Continued from the last update:
I am in constant communication with the school’s staff and the staff of all of our programs here. There is no way I could submit to this man’s leadership in hopes of receiving funds. The afternoon school director and co-founder felt the same way about his involvement. Therefore, I remained in polite communication but maintained a position of authority which the five staff members encouraged me in.
During a visit in July, this man made the decision to work with the morning director by paying rent for one year on the building we had abandoned to avoid conflict and to pay teacher salaries throughout the school year as well as to provide meals for the students. The teachers and I were a bit stunned by this blatant attack. Obviously this decision revealed this supporter’s shared intentions with the morning director of selfishness, power hunger, and anything but focus on the healthy education of the students.
We began meeting with parents and registering kids for school right away. Teachers have been present in the community daily since this decision was made, staying in communication with parents to provide them honest stability and support. However, the morning director who has seceded from the union has also been going after children and parents and has been making more offers that our staff has been forced to up the anty on. The biggest change from the way we have done things in the past is that it appears that we have to take on the responsibility of providing uniforms for students this year whereas parents have been responsible for that in the past. The other school was gaining students by offering uniforms at a very low price. After several pleas from our staff to up the anty and resistence from my end due to lack of funds, I told the director that I realized that in order to save the school we had to do something. How much would uniforms cost? He replied thankfully and asked me to come to the school that afternoon. When I arrived, he had already announced that we would be providing free uniforms and he and the other teachers had notebooks marking down measurements as two tailors measured students. They did what they had to do to save the school and I am responsible for backing them up.
It is undoubtable that our school, which maintains the name United Brothers School of Muñoz will provide a higher quality education than the other school as the morning director and teachers he is working with are much weaker than the staff that remain with Project Esperanza. We also will provide a healthier environment for the children as our end goal is to empower them with knowledge and wisdom as opposed to the other school’s goal which is to keep children in ignorance, temporarily happy with material items and full stomachs but ignorant as to the exploitation they are receiving in order to benefit the school’s leadership. Nonetheless, when families struggle to provide food for their children and to clothe them, it is difficult for parents to consider such factors. This community has true need and I am happy for Project Esperanza to provide uniforms and would love to be able to provide a hearty meal as well but we truly lack funds. Also, we have been unable to retrieve some tables, chairs, and chalkboards through this conflict as well and need to purchase them again. The budget included above includes these items as well as items needed in other facilities.
In Solidarity with Haitian Motherhood
Again, this is an example of an attack on one of our programs but there have regretfully been more. We are obviously growing, are learning from experiences, and will be less vulnerable to such attacks in the future, but right now, we need financial help in overcoming this one.
Financial instability leaves many Haitian mothers at risk of losing their children. When you are unable to provide certain things for your children, there are others who will use their more fortunate situation to lure your children to them with various intentions. Monthly sponsors have recently been receiving updates explaining such situations we have dealt with here often. Rather than using their more fortunate situation to empower these struggling mothers, they use their situations to rob them and break their homes and hearts. Perhaps bystanders pass judgment on the struggling mothers, trying to assume that she is responsible for her difficult situation, but this is highly unjust. Her difficult situation is normally due to the absent father. And his absence is normally due to selfishness similar to that displayed by the morning director and Canadian supporter in this case, hardships, or death. Yes, there are mothers who are irresponsible as well but I am referring to the millions of Haitian mothers, grandmothers, and aunts who are fighting to provide for children – children who need food, clothes, shoes, and education, and additionally would like to drink a cold drink occasionally or to own items such as a bike.
This is something I have been sympathetic to since we began working here and hope to do the opposite – to empower and restore families rather than rip them apart. But in reality, Project Esperanza is a struggling mother as well, providing rich care for her programs which can be referred to as her children but constantly facing financial instability. We have many moral supporters, people that are interested in the work we are doing and will wish us well. We have had roughly 150 volunteers come and participate and experience our work here and I don’t think that anyone has left with the opinion that our work is anything but 100% authentic. Some may be more inclined to desire more immediate and tangible results such as is possible in large construction projects or medical outreach. While these two fields are incorporated into our programs when necessary, our focus on empowerment through education and social support provides results that are less immediate but much deeper and should yield several times the effects on society over time. However, with all of the moral support and volunteers that have come and seen, we have a very small, loyal, highly appreciated group of actual financial supporters. PLEASE consider joining this group. We are, as described above, in a time of battle. Those wishing to use the most vulnerable members of society for personal gain appear to have more ammunition than Project Esperanza, those truly putting our sweat and blood into educating the most vulnerable.
Our Request to You
At this time, we need a surge of one time monetary donations to meet the demands outlined in the budget above before the school year begins on September 6th. We also need more monthly sponsors in order to consistently cover our most basic expenses each month. Again, sponsors receive insightful updates on a weekly basis (similar to Etyenn’s story and Ti Ronal’s Journey to the Dominican Republic). A new series for monthly sponsors is about to begin so now is a great time to join the group. E-mail Sponsor@EsperanzaMeansHope.org to receive the forms. Those of you that have shown interest in forming fundraising groups and taking on fundraising efforts, please don’t give up!