Over the Summer: Investing in the Youth
As last school year ended, Manis received a letter from a young man from a neighboring community. This young man, Amelet, and his friend, Irvin, had already garnered Manis’ appreciation for their disinterested involvement in several of Lemuel’s formative activities. In his letter, Amelet asked if he and his friend could possibly get a job over the summer. Their income they would use to pay their school tuition in the fall. Manis was touched by their eagerness for education and their willingness to work hard to get it. I think it brought back memories of himself at their age.
Although Manis had originally planned to take a break over the summer, he decided instead to engage these young men, and two others in similar circumstances, to work in the Samuel’s Trees project. He spent a lot of time with these guys, working with them, joking with them, and teaching them about God and about life. Although he was tired from a tough year, the time spent with these young men seemed to give him new energy and joy.
Amelet and Irvin
Amison and Lucsène
I realized anew that while Manis excels at leading this organization and taking care of all the “administrative” things that that entails, what really drives him–what he is passionate about and what energizes him most–is spending time investing in people. His passion is Lemuel’s purpose: investing in people as whole beings.
To offer the youth of the area a few more opportunities over the summer, Manis and Wilson Cupidon worked out a plan to provide English and computer classes. Those of you who were at Lemuel’s 20th Anniversary celebration may remember Wilson sharing about his experiences as part of Lemuel’s staff in Port-au-Prince. For those who weren’t, stay tuned! We are planning to introduce him to you in a blog post soon.
Manis taught basic English, and Wilson traveled up from Port-au-Prince several weekends to teach a computer class. Wilson is an internationally licensed computer manager and engineer. He works for a distinguished agency in Port-au-Prince and is highly respected in his field. And yet, he gave up his weekends and drove five hours each way to come teach Computers 101. Thank you, Wilson!
Due to time constraints and multiple responsibilities, we were unable to hold the summer girls’ classes this year. However, we did want to provide them with an opportunity to make an income to put toward school. So, we struck a compromise! We prepared the pieces, and they did the work at home. While we missed the interactions with them, we were happy to see them able to earn a good part of their yearly tuition. Their work is growing in excellence, and we are proud to offer their beautiful work for sale.