Sometimes, it’s the “little” things that touch the heart the most…
Although it may appear ridiculously low according to US standards, the teachers in our school are paid a very good amount for our context here on the Plateau. In fact, it is enough to satisfy our teachers who come from the capital city.
Regardless of the fact that it is a good salary by Haiti standards–and the best that we can afford to pay them–it is still a small amount on which to survive, especially with the fall of the gourde and rising costs.
However, many of their students come from worse situations. With the yearly failure of the gardens and the absence of jobs, paying for school itself is a struggle for the parents, let alone purchasing books, uniforms, and other needs.
Despite their own financial struggles, several of the school staff this year–out of the kindness of their own hearts–have purchased small school supplies for students who simply could not afford them. Recently, one of the teachers proposed a beautiful idea to his co-workers. They took a manila envelope, wrote “Gifts” on it (“Don,” in Creole), and put it in the school office. Anyone who wishes can put a few dollars in from time to time. Out of this fund, they can then purchase books or school supplies for needy students.
…for the young boy who wears the same pair of cut off jeans to school every day because his mother simply cannot afford the material for uniform pants (Technically, this is unacceptable attire, but the school director has made an exception out of compassion).
…for the student who cannot do his homework because he has no notebook in which to write.
…for the student who cannot study her lessons because her parents cannot afford her books.
Already, they have $200 HT in the envelope (a little less than $20 US).
In a country where it is common to encounter the entitlement mentality or the “I’m looking out for my own welfare” attitude, it is touching and encouraging to see our staff reaching out from their own initiative and with their own resources to help others around them who are in greater need.