Three years ago, Kelly and Madame Kelly, Harvest Care Children’s Home Directors, met Josnel for the first time. At first sight, they knew he needed help. His mother had died, and his father struggled to meet their basic needs. Josnel did not have a place to sleep or enough food to eat, leaving him sick and lethargic. His father asked the Kellys to help and they agreed. Soon after, Josnel moved to Harvest Care Children’s Home.
For two years, Josnel kept mostly to himself and showed little interest in others. When Back2Back staff and mission teams tried to play with him, he rarely responded. Josnel would seldom smile leaving the staff to wonder what Josnel was thinking or feeling inside. School was also a challenge. When he started kindergarten a little over a year ago, he struggled to learn and engage in the classroom.
Today, six-year-old Josnel’s personality is beginning to shine. He smiles, laughs and shrieks when chased around the play area. He enjoys playing tag and is a little trickster with visitors to the home – quite the firecracker. The last time Brent, Director of Back2Back Haiti, stopped by Harvest Care, Josnel ran into his arms. Instead of avoiding Brent, he pushed himself to the front of the line to be hoisted on top of Brent’s shoulders for a piggy back-ride.
“Each time I went to Harvest Care, I would kneel down to Josnel’s level and try everything I could think of to engage with him. Over time, Josnel could see the positive changes to the children’s home and the consistency of our presence in his life. I am a safe person to him now. It takes time to build relationship, but the rewards are incredible,” Brent smiles.
Kelly and Madam Kelly attribute Josnel’s social and emotional growth to the attention he receives from caregivers, his sponsor and Back2Back staff. Before coming to Harvest Care, he was malnourished and struggling to survive. Now, he is physically healthy, more social and learning at a quicker pace in the classroom. This once withdrawn boy is now thriving, embracing life with a renewed sense of hope for his future.