“I want to put all the things in my head,” his big, brown eyes were excited and earnest as he shared with Weekendson Moise, Back2Back staff. “I want to learn absolutely everything!”
Kirby*, along with the other children served in Haiti, has had two years of unpredictable school schedules. In 2019, the country succumbed to riots in the streets, which ultimately led to schools and businesses closing to keep citizens safe.
Children were finally able to return to in-person schooling when COVID-19 infected countries all over the world, forcing increased shut-downs and virtual schooling. “They just didn’t know what to expect when it came to school attendance,” shared Weekenson. “You could see their frustration and fatigue over the inconsistencies.”
Haiti has slowly started opening back up and with it has come in-person school for the children, again. Kirby, after returning from school one day, emphatically reported to staff he wanted to learn absolutely everything, and everyone laughed, but were greatly encouraged.
“Now that children are back in school, we are seeing a heightened level of focus and determination,” shared Weekenson. “They are putting so much effort into their studies, working harder than I’ve ever seen.” The children don’t know if or when they may lose school again, and appreciate learning and peer interaction.
Weekenson also notes increased involvement from the teens at the home. “When the children have their study time, the teens are often stepping in and helping with difficult problems or listening to the younger children read,” he shared. “They are taking on a big sibling role, which further grows the family-like dynamic the children’s home works hard to maintain.” Together, the children and staff are developing their own sense of normal, one day and school lesson at a time. And while predictability isn’t always present outside the home, children know safe adults are nearby, providing stability and fun any way they can.
Faithful prayer, sponsorship, and advocacy make stability and routine a possibility at partnering children’s homes, and we are grateful for partners in Haiti and around the world who make sure every child remembers they are known and loved.