If you look at Haiti solely in terms of statistics, the picture looks bleak: barely half of Haitians over 15 can read and write, more than two-thirds of the workforce is unemployed, and about 15 percent of Haiti’s children are orphaned. And after the devastating earthquake in January, poverty and homelessness are on the rise.
But if you look at Haiti at the “people level,” you’ll see a different picture altogether, one of hope that comes from the young people of Haiti.
Take the example of Judex Mondesir, an 18-year-old young man whose life changed forever after meeting Father Marc Boisvert and coming to live at Pwoje Espwa (Project Hope) in Les Cayes, Haiti. Judex comes from hard circumstances: his father passed away years ago and his mother could barely provide for him and his siblings. Life was tough, Judex said. When he heard of Pwoje Espwa, a place supported by Cross International Catholic Outreach where about 750 children live, are fed, go to school, and learn about Christ from a kind priest named Fr. Marc, he went straight there.
Judex has lived at Pwoje Espwa for two-and-a-half years now. He speaks fluent English, teaches Bible school on Sundays for the children, and works as an interpreter at Pwoje Espwa as needed, such as for dentists and doctors when they visit. Judex also teaches English at Pwoje Espwa during the summer in the mornings for ages 3-6 and in the afternoon for ages 11-15.
Judex says Father Marc has helped him greatly, and he plans to go to a university to become a teacher or a computer programmer. More importantly, Judex wants to help Haiti—he says he wants to stay in Haiti after finishing school and give back to his country. “I just want to share what I have with the others,” he said.
Young people like Judex are all over Haiti—and thanks to caring Catholics like Fr. Marc, their talent and desire to help Haiti is nurtured. Places like Pwoje Espwa offer education, a place to live, and the wonderful message to Christ to the next generation of Haitians. Cross Catholic has a long relationship with Pwoje Espwa, and we know that thanks to Fr. Marc’s dedication to the Lord and the children of Haiti, young men and women like Judex are ready to help Haiti recover from the earthquake.
Click here to learn more about how Cross Catholic makes a difference in the lives of children at Pwoje Espwa—and how you can help!