School begins in two weeks and we are rushing to get children sponsored and to purchase books and uniforms. We have spent weeks visiting the houses of children, meeting with parents, answering questions, creating student profiles, taking family pictures, and registering kids for school. Last year 21 of our students were able to be sponsored. This year we hope to get many more sponsored. Please e-mail Sponsor@EsperanzaMeansHope.org if you are interested. We would also like to rent a new building to hold school in as the current one has been undergoing interruptive construction for months now, and it doesn’t appear that it will be finished anytime soon. It is also quite small for the amount of kids that have registered so far this year. So we have quite a lot of work to do in these next two weeks, and in the first few weeks of school as well.
While we don’t have a specific program for widowed mothers or young single mothers, we have always lent a helping hand to women and their infants in this situation in the communities where we have our grassroots schools. This blog post talks about one case in Padre Granero we helped out with a few years ago. Here are two more mothers pleaing for help. If this touches your heart and you would specifically like to support them, please contact us.
This is Flavi (left) with her son Wendel (middle) and friend Mari. They are new to the Padre Granero community. They have been having an extremely hard time as they have no family here but were led by someone called a passer who helps people cross the border and make it to safety, and were dropped off in Padre Granero. They made the trip over from Gonaives, Haiti to search for help for Wendel who is developmentally behind and has an oversized head. Flavi's husband recently died of sickness in Gonaives. She left two older kids with friends (she says she has no family) and brought Wendel. She is also about 8 months pregnant and is expecting a girl. Mari's husband died in a flood in Gonaives a few years ago, along with many other people, unfortunately, and her family has suffered since. She left two of her children at an orphanage in Port-au-Prince, hoping they will be adopted, and has one more with a friend in Gonaives.
We have helped these ladies out with some food items, a few outfits for Wendel, and two months of rent so far. As we were going to help with the purchase of some things to sell, such as avacados and bananas, Mari, the one who would be selling, had to run to care for her sick family member. I'm assuming it is her child but was not told specifically who it is and did not ask. So Flavi is now alone in Padre Granero with Wendel, almost due to have a baby. We have taken Wendel to a nearby clinic called Centro Medico Cabarete and the CT scan showed that he has hydrocephalus. He will need a spinal tap to make sure he has no current infections (around $80 US), and then a surgery (between $1,000 and $2,000 US) where a shunt is inserted into his brain to then drain the extra fluid into another part of his body, I believe the abdomen. These prices are reduced because Centro Medico Cabarete has a foundation that can receive some donated surgical products and donate their services as well. If you can help, please let us know, as this is life and death for Wendel.
This is Viergenie and her baby boy Elow. Viergenie is 16 and Elow is 5 months. She came to join her mother in Padre Granero, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic about two years ago and ended up with Elow, abandoned by the father. Her mother has four other children and is unable to help out much with this new addition to the family. Therefore, as we went around registering students and creating the profiles, they asked that we search for help for Viergenie. Teenage mothers are all over the world, but when one has absolutely no means to bring in an income other than perhaps prostitution, we would hope to be able to encourage another way to provide for one's child. We have not yet begun a jewelry program in Padre Granero as we have in another community where we have a grassroots school, but it would be great to in the near future. Also, we have begun offering sewing classes in the school and hope to get an additional machine (we have found a used one for $85 US) to further this opportunity for community members. These are more ways that the school is used to educate and empower community members rather than just provide the classic education for youth.
We hope that you will join us in supporting the Institution for the Improvement of Life Through Education. Thank you for reading!