In 2010, Haiti suffered a devastating earthquake, which is thought to have killed over 200,000 people and left tens of thousands homeless.
Haiti is one of the world’s poorest countries, with very basic infrastructure and limited educational and health facilities.This disaster put their progress back many years.
Dozens of children lost their parents in the earthquake and Yvrose Telfort Ismael together with her husband Pierre-Richard took many of them into their own home to provide food and shelter. They are still looking after 32, a number which tends to grow rather than fall.
Since then, they have started a free school for the local children and each day over 500 arrive for lessons in what is now the Hope Christian Academy.
Hope House orphanage and school are totally dependent on local volunteers and support from charities in the USA, the UK and Ireland, although they are making great progress in producing fresh fruit and vegetables to supplement the children’s diet.
Their key supporter in England is Hope House Haiti (UK), started by an enthusiastic group in Bolney. They raise funds for the school and provide practical help by sending equipment and clothing for the children.
In addition, last January a medical team visited Haiti to screen all of the children, to provide basic medication and set up formal medical records. Most of the children had never seen a doctor or nurse in their whole lives.
Yvrose and Pierre-Richard are an inspirational couple and they are totally dedicated to helping the poor local children. The Rotary Club of Cuckfield & Lindfield provided funds for the medicines taken to Haiti in January and are helping to support the school.
In January this year, Yvrose and Pierre-Richard visited the UK and Ireland and spoke to a well attended meeting of the Club. As a result, the Club decided that a very positive way to help would be to sponsor one of their teachers.
So in May, the club “adopted” Andy Elysee Hubert, a 30 year old teacher and have arranged to pay his monthly salary for the next three years. Sponsoring a teacher in this way provides him with guaranteed employment and directly benefits the forty or so children that he teaches.
Education is vital if Haiti is to stand a chance of escaping poverty and, although the country’s material needs are immediate, in the longer term even a basic education will pay dividends.
To contact Hope House Haiti (UK) email Leandra Hale on firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website at www.hopehousehaiti.com
On an international basis, this is a typical role that our Rotary Club carries out and, if you are interested in joining the Rotary Club of Cuckfield & Lindfield, please ring 07866 536277 or email email@example.com If you would like more information, please look at our Club website www.rotarysussex.org
Report and picture contributed by the Rotary Club of Cuckfield & Lindfield