This is Weetherson Pierre, a nursing student I met on a recent mission trip. As a scholarship recipient of the Haitian Education Leadership Program (HELP), a CCO-sponsored program at the University of Notre Dame-Haiti, the country’s only Catholic university, Weetherson is not only a straight-A student, he is required to live by principals that are firmly rooted in Christian doctrines.
A couple of weeks ago, as I attended my fifth-grade son’s open house, I marveled at how much technology American children have at their disposal. It was the end of the year, and the kids were turning in the laptops their school had provided for homework. Yes, school-provided laptops! I compared this to my experiences traveling in the developing world. Students there were lucky if they had electricity, much less access to a computer.
Just in the last decade, teacher Camineta Guillame has witnessed a transformation in the way Haitian students act. Sometimes God’s revelations occur at the most unexpected times. I experienced one of those transformative moments on a recent mission trip in the Central Plains of Haiti. It was one of those rainy days, so our group had scheduled as many indoor venues as possible.
I recently met up with the Cross Catholic Outreach-sponsored students at the Haitian Education and Leadership Program (HELP), a university scholarship program for impoverished, high-achieving students throughout Haiti, and wow – this group is impressive.
Rosita Bernard is a teacher at Kobonal Haiti Mission’s school in Haiti’s Central Plateau. She is also a former student. In fact, many of the Mission’s 62 teachers were previous students. Rosita arrives early to school every morning to read the Bible and pray with her fellow teachers. This fellowship keeps her focused on the importance of her role in her students’ lives.
Mother Candelaria, of the Servants of the Lord and of the Virgin of Matara (SSVM) helps care for children while they stay at one of two boarding homes run by priests of the Institute of the Incarnate Word (IVE).