At Ambrit Rome International where I work as a teacher and counselor we
dedicate three moments throughout the year to La Maison des Petits de Diquini.
It is part of our school culture and ethos to involve our community in supporting
children in their education and well being. Ambrit supports children abroad not
only in Haiti but also in Shillong India. Our community is also involved locally
helping refugees at the Nafuma refugee Center, the St Egidio community and
participates actively with Komen for the Race for the Cure. In addition, whenever
someone brings a project or a special need comes to our attention we are always
ready to give a hand.
The Heart is the symbol of love and caring and at the core of our Hearts for Haiti
initiative that involves all our students. We begin with a busy one full day of
cookie decorating; where each class signs a half our slot to decorate the heart
shaped cookies they bake at home. The fantastic creations are then sold at our
bake sale days that last two days in order to allow all classes to come and shop.
The success of the bake sale is due to the sale of the cookies and other donations
of baked goods such as brownies as well as pop corn and some other snacks for
every palet. Since it is a moment of love and caring additional items such as littlte
stuffed animals and other items add spice and glamour to our sales. Even the
decorations involve all our students; this year ach student in grades 1-8 drew a
heart and each card was joined to make a beautiful mural.
Over the years Haiti has become a familiar place for our Ambrit students who
learn about our projects through their teachers and have had the chance to see
pictures ,videos and recently heard the voices of the children of la maison des
petits de diquini. Our projects are a moment of joy and connection that leaves
every one with a long lasting smile.
How are you and Gerard? it has been too long and I apologise sincerely, you all in Rome are so important to us this neglect is unforgivable. I will strive to not let so much time pass without letting you know how the children are evolving for better or for worse, only time will tell.
LMDPDD is overwhelmed we are at 40 children and many times we turn some away not because we don’t care but because these children are not the neediest or most vulnerable. Social services which do not do anything to help us tries to interfere in our activities by trying to limit the number of children that we can help in house, saying that we should try to help the children within their family. A laughable concept which would only encourage poor people to have more children. We do not let this discourage us from our work.
The children are growing very fast, five of our girls are already in puberty and beside talking to them about boys and the dange they represent we also have to deal with the crazyness of them being teeagers. they do however show responsibility by looking after the small ones and by banding together to prepare sunday meals. The boys reaching puberty and being crazy teenagers are easier to deal with they still have some fear of my hand LOL!
the Others are coming along each according to their abilities. School in general was not bad last year, this year has not started well at all I had to take away all toys specially the video games and reduce their game time, laptops can only be used for homework, video chats only on weekends and limited to 15mns. I have put away funds for one trip to Cap-Haitien at Easter, I want to take a group of 12 for 3 days to go visit the historic sites that they have been studying in their history books, if it goes well maybe another trip to another province during the summer. We have engaged a music teacher for the children, classes started last november, 3 hrs every sunday afternoon. Of course many were dropped for now mostly due to lack of concentration on their part, those that are left are showing a great aptitudes, maybe a small concert in june. Five boys have been selected to go to soccer camp, am in the process of finalizing this.
We are also looking into different trade schools, some of the teenagers show no interest in school so we are preparing them mentally to find a interest in a trade. We do have some that already know what they want, two are interested in nursing, one doctor, one pilot, one engineer and one chef.
Of course raising 40 children is no easy task, in fact it is the hardest work I have ever done, 40 different personalities that one has to understand, 40 kids putting demands on you everyday, the discipline you have to be firm with and the young ones (1 to 4yr olds) who take me for a big teddy bear. We will be having some temporary help soon. In february we will have ayoung volunteer from France, son of friends of Roberto, who will be staying with us, he is an adept of music and says that he is very good in math and that is good because I have trouble remembering all those math or physics formula. This young man will stay with us until june or run away before that LOL!
Marie Carmel & I are doing well still very much enthusiastic about our work even after 13 long years. All children are and have been healthy, no broken limbs or tooth lost we thank God for that. Am off for now, going to the Dominican Republic for 3 days, planning a possible field trip with children, we will see.
Take care Franka & best regards to Gerard you are always in our prayers,
BE WELL & KEEP FAITH