To the child who’d been gang raped so many times that at age 14, you thought it was normal and gave your body up willingly. You even ran away to return to your abusers.
To the child who was so badly abused and neglected, you’d never learned that hurting others was wrong… after all, those who were meant to care for you had only hurt you. You followed their example.
To the child sleeping on a prison cell floor, unable to roll over
because it’s so crowded. Perhaps you couldn’t handle the hunger anymore and were driven to desperate measures – or perhaps you’d joined the wrong group of friends, because they made you feel accepted in a world where you’d faced too much rejection.
To the child whose life experiences have taught you it’s better to be feared than to be fearful; who’s become the most violent person around so that others won’t attack you… Whose eyes are dark with what looks like anger, coldness and a lack of empathy – but what is truly a disguise for pain.
I see the window of vulnerability when our eyes meet.
I see that I get through to you when we speak alone – but as soon as you step back into your world I see negative influences draining your motivation and hope and self worth.
I see the genuine desire you have to live a different life, to break free and be yourself… I see through the years of pain, mistrust, and hopelessness that have built over your positivity and morale.
I see you.
I see all that you could have been if this world hadn’t let you down."
An exciting September unfolded once again, with many children experiencing their first day of new school year! LFBS Outreach staff were tremendously busy bringing school supplies, uniforms, backpacks to hundreds of children throughout Haiti's southwest - with truckloads going to the rural villages of Jeremie, Pestel and Chanta, Randell and Les Anglais! All students were registered for school.Our Haitian staff team are tremendously committed to the important work they're doing, and work tirelessly to ensure this is accomplished in a short period of time - and are so proud of the future they are instrumental in making possible. Our vehicles and staff don't seem to have the word 'tired' in their vocabulary! We are so grateful for all that our hardworking team, and dedicated supporters, allow us to accomplish each week! (photos below)
The school year also saw a new start for many that LFBS has supported for health recovery. This lovely, grateful student was deathly ill when we met her and had trouble breathing, so certainly couldn't go to school. After months of hospitalization...she has been thrilled that she's been able to return to school! Guerna, in the peach school uniform, was so badly burned she was unable to wear a shirt or dress. Now after operations and healing, and tutoring assistance, she is ready to embrace school days and learning with others!
Good nutrition is key to good learning. Our Agronomist not only works with rural families to ensure optimal crop growth, he has also planted crops on the land that LFBS has purchased, and he and our Youth Leader team have harvested corn, plantain and peanuts! Our Transitional Safehouse staff then shelled and roasted the peanuts, and ground them into fresh local peaunut butter that we have been able to distribute to families so that the children can have healthy snacks before and after school!
Sharing awareness of the realities of the children we rescue and reunite with their families, and the unique programs, initiatives and partnerships that LFBS undertakes to ensure they can stay together, learn and thrive toward healthy self-sufficiency, is critical to continue building awareness and support. In October, LFBS Co-founder and Head of Haiti Operations traveled to Ontario, Canada and presented at numerous events, including the District 7010 Rotary Conference, “Dare to Dream” in Deer Lake; “An Evening with Morgan Wienberg” hosted by Windsor Rotary Club; and “International Project Celebration of LFBS”, hosted by Whitby Rotary. At that event, Morgan was presented with the prestigious Wilf Wilkinson Peace Award! This award recognizes “the advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace”.
Recently, one of our local Haiti Government Department partners, IBESR (Haiti’s Social Services Department) did a thorough review of the ‘orphanages’ across the country. Of 754 orphanages visited and evaluated by local authorities, only 35 in the whole country are up to minimum standards! Several have been identified to have sexual abuse, and 302 have been identified to have physical abuse (likely figure is probably even higher). It is critical that international donors be vigilant about what their donations are going towards and that the education of local parents and support to reunify and strengthen families continues. THIS is why family reunification and strengthening toward healthy, safe and self-sufficient futures is so important! LFBS is so very proud, and grateful to YOU, for supporting our work over the past 7 years toward making it possible for us to do exactly that <3
Our 2017/18 Annual Report will be coming out soon. Please join us on Facebook (Little Footprints, Big Steps) and see your support unfolding.
Please share the work and progress widely. Let others become catalysts for the kind ofr change that YOU make possible each and every day - igniting that light in the eyes of others!
THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH for your love, care and support.