On my 3rd trip to Haiti I remember seeing this little girl screaming and clinging to her mother. Completely terrified of the "blancs" (french for white) wanting to take her picture. I remember my friend Tiffany struggling to try to capture her sweet face in hopes of getting someone to sponsor her so she could attend school. I think at best w e have a photo of the side profile of her face with tears streaming down and her clawing her laughing mother who was telling her "the blancs wont eat you." She was one of the many young children that we had photographed but by far one of the worst photos.
Something stirred inside me and I knew that finding a sponsor that would choose to sponsor a child with hardly a photo of her probably was not going to happen. I walked over to my mother who was interviewing the children and told her that I would sponsor the "screaming girl" whose name was Chama. As my trips to Haiti continued so did my relationship with Chama. She was a bit shy at first and then the shyness grew into excitement to see me. I would look forward to seeing her just as much. I would think of her all the time in my usual day-to-day busyness but never thought much about what she was thinking about. On my trips I would hear that she was not a big eater and how her mother would tell her she needed to eat or that I would be sad and crying. Or how she prayed for me and my family every night. I would receive letters every once in a while with all sorts of flowery language which is such a cultural thing wishing me Gods blessings and how much she thought of me. On my last trip Chama didn't know I was coming and her mom hid me in her house and went and got her to come home.
At times it’s still hard for me to grasp how big our relationship is with the separation that our lives have by distance and material things. It’s hard for me to grasp how such a small thing in my life in terms of the $50 twice a year for school sponsorship can grow into something so big. Even if it never did, it still is special to me to think that somewhere out there the life of a small child is changing drastically because you were willing to give something as important to them as the ability to go to school. You never know where giving is going to take you! I encourage you to see! The program has been running for 9 years now and has over 1500 children from 11 communities in Haiti. The program is all run by volunteers so 100% of the money you donate to the children goes to the children. None of it is used for overhead, expenses, or operational fees.
Sponsor a child at hishandsforhaiti.org at the "children in need" page or follow what is going on with the program on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HisHandsSupportMinistries. For more information, you can email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
~ Kirstin Wardrick