LINDSAY // HAITI
Brothers Schnyderson (2nd grade) & Schnyder (Kinder) come from what you would call a pretty difficult home life. Their mom has 9 children, & several fathers.
When not wandering around the corridors of their slum neighborhood they sleep in a shack off the side of someone else’s house, covered with partial tarp and partial rusty sheet metal that is filled with holes. These boys are mostly on their own.
They get their own buckets of water to bathe, get ready for school, and walk themselves to school because their mom might not yet be out of bed. They love school and don’t want to miss it.
There was a point in time where Schnyderson and Schnyder missed the first couple days of school.
So I went to visit their home.
I saw the mom sitting on the dirt floor feeding herself and her two youngest babies. She told me the kids didn’t have a belt or socks and their uniforms were torn so they just simply would wait to go back to school until she had money- not seemingly bothered that her kids were missing precious days of school (a couple of her other kids were also waiting on shoes and a backpack).
***Schools are very strict here about coming clean and in the right uniform attire, and so is HSMS Academy.
The reality here [in Haiti] is in your face.
You can’t simply come in and be everyone’s savior. You can’t come and take the responsibility out of the hands of the parents and leave them even more irresponsible than before…but sometimes you know there is no effort and the kids suffer so we step in with caution.
I got the shoes, the belts, and socks. I did a mediocre sewing job on the shorts (thanks to my 7th grade home-ec teacher) and got the 2 boys back in class. Schnyderson is already in our Leadership Boarding Program so he is taken care of during the week but now little Schnyder also comes at 7 AM each morning to take a shower and put on the uniform that we now keep here so he doesn’t lose it. He also has breakfast with us.
You might be asking, “Why don’t we just just take in Schnyder or ALL other kids like him…?”
We are NOT an orphanage first of all. All our kids have families. We understand that family situations are difficult and our hearts want to ‘save’ ALL kids like this...but we have to be WISE. The long-term effect of TOTALLY removing a child from his family contact, from the society they will have to survive in afterward is damaging.
Haiti is a product of decades of many well-meaning charities who leave foreigners feeling good about themselves but the Haitians dependent on an unreliable help.
We believe these kids are to be TAUGHT to be different because of the light of Jesus in them and a good education and THEN to be given a chance to BE different every day!