Below, you will find a post written by Pastor Gesner Lefort concerning the importance of our school feeding program. I hesitated to post the picture due to its poor quality, but felt it was too precious not to share with our readers. This little girl is giving thanks for her plate of food. In the post below, Pastor Lefort shares why this meal is so important to her. In all our schools, it is the custom of the students to wait until all their classmates have been served and the blessing has been given before they begin eating their meal. It is truly commendable that these little ones are so patient — for many of them, it may be their only meal of the day. Roughly $30 can feed one child two meals a week for an entire school year.
Have you ever considered what it is like for a child to attend school in Haiti? At times they rise very early and often walk a great distance just to get to school. They’re often tired and hungry before they even arrive. As a result, this affects their ability to do well in their studies. A well-known Haitian proverb states, “Sak vid pa kanpe.” This means “an empty sack cannot stand by itself.” Because of this, receiving a meal in school has far greater value than one can imagine. I want everyone to know that these meals are so greatly appreciated by the children here in the Sainte-Philomène school. Their parents continually thank us for making it possible for their children to benefit from the feeding program that’s provided two days a week. They would love for the children to be able to eat every day, yet they do not take for granted the great effort that has been made by so many to insure that these kids get fed. Yesterday afternoon, we had a reunion with the parents. They shared testimony after testimony of how much the feeding program meant to them. Because a child is eating a little at school, it helps lift a small burden off their families at home as well. Allow me to share one example with you.
The name of the little girl in the photo above is Sabensika. She and her sister, Sabenka, have been abandoned by their father. One day the girls’ mother brought them to school. She had been told by the children’s father that he was going to meet her there and give her some money so the girls could buy a little food off the street that day. The mother waited and waited, but the father never came. The mother wavered between leaving the children there to fend off their hunger or return home with them to feed them. She finally sat down and wept from exhaustion and despair because she had nothing to give them. She reluctantly left them at school. You can imagine how happy and relieved she was when, in the weeks that followed, the school lunch program kicked in and her little girls began receiving a nutritious meal on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
If you are able to help us provide relief for these children that are in such great need, it would mean more than you can ever imagine. I’ll leave you with another Haitian proverb. “Bay piti pa di chich pou sa.” This means, ”You’re not a cheapskate just because you give a small gift”. Whatever you are able to give would be a great form of deliverance for us here in Haiti.
–Pastor Gesner Lefort