serves as the area’s church, school, and clinic, which makes it inaccessible for other purposes during their relatively cool mornings. Because they don’t have electricity, evening gatherings aren’t viable either.
Once trained, HHC plans to hire Colminy’s Extollo graduates to construct their own Community Center with the oversight of a skilled American foreman. We hope to replicate their existing facility, which is amazingly economical while providing cool and adequate space for large gatherings, as well as private areas for the clinic, small group classes, etc. The ample roof will make solar power and rainwater catchment possible. A huge cistern would be included to store their wet season’s rainwater for dry season usage.
“I’m beginning to believe in life”