For Jean, age 6, life without running water and electricity is a daily reality in Tremesse, Haiti. Her father, a farmer, struggles to earn enough income as a farmer, and most days only bring one meal of limited greens. Unfortunately, this is the norm for many children in Jean’s community as most come from families who have not had the opportunity to pursue education. With a lack of jobs available other than farming, food is scarce and hunger is always present.
Jean is in first grade at a primary school in her community, where several of her 11 siblings also attend. Her mother, Amos, works at the school as a cook. Thanks to our partnership with Hands for Haiti, Jean and her family are able to count on nourishing Rise Against Hunger meals each day at school. Because rice and protein are rarely available in Tremesse, Jean and her classmates are thankful to have meals at school. They are especially excited when tilapia is harvested and served several times a quarter to complement their regular meals. For Jean, these meals mean more than consistent nourishment, they also mean a chance to continue her education and pursue her dream of becoming a teacher.
Reginnal, an English and computer teacher at Jean’s school, is currently in his third year of college in pursuit of education and computer science degrees. Reginnal also benefits from our partnership with Hands for Haiti, as the organization helps to fund his education. In his commitment to working as a teacher at Jean’s school, he travels from his home in Cap Haitien to the primary school each day via a local bus known as a tap tap. Given his understanding of the English language and knowledge of computers, he has proven a wonderful asset to the school and students like Jean. He shares that with English classes offered after normal school hours, Rise Against Hunger meals are even more critical to keep the students focused and full of energy.
Father Leon, Administrator of Jean’s primary school, has over 13 years of experience in education both as a teacher and administrator. With his experience, he has seen firsthand how critical school lunches are for educating children. Father Leon and the administration at the school are grateful for the meals, tilapia, agricultural projects and the chicken coop.
Father Leon shares that the school is more than a place where children receive an education ― it has become the community center that also provides food, a place of employment and a place where values are taught and people can thrive.