Luckson wakes up ready to begin a new day. With one last yawn, he surveys his bright surroundings and decides to spend just one-more-minute lounging in his new bed. His soft pillow and covers are so cozy it is tempting to snuggle in just a little longer. Luckson finally fishes his school uniform out of his personal storage cubby, gets dressed, and races to the dining area. As he sits laughing with his friends, he surveys his surroundings remembering all the visiting teams who helped make his house more of a home.
Arriving at Harvest Care Children’s Home at age three, Luckson has grown to be an energetic, fun-loving boy who loves playing icebreaker games, meeting new people, swimming, soccer, and learning. Luckson’s personality is vibrant and ornery. He loves school and performs well in class.
The earthquake in 2010 brought so many challenges to the surviving population. Currently, Haiti is in the process of re-building. For Luckson, and all the children served in Haiti, Back2Back has started the important work of improving the physical environment for the children, which has a far-reaching impact into other areas of their development.
Harvest Care is on the front-end of change. Many improvements have been made as the partnership between Harvest Care and Back2Back grows. Prior to 2013, Luckson ate consistent meals of rice, maize, corn pudding and spinach. Now, Luckson can be seen sipping on his favorite guava juice and enjoying chicken, fish, spaghetti, vegetables and bananas, which supplement his diet. Luckson helps retrieve water from the new, working well, which helps with hand washing and cleaning the food prior to preparation. Caregivers can be seen working in the new fully equipped kitchen, taking stress off meal preparation and providing more time for interaction with the children. When mealtime begins, Luckson now eats with his peers at newly constructed picnic tables and can linger over meals enjoying the company of his friends.
Luckson’s home also has improved septic and sanitation facilities with an indoor shower and bathroom, repaired septic tanks and improved drainage system. Where there was once a swampy, mosquito-infested side yard, there is now a play area with soft gravel, a sandbox, and proper drainage for long-term enjoyment and play. Luckson loves soccer and is always ready for a pick-up game after school.
At the end of a long day, Luckson needs rest to recuperate from a day of learning, laughing and play. Once sharing a steel-framed bed with a cardboard box spring with a friend, he now has his own bed. The new wooden-framed beds warm the room inviting the children to come and relax from the day’s events. As he rests his head on the soft pillow and nestles back onto his cozy mattress, Luckson envelopes himself in his soft sheets. He glances at his sleeping quarters and feels a little safer having mosquito screens strategically placed over the open windows, reducing exposure to illness contracted through bug bites. Looking around his personal space, Luckson’s feeling of belonging solidifies – he has a place to call his own. With physical needs met, Luckson faces his school day rested and focused, with a greater sense of security. No longer distracted by basic needs, Luckson scopes out the next pick-up game of soccer, running a little freer, laughing a little louder.