Our trip began in some places we’re just starting to work– desperately poor villages with great needs. Haiti is dotted with rural villages that lack development and basic services, like clean water, schools and health care. And to be honest, the poverty in this country can seem overwhelming.
Children in tattered, dirty clothes and bare feet ran out to greet us. Some had bloated bellies—a likely sign of intestinal parasites. This was confirmed as their mothers and grandmothers talked of painful stomach aches that woke their children at night.
“She has stomach aches all the time—so bad that sometimes she cries out in her sleep,” said Angelicia a mom of two. Her 10-year-old daughter, Belony, a wide-eyed girl with braided hair, looked no older than 7. Her legs were stick-skinny and her growth was clearly stunted. “She doesn’t eat well, and even if she eats, she’s not growing.”
We all watched with excitement as Belony chewed up one of the small white deworming pills we were distributing to children in the village that day. What a joy it was to be able to tell Angelicia that her little girl would be feeling much better very soon!
“I’m so happy … so happy,” she said. “I pray that the next time you come, you will see a change in Belony.” We assured her that this was certain.
As we traveled further along dusty, twisting mountain roads, I began to see evidence of progress and hope in villages where we’ve worked in for many years. After several hours, we arrived in a village I first visited in 2009 called Lyncee. There was such a
contrast in the appearance of the children in this village compared to others we’d seen. Their eyes were bright and their bodies looked strong and healthy. Even their clothes were clean and pressed. The biggest difference I noticed—they were all smiling and laughing as they proudly showed off the goats they’d received from World Concern.
World Concern built a school here in Lyncee, more than 15 years ago. It’s totally self-sustaining now, and the classrooms are bursting with enthusiastic learners. They’re learning math and reading, of course, but they’re also learning animal husbandry through raising and breeding their goats.
Delona, an 18-year-old student who is studying in 6th grade (not uncommon in rural Haiti), received her first goat last year. Her goat got pregnant, and through the sale of that baby goat, she was able to pay for almost an entire year of school.
“It’s all I have, and it’s providing for us,” she said.
As I was talking with the children, a sweet, freckle-faced girl with a cheerful grin caught my attention. I instantly I recognized her as a young girl I had met in 2009.
Her name is Marguerite (I remembered this because it’s my grandmother’s name). Marguerite is now a healthy, growing 12-year-old! She’s doing great in school and, thanks to support from World Concern donors, she’s able to pay her tuition and other expenses through income from several goats she’s owned over the years.
I was so encouraged to see the progress in Lyncee. When you give gifts through the Global Gift Guide, you are a part of this progress.
Together, we are helping put an end to extreme poverty—one child, one family, one village at a time.
Please visit donateagoat.org to donate a goat and change a life this Christmas.