Change and growth are inevitable parts of life. When partnering children’s homes welcome vulnerable children, they are hopeful for both change and growth. Recently, a partnering children’s home in Haiti experienced significant change. Three of the older boys entered the Hope Education Program and moved to a new space, with new faces. Around the same time, two of the teen girls transitioned back with their extended families. With five teens exiting, naturally everything felt different.
Change leads to growth, and the remaining teens are proof of that. “The teens still at the home are really stepping up,” shared Wadson Delvar, Back2Back staff. “They are holding each other accountable and investing in the people around them.”
In age appropriate ways, they’re testing new responsibilities. One young boy runs errands and shops for necessary items for the home. A teen girl is expanding her cooking skills and purchases food in the markets for new recipes. Another young man cleans the yard and helps keep watch at the gate when the gatekeeper has to use the restroom or step away for a moment. All of the children put their hands together to clean and wash dishes following meal times.
Recently, ten younger children transitioned into the home. The teens have taken the opportunity to lead by example their new housemates. Nurture Groups, intimate group gatherings where the children learn how to process their emotions, are a consistent part of the schedule. When the ten children transitioned in, content was modified, and the teens stepped into leadership roles to guide the new children. “They are teaching the younger ones principles like, ‘no hits, no hurts’ and ‘stick together!’ and the children are picking it up easily,” shared Wadson. “The older ones are now participating more significantly, as if they’re seeing everything fresh through younger eyes.”
The teens may now be outnumbered, but this change has allowed for bonding between the children and a sense of responsibility to flourish. Sponsorship, advocacy, and the consistent care of adults combine to build leadership skills in young men and women who are already making an impact.